Thursday, 7 July 2016

Country Billboard Chart News June 27, 2016

Country Billboard Chart News June 27, 2016

In Brief: Billboard Country Charts (Chart issue week of July 9, 2016)

Country Album Chart ** No.1 (1 week) CALIFORNIA SUNRISE Jon Pardi
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (8 weeks) ** H.O.L.Y.  Florida Georgia Line
Country Airplay ** No.1 (1 week) ** "Wasted Time” Keith Urban
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 (8 weeks) ** H.O.L.Y.  Florida Georgia Line

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News (Chart issue week of July 9, 2016)

The Billboard 200 chart measures multi-metric album consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Drake with VIEWS continued to reign atop the Billboard 200 Top 200 Album Chart (BB200), as the set spent an eighth consecutive week at No.1 and thus became one of only four hip-hop albums to spend at least eight weeks at No.1. Meanwhile, Red Hot Chili Peppers' "The Getaway" started are No.2
VIEWS debuted in the penthouse, and has yet to depart the No. 1 slot. In the week ending June 23, it earned another 124,000 equivalent album units (up 2%). Of that sum, 33,000 were in pure album sales (up 25%).
Views’ popularity is still driven largely by the streams of its tracks, as its SEA units for the week totalled 70,000. (In turn, that number equates to 105.1 million streams for the songs on the album -- as each SEA unit is equal to 1,500 streams.)
Still, Views earned a significant sales gain -- its first weekly sales increase -- thanks to sale pricing of the album at digital retailers late in the tracking week. At sellers like iTunes, Amazon MP3 and Google Play, the album’s price was lowered to $6.99. (It was a promotion Drake’s record label, Republic Records, advertised via Twitter.)
With an eighth week at No. 1, Views has the most weeks at No.1 for an album by a man since 2000, when Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP also earned eight weeks (all consecutive) at No.1 (charts dated June 10-July 29, 2000). The last album to spend at least eight weeks at No.1 was Adele’s 25 in late 2015 and early 2016, with 10 non-consecutive frames atop the list.

Billboard Top Country Albums (Chart issue week of July 9, 2016)

Jon Pardi with CALIFORNIA SUNRISE (Capitol Nashville/Universal Music Group Nashville), the second LP from, arrived at #11 Billboard 200, #8 Top Album Sales, #7 Digital Albums and blew in at No.1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart (dated July 9), selling 23,800 copies in its first week (ending June 23), according to Nielsen Music. 
On the all-genre, consumption-based Billboard 200, the set started at No.11 with 29,000 equivalent album units.

Pardi landed his first Top Country Albums leader after his Jan 2014 debut, WRITE YOU A SONG, entered at No.3 (its peak), selling 17,050 copies in its first week. His second appearance on the chart, 2015’s EP The B-Sides, 2011-2014, featuring material recorded in the sessions for his first LP, debuted and peaked at No.26 (2,400 sales).

Concurrently, the lead single from California Sunrise, the traditional sounding “Head Over Boots,” enters the Country Airplay top 10, marking another first for the 31-year-old from Northern California.
It lifts 11-9 in its 39th week, gaining by 9% to 30 million audience impressions. In Pardi’s four prior Country Airplay chart appearances, he previously peaked as high as No.11 with “Up All Night” in February 2014.

Pardi, who co-produced the new album and co-wrote seven of its 12 tracks, talked to Billboard from Madison, Wisc., on June 25 just before a concert. “I’m kind of speechless about it,” he said of his No.1 album debut.
You always go in to record the best album you can, but I never really think about chart numbers in advance. I never like over-thinking things, so this is amazing.”
Pardi, who grew up listening to country artists like Alan Jackson, George Strait and Garth Brooks, is not shy about touting that his music leans traditional. “I was going for a classic-yet-modern sound,” he said. “You’ll even hear some country & western in there.”

Critical reception for Jon Pardi’s California Sunrise:
12 Tracks/ Time: 42:45 Amazon UK - UK iTunes -

Nash Country Daily California native Jon Pardi plays both kinds of music—country and western. It’s an old joke from the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers, where brothers Jake and Elwood Blues walk into a honky-tonk and ask the owner what kind of music is played there, and she replies, “Oh, we got both kinds, we got country and western.”
Jon’s new work project, California Sunrise, stays true to his traditional-sounding roots with a stellar blend of country instrumentation, including bright fiddle, sharp steel and real drums—not synthesized drum loops. But California Sunrise also has a modern spin that’s fit for country radio. The album’s lead single, “Head Over Boots,” is already a Top 15 hit.

Taste Of Country (Rating: Positive)..There’s a certain tempo that Jon Pardi works best in on California Sunrise. It’s a mellow stampede that leaves room for his personal storytelling and naturally rowdy inclinations. The best songs on the singer’s sophomore album reside there. “Cowboy Hat” is one example. Like a few others on California Sunrise, the song finds Pardi putting a Bakersfield twist on a song George Strait might have recorded 20 years ago....“Head Over Boots” and the title track are the two standout tracks. A ballad like “Can’t Turn You Down” sounds more like a Luke Bryan song than something Pardi chose himself, but that’s not to say he can’t sing heartache. Key Tracks: “Head Over Boots,” “Cowboy Hat,” “She Ain’t In It,” “California Sunrise”

Saving Country Music (Rating: 1 1/2 Guns Up (6.5/10) If country music is ever to be saved, it’s not going to be by the hands of just one artist. Chris Stapleton can win all the awards he wants, but without a more broad movement represented by multiple artists doing well, and real inroads into country radio, progress remains mostly symbolic.That is where someone
like Jon Pardi comes in. A major label artist who’s had some decent success on the radio and still holds to the country roots he showed up to Nashville with, he’s one to root for if you’re looking for a return of country music to the glory days of yore.
Just the cover of California Sunrise is like a provocation to the norms of today’s country with it’s retro fonts and horizon hues, and Jon Pardi looking like some reincarnation of Robert Redford in The Electric Horseman. Then the album starts out with a song called “Out of Style” that’s about how the truest things in life never bow to trends, and you find yourself right at home as a true country listener....But don’t expect to hear a bunch of heady songwriting material. Jon Pardi is not a traditionalist like Brandy Clark or early Sturgill Simpson, who will barrel you over with story and rhyme. Pardi is more the working man’s country music artist, more Strait and early Haggard, not wanting to scare anyone off by getting too deep. California Sunrise is more about trying to forget your problems after 40 hard ones a week, and speaks specifically to the paycheck to paycheck mentality....The first thing you hear on “Dirt On My Boots” might be a lonesome fiddle, but the usual suspects of poor songwriting Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure, and Ashley Gorley do their worst on this song, despite Pardi and the band doing their best to country up the track. ...There are also songs like “Cowboy Hat” and “Night Shift” that in an ideal world would set the pace for what modern country should sound like, and the album ends with arguably the strongest track, “California Sunrise,” which just like the opening song “Out of Style,” goes too long in a good way, allowing the band to stretch out and actually get some licks in.
Jon Pardi is not a generational singer in the sense that his voice is one in a million. But he has his own particular style that feels warm and authentic, and his name is in the songwriting credits of 8 of the 12 songs, so you feel like he did get his stamp on this record, and not just a rubber one. California Sunrise is not going to fundamentally change anything about today’s mainstream country music on its own. It’s not ground-breaking, or so genuinely authentic that we’ll be pointing back at it years from now as where the tide turned. But it’s a step in the right direction for the mainstream, a footsoldier in the fight to return the music back to the roots, and a fairly enjoyable listen.

Chris Stapleton with TRAVELLER held at #2 Country (10-13 Billboard 200) selling 20,200 copies (60-week total 1,416,100).
Keith Urban with RIPCORD (Hit Red/Capitol Nashville/ Universal Music Group Nashville) rose 25-15 Billboard 200 (4-3 Country; 7-week total 189,800
Blake Shelton with IF I’M HONEST (Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville) fell 1-4 (9-17 Billboard 200) selling 16,700 copies (5-week total 268,800)
Thomas Rhett with TANGLED UP (Valory | BMLG) climbed 12-6 (28-18 BB200) selling 11,600 copies (39-week total 415,600)
Dierks Bentley with BLACK (Capitol Nashville/Universal Music Group [UMG] Nashville), fell 5-7 Country (20-28 BB200) with sales of and selling 9,400 copies (4-week total 129,200)
Former No.1 Maren Morris with HERO (Columbia Nashville/Sony Music Nashville) fell 6-10 Country (30-55 BB200) selling 6,500 copies (3-week total 53,500)
Joey + Rory with HYMNS (Farmhouse/Gaither | Capitol CMG) in its 19th frame slipped 10-11 Country (108-116 BB200) selling 6;000 sales; 19-week total 407,400).

Second Week Chart Frames:
Various Artists: NOW That’s What I Call Country, Volume 9 (Sony Music/Universal/UMe) fell 29-42 on the Billboard 200 & 3-5 Country selling 12,700 copies (down 18%; 2-week total 28,300)  
Brandy Clark with BIG DAY IN A SMALL TOWN (Slate Creek/ Warner Brothers) from No.84 fell off the Top 200 and slipped 8-24 on Top Country Albums selling 2,300 copies (down 69%; 2-week total 9,700).
Frankie Ballard with EL RIO (Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville) from No.68 fell from the Billboard 200 and plummeted 9-29 Country selling 1,900 copies (down 71%; 2-week total 8,600).
Drew Baldridge with DIRT ON US (Cold River/ Select O Hits) fell 11-26 selling 2,200 copies (down 62%; 2-week total 7,900)
Colvin & Earle with their self-titled (Universal Music Group) slumped 13-30.

LoCash with FIGHTERS (Reviver) marked the duo’s third appearance on Top Country Albums and its highest debut and rank, starting at No.14 (#131 Billboard 200) with 4,200 copies sold. The pair’s 2013 debut, LoCash Cowboys (Average Joes Entertainment), bowed at No.97 on the BB200 and No.25 Country (4,493 sales, slightly higher than that of Fighters) and 2015’s EP I Love This Life began at No. 38 (1,000). Current single “I Know Somebody” stepped 32-30 on Country Airplay (7.7 million, up 12%). “I Love This Life” peaked at Nos. 2 and 5 on Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs, respectively, the pair’s highest peak on both surveys.

Critical reception for LoCash’s The Fighters:
11 Tracks/ Time: 34:00 Amazon UK - UK iTunes -

Roughstock (Rating: Very Positive) ...Life is all about the moments where you have a choice to make. Do I keep going or do I move on. For LOCASH’s Preston Brust and Chris Lucas, there is no other choice but to keep going. Much like their good friend Chris Janson,
LOCASH’s hard work paid off earlier this year when “I Love This Life” became their first #1 hit (and recently RIAA Gold-certified) and serves as the lead-off hitter for The Fighters. The ear worm is still one of country radio’s most-played songs and is backed up by the hit “I Know Somebody,” a song which hit the Top 30 just this week...... I actually didn’t think that LOCASH would be able to top the impactful “Shipwrecked” as a song that should be their third single.......A cohesive album from track one to eleven, LOCASH’s The Fighters is a record which has the duo poised for stardom they seemed destined to achieve from the moment they started recording together all those years ago. This one is definitely one for The Fighters and clearly deserves consideration as one of 2016’s best country album releases.

Sounds Like Nashville (Rating: Very Positive) ...LOCASH are the definition of fighters. The country duo, made up of Preston Brust and Chris Lucas, have been clawing their way at country radio for years, first seeing success as songwriters with hits like Keith Urban’s No. 1 “You Gonna Fly” and Tim McGraw’s Top 10 “Truck Yeah.” Now, LOCASH are celebrating their own victory with their newly certified Gold single “I Love This Life” and a full-length album on Reviver Records, fittingly titled The Fighters....While the danceable tracks are plenty on The Fighters, so are the ballads. Tracks like fan favorite “Shipwrecked” has the duo singing of their wives. The song includes soaring piano accompaniment and driving percussion alongside an endearing storyline. A song that Brust’s wife walked down the aisle to, the piano ballad has Brust singing of how the only thing he needs when shipwrecked on an island is his wife.....Fighters themselves, LOCASH’s latest release combines Brust and Lucas’ talents as songwriters and ability for creating music that sticks with the listener long after the album is played. The duo, who are known for dancing in their own concerts, provide a release that segues effortlessly from the fun tracks to songs with more depth. After a long battle to get their songs heard, LOCASH more than succeed on The Fighters.

Taste Of Country The title track closes the album, and while Brust sings of working class heroes, he may as well be singing about he and Lucas. The two men have fought for their success as much as any artist in recent history. This Bruce Springsteen-inspired anthem is a fitting close for an album over a decade in the making. Key Tracks: “Ring On Every Finger,” “I Love This Life,” “God Loves Me More,” “The Fighters”

Singer-songwriter Elizabeth Cook with EXODUS OF VENUS, her first album since 2010’s WELDER arrived at a career-best No.23 on Top Country Albums with 2,500 copies sold. On Americana/Folk Albums, Exodus of Venus launches at No.15 (marking her first appearance on the list).

Her album BALLS (released May 1, 2007; 31 Tigers) peaked at #72 Country and WELDER (released May 11, 2010; 31 Tigers) reached #43.

Elizabeth Cook didn’t quite know what she was doing. But she knew there were songs, and they had to get out. Six even years since her critically acclaimed WELDER, as well as much personal tumult, there were songs that needed to be born.

“If anything, (Exodus) is a pledge of allegiance for the bad girls and the Homecoming Queens who got caught in a scandal. It’s a bill of rights, and a testimony for those good girls who got away with more than they should have.
“I’m slow, and getting slower,” laughs the lanky blond, unapologetically. “I’m taking my time, really drilling down. There were nine versions of ‘Methadone Blues.’ I’ve never done that before. I love that entrenchment and dedication – and I wasn’t going to do any less than what needed to be done.”
From Dexter Green's (also the album's producer) opening electric guitar, equal parts foreboding and fraught, “Exodus of Venus” hurls a churlish witness to erotic upheaval and the drives that subsume our best notions. “Exodus” is an exhortation of sexual surrender that pushes past the brink of reason. Elizabeth Cook Says 'Exodus Of Venus' Is 'An Album Of Extremes'

Critical reception for Elizabeth Cook’s Exodus Of Venus:
11 Tracks/ Time: 45:08 Amazon UK - UK iTunes -

Allmusic (Rating: 4 STARS) It's obvious from the greasy opening blues vibe in "Exodus of Venus," the title track of Elizabeth Cook's first album in six years, that something is very different. Produced by guitarist Dexter Green, this set is heavier, darker, and harder than anything she's released before. Its 11 songs are performed by a crack band that includes bassist Willie Weeks, drummer Matt Chamberlain, keyboardist Ralph Lofton, and lap steel guitarist Jesse Aycock. The tunes are drenched in swampy electric blues, psychedelic Americana, gritty R&B, and post-outlaw country....She celebrates the contradiction, pain, and liberation she's not only lived through but co-exists with. No quarter is given to guilt or shame. As a result, her music reaches an entirely new level. Ultimately, this set offers tough glimmers of empathic hope to those feeling lost and afflicted, whether or not the trauma is self-inflicted or circumstantial. Exodus of Venus is an achievement both redemptive and transformative.

Pop Matters (Rating: 8/10)..There aren’t many happy moments on Exodus of Venus, but what would one expect from titles such as “Dyin’”, “Slow Pain”, “Methadone Blues” and “Broke Down in London on the M25”. The songs offer the solace of the this too has passed/this too will pass, the future lies ahead. That’s not much consolation to living in a world of death, illness, addiction, and other serious troubles. It takes more than “balls”, as Cook used to sing, to get through life. Being tough is not enough. The thing is, Cook doesn’t know what saved her either. She just survived. It wasn’t God, or music, or love that rescued her—although she doesn’t knock ‘em; she just managed to keep going....Cook’s mostly melancholy music contains rough diamonds whose brilliance needs to be brought out in the cutting.

Outside Top 25 Country Albums

Luke Bell with his 10 track Honky-Tonk, Country, Americana self-titled Luke Bell (BILL HILL RECORDS; Amazon UK | iTunes | made a debut at No.47 Country selling 800 copies.
On Facebook he shares: I ended up back in Wyoming with a stray pit-bull doing ranch work for a while and writing songs for a second record. Now I’m living in Nashville making music- you’ll most likely catch me at Santa’s bar down of Bransford playing Honkey-Tonk songs with Santa’s Ice-Cold Pickers on Sunday Nights from 7-9.
I take it all one day at a time. I like work, cowboy culture, just plain good songs, honky-tonks, New Orleans R&B, my dog, and my 95 Buick Lesabre.

Luke Bell has reason to pride himself on authenticity. His songs sound like they could have been birthed in Bakersfield, or for that matter, the expanse of the West Texas plains. Unblemished by pretence or the need to adapt to current trends, Bell offers a sound that would likely elicit a nod from Hank Williams, Roger Miller, Bob Wills or any other old master as well. Honky tonk and humility pervade his eponymous effort along with ample amounts of competence and credence. Like his current contemporaries Dwight Yoakam, Webb Wilder and the Mavericks, he shows a genuine reverence for his roots, without having to fall back on imitation, novelty or any hint of a false facade. - No Depression

Dolly Shine with WALKABOUT (Vision Entertainment) made a debut at #50 Country. The project was successfully crowd funded using the Pledge Music platform with 218 pledgers raising 125% of the goal.
Dolly Shine broke out in 2010 led by founding members Zack McGinn (lead singer, rhythm guitar) and Wesley Hall (fiddle). Their first full length album Room To Breathe (2013) sounds like a first-time broken heart, heavy with mellow sentimentality and self-reflection.

Deep in south Texas there is an old Spanish term that has been around for ages called “Dale Shine.” Its literal translation means to “give it shine,” but in today’s slang style it simply means “give it gas” and/or “go for it.” Further up north, in Stephenville to be exact, hails a band so heavily mired in that credo that their stages are nearly overrun with fans pressed hard up against the edges, eyes wide, hanging on every word. In the Americanized version, they call themselves Dolly Shine, and their “hell bent for leather” performance attitude has reigned in music fans so fast over the last year that they have outgrown many a venue - Facebook

Critical reception for Dolly Shine’s Walkabout:
9 Tracks/ Time: 33:24 Amazon UK - UK iTunes - 

Whether it’s the tale of troubled souls meeting their end (Blackbird, Snakeskin Boots), embattled relationships (Closing Time, Twist the Knife, Anywhere Close to Fine), or escaping one’s circumstances by traveling through the heartland (Rattlesnake, Hitchhikin’), don’t expect anything in the way of euphemisms, but rather a direct version of the truth, whether you like it or not.
The no-holds-barred lyrics, rich music, and captivating stories make “Walkabout” the best project from the Stephenville 5-piece to-date! - Texas Music Pickers

Year-To-Date Albums
11,652,000 (Physical sales 7,614,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 4,038,000 (down -14.7%)) which is 9.0% down at the same point in 2015 (12,807,000 sales)
Year-To-Date Digital Tracks
45,470,000 down 21.9% at the same point in 2015 (58,242,000)

Billboard Hot Country Songs (Chart issue week of July 9, 2016)

On Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart - which blends:
a) All-format airplay, as monitored by BDS
b) Sales, as tracked by Nielsen SoundScan and
c) Streaming, (tracked by Nielsen BDS from such services as Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio and Xbox Music, among others) according to BDS it results in:

Florida Georgia Line with “H.O.L.Y.” (Republic Nashville) rules the list for an eighth frame. It also topped Country Digital Songs (69,000 downloads sold, down 4%) and Country Streaming Songs (6.3 million U.S. streams, down 1%) for an eighth week each.
On Country Airplay, the track hits the top five (8-5), surging by 14% to 35.9 million in audience.

On Hot Country Songs, Eric Church notched his 12th top 10, as “Record Year” (EMI Nashville) pushed 11-9 in his 19th frame, supported by its 10-6 jump on Country Airplay (34.4 million, up 13%).

Hot County Songs

** No.1 (8 weeks) ** “H.O.L.Y.” Florida Georgia Line
** Airplay Gainer ** No.3 “Church Bells” Carrie Underwood
** Digital Gainer ** No.6 “Head Over Boots” Jon Pardi
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.19 “Ain't No Stopping Us Now” Kane Brown
** Streaming Gainer ** No.26 “Without A Fight” Brad Paisley featuring Demi Lovato

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart (Chart issue week of July 9, 2016)

Florida Georgia Line (Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley) with “H.O.L.Y.” (Republic Nashville) remained at No.1 for the eighth week on Billboard’s Country Digital Singles Chart and fell 3-7 on the all genre Digital Songs Chart with sales of 69,000 downloads (8-week total 651,000).

Kane Brown with “Ain't No Stopping Us Now” made a debut at #2 (#17 Digital Songs) with 43,000 download sales.
Tim McGraw with “Humble and Kind” (McGraw/Big Machine/Big Machine Label Group) slipped 2-3 (#23-31 Digital Songs; 28,000 sales; 23-week total 737,000).
Dan+Shay with "From The Ground Up" fell 3-4 (#34-38 Digital Songs; 23,000 sales; 20-week total 307,000)
Luke Bryan with "Huntin' Fishin' & Loving Every Day" held #5 (#38-39 Digital Songs; 23,000 sales; 16-week total 345,000).
Jon Pardi with “Head Over Boots” lifted 9-6 in his 34th frame (#47-40 Digital Songs; 23,000 sales; 34-week total 447,000)

Carrie Underwood with "Church Bells" fell 4-7 (#35-42 Digital Songs; 21,000 sales; 12-week total 221,000).
Kelsea Ballerini with “Peter Pan” (Black River) slipped 7-8 (#45-46 Digital Songs; 20,000 sales; 12-week total 222,000)
Thomas Rhett with “T-Shirt” (Valory | BMLG) fell 6-9 (#39-50 Digital Songs; 20,000 sales; 23-week total 449,000)
Jason Aldean with "Lights Come On" dropped 8-10 (19,000 sales; 12-week total 261,000)
Outside the Top 10:
Maren Morris with "My Church" (Columbia Nashville/Sony Music Nashville) fell 10-15 15,000 sales; 24-week total 641,000)

Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart

27 June 2016

Congrats to Keith Urban, Royce Risser, Bobby Young, David Friedman, Shane Allen and the Capitol promotion staff on the No. 1 ascension of "Wasted Time."
The song logged 8,274 radio spins (+721) and 56.868 million audience impressions (+3.739) with 26496 Total Points from 158 tracking stations for the tracking week June 19 to June 25, 2016 and published chart June 27th 2016.
The song is the third chart-topper from Urban's current album RIPCORD.
This is Urban's 21st career #1 single, and third #1 single off his album, "Ripcord," following "Break On Me" (Feb 29) and "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" (Sept 25, 2015)

Kudos to Allen and the Columbia promo team on landing 62 adds for Maren Morris' "80s Mercedes". The song topped the week’s "Most Added" board
TEAM Columbia Nashville - Maren Morris Most Added
in Country radio 62 station ADDS for 80s Mercedes
17 June 2016

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 505 - June 27, 2016 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here -

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