Weekly Register: Kane Brown Tops Country Albums Chart

Three artists take this week’s top 5 country albums spots (total consumption), according to Nielsen Soundscan. Kane Brown‘s self-titled album is at No. 1, with 15K. Brown recently celebrated his latest No. 1 single, “What Ifs,” during an industry party in Nashville.

Chris Stapleton takes the No. 2, No. 4, and No. 5 spots this week, with Traveller (13K), From A Room: Vol. 1 (12K), and From A Room: Vol. 2 (11K), respectively.

Thomas Rhett’s Life Changes holds the No. 3 spot this week, with 13K.

On the digital country songs sales rankings, Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line‘s “Meant To Be” earned 41K to top this week’s chart, bringing the song’s digital sales to more than 648K to date.

Jason Aldean‘s “You Make It Easy” is at No. 2, with 26K, followed by Thomas Rhett‘s “Marry Me” at No. 3 with 17K. Kane Brown‘s “Heaven” is at No. 4 with 16K, and Chris Stapleton‘s “Broken Halos” is at No. 5 with 14K.



DisClaimer: Bluegrass In The Springtime

Today’s stroll through the field of bluegrass is as refreshing as springtime.

Highlights include outstanding outings by such stars of the genre as The Grascals, The Infamous Stringdusters and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.

Finishing in a dead heat for Disc of the Day are the chart-topping Lonesome River Band and the reigning Vocal Group of the Year Flatt Lonesome.

Our DisCovery Award goes to The Farm Hands.

Writers: Allen Reynolds; Producers: Lonesome River Band; Publishers: Universal Songs of PolyGram, BMI
– Perched at No. 1 on the current bluegrass chart is this lively remake of Crystal Gayle’s 1974 country smash. Award winning Sammy Shelor’s rippling banjo leads the sprightly way with the stellar harmony singing of his band mates turning the tune into an extra audio delight. This veteran group has long been one of my faves. Here’s one more reason why.

Writers:Jerry Salley/Lee Black/Devin McGlamery; Producers:Doyle Lawson; Publishers: Banner/Extry Good/Christian Taylor/Winding Way/Dixie River, SESAC/BMI/ASCAP
– Year after year, bandleader and Bluegrass Hall of Famer Lawson attracts and trains his genre’s finest vocalists. This philosophical song about making the most of your time on earth deservedly enters the bluegrass top-10 this month.

THE GRASCALS/Sleepin’ With the Reaper
Writers: Becky Buller/Grant Williams; Producers: The Grascals; Publishers: Goodnight Sparky/Fun Money, BMI
– The new album by these Nashville favorites is titled Before Breakfast, and it kicks off with this haunting story song. The married guy gets in over his head with a temptress who has dark intentions. Co-writer Buller, by the way, has a new solo CD coming out next month.

Writers: Sarah Majors/Penny Clark/Katy Clark; Producers: Valerie Smith; Publishers: Nashgrass/Sony-ATV Harmony, ASCAP
– A couple of counties south of Music City lies the charming village of Bell Buckle, TN. Smith rules the bluegrass kingdom there, issuing a string of homemade CDs. Her sturdy, earnest voice anchors this ode to small-town values. It’s the theme song of her current collection, Small Town Heroes.

DONNA ULISSE/Back Home Feelin’ Again
Writers: Donna Ulisse/Marc Rossi; Producers: Doyle Lawson; Publishers: Uncle Hadley/Marc My Words, ASCAP
– Singer-songwriter Ulisse is a leading light of today’s influx of female bluegrass performers. She’s currently midway up the Bluegrass Unlimited chart and climbing with this lilting, winsome, nostalgic ditty. She is the reigning Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year whose current collection is titled Breakin’ Easy.

Writers: Steve Martin; Producers: Peter Asher; Publishers: None listed
– Movie star Martin is merely an adequate banjo player. The Steep Canyon Rangers are a somewhat average band. But in this case, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Together, they create delightful listening experiences like this comedic tune about a guy who can’t help talking about his ex while on a dinner date. Taken from The Long Awaited Album (yes, that’s the CD’s title), it has just entered the charts.

Writers: Daryl Mosley; Producers: Lonnie Lassiter & Ethan Burkhardt; Publishers: Songs of Daryl, ASCAP
– Everyone is picking their brains out here, guitar and dobro, in particular. The toe-tapping tune skips along with a built-in smile. The band lacks a distinctive lead vocalist, but when the four members sing together in harmony, magic happens. Other highlights of its new Colors CD include remakes of “Nashville Skyline Rag,” “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like My Daddy Anymore” and “Sin City.”

Writers: Brooks/Cleveland/Gaye; Producers: James Tuttle & Jon Gold; Publishers: none listed
– Marvin Gaye goes bluegrass? I’m afraid so, complete with a dazzling acoustic instrumental jam in mid song. These hot-picking crazies are in the midst of a series of cover recordings of rock classics. The current batch also includes tunes by My Morning Jacket, The Allman Brothers, Daft Punk and The Cure.

Writers: Rusey Hendrix/Shannon Slaughter; Producers: Wes Easter, Randy Kohrs & Shannon Slaughter; Publishers: Sonic Hill/Elite Circuit, no performance rights listed
– Slaughter is perhaps best known in bluegrass circles as a songwriter for Blue Highway, Lonesome River Band, IIIrd Tyme Out, Lou Reid, Larry Stephenson and others. His second solo CD, Never Standing Still, illustrates that he’s a fine interpreter of his own stuff. His homespun tenor conveys loads of warmth on this jaunty romantic ditty.

Writers: Paul Harrigill/Tim Stafford; Producers: Flatt Lonesome & Danny Roberts; Publishers: Truegrass/Daniel House, BMI
– With two consecutive IBMA Vocal Group of the Year honors under its belt, Flatt Lonesome is flying high. It’s a measure of how great these six musicians are that this somber yet uptempo hit single isn’t even the strongest track on its CD Silence In These Walls. The absolutely jaw dropping gospel ballad “Draw Me Near,” the heart-tugging, lovelorn “It’s Just Sad” and the soaring, contemplative “Where Do You Go” are just three other standouts on an album that has brilliance around every corner. You won’t find better country picking and singing anywhere on this planet.

Weekly Register: Chris Stapleton, Kane Brown, Thomas Rhett Top Country Albums Rankings

Chris Stapleton, Kane Brown and Thomas Rhett top this week’s country albums, with Stapleton again taking three of the five top slots on the Nielsen Soundscan rankings.

Stapleton’s From A Room: Vol. 2 is at No. 1 this week, with 16K. Traveller is at No. 3, with 14K, followed by From A Room: Vol. 1, with 14K.

Kane Brown takes this week’s second slot, with his self-titled effort moving 15K. Thomas Rhett’s Life Changes rounds out the Top 5, with 13K this week.

Sister Hazel‘s country effort Water debuts at No. 9 country, selling 7.1K, while Texas-based Wade Bowen debuts at No. 27, with Solid Ground selling 4.1K.

On the Digital Country Songs sales chart, Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha continue their chart reign with “Meant To Be” moving 40K this week. Jason Aldean‘s “You Make It Easy” is at No. 2 with 26K.

Jon Langston‘s “When It Comes To Loving You” is at No. 3, with 21K, followed by Thomas Rhett’s “Marry Me” at No. 4 with 17K and Kane Brown‘s “Heaven” at No. 5 with 16K.

Information courtesy of Nielsen Soundscan.

DISClaimer: Trent Harmon’s Star-Making Heartache Ballad

Trent Harmon

Nostalgia seems to be the order of the day.

The new tracks by Wade Bowen, Mary Chapin Carpenter and The Swon Brothers all have this theme in their lyrics. And if you’re feeling nostalgic about the ‘90s, Carpenter, Michael Peterson and John Berry are all here to refresh your memory about what great talents country produced in that decade.

Dynamic vocalist Trent Harmon has this week’s Disc of the Day.

The DisCovery Award goes to Adrian Johnston’s duet partner Jordan Isaac, who is making his debut in the column today.

THE SWON BROTHERS/What Ever Happened
Writers: Zach Swon/Colton Swon; Producers: The Swon Brothers & Brad Hill; Publishers: none listed; SB (download)
-Breezy, wafting nostalgia for “the good old days.” It sounds like ‘70s pop.

Writers: Bowen/Gattis/Freed; Producer: Keith Gattis; Publishers: They Call Me Paul/Gattis/In Stereo, ASCAP/BMI; Bowen
– The good times have faded away and ain’t comin’ back in this rolling, dusty, inescapably “Texas” performance. I have always enjoyed this artist’s work. His new Solid Ground collection includes collaborations with Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall and Jack Ingram.

Writers: Mallette/Ryan/Morrison; Producers: Steven McClintock, Billy Yates & Michael Peterson; Publishers: EMI/Music City/Bluewater/Southern Days, No performance rights listed; 37 (track)
-Peterson has such extraordinary warmth in his voice that he makes this 1980 classic sound utterly fresh. A glowing performance that’s worth your spins.

Writers: Chris Young/Corey Crowder/Josh Hoge; Producers: Chris Young/Corey Crowder/Josh Hoge; RCA (track)
– She has him dizzy in love. The track is appropriately swirling and spinning. His vocal is, of course, as super expressive as always.

Writers: Maloy/Ottestad; Producer: Zac Maloy; Publishers: none listed; AJ (track)
– Both vocalists are strong, penetrating vocalists. This is as potent a duet performance as I’ve heard so far this year. Highly recommended.

MAGGIE ROSE/Pull You Through
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; MR
– I dig this. It has a bluesy, doo-wop, retro feel that is robo cool. She makes the most of its r&b groove with some minor-key swoops and phrasing embellishments.

Writers: none listed; Producer: Ethan Johns; Publishers: none listed; Lambent
– A performance to get lost in. A gentle, echoey, acoustic production backs her intimate, resonant, alto delivery. Complete audio magic. Those of you with long memories might recall the song as being a promotional Sony video back in 1990. Its nostalgic warmth still casts a dreamy spell.

Writers: Trent Harmon/Justin Ebach/Jordan Minton; Producers: Jimmy Robbins/Scott Borchetta; Publishers: none listed; Big Machine
– Trent pinned everyone’s ears back at CRS when he debuted this powerful, urgent, passionate and super melodic slab of sound. He was the champ on the 2016 American Idol season. Based on this torrid heartache ballad, he just might be that rare AI singer who actually becomes a star.

JOHN BERRY/Beautifully Broken
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; JB (download)
– Chesty, soaring and anthemic. Which seems apt, since it is an upcoming inspirational-movie theme song.

Weekly Register: Justin Timberlake Tops Albums Chart, Montgomery Gentry Makes Top 5 Country Debut

Following his half-time show performance at this year’s Super Bowl, Nashville resident Justin Timberlake topped the Nielsen Soundscan Top 200 rankings this week with his new album Man of The Woods. The album moved 293K, with 242K being traditional album sales.

On the country albums chart, Montgomery Gentry has this week’s top debut, with Here’s To You at No. 3, with 14K. The album marks the first release following the death of Montgomery Gentry member Troy Gentry last year.

The only other Top 10 country debut this week was Now 65, which landed at No. 10 with 25K.

Chris Stapleton has three projects in the Top 5 on the country albums rankings again this week, with From A Room Vol. 2 leading this week’s country albums rankings with 17K. Stapleton’s Traveller is at No. 2 with 15K, and From A Room Vol. 1 sits at No. 5 with 14K.

Kane Brown‘s self-titled album is at No. 4 this week, with 14K.

On the Top 5 country digital song downloads chart, Florida Georgia Line‘s collaboration with Bebe Rexha is again at No. 1 this week, with 34K. Jason Aldean‘s new track “You Make It Easy” is at No. 2 with 26K, followed by Thomas Rhett‘s “Marry Me” at No. 3 with 17K. Stapleton’s “Broken Halos” is at No. 4 with 15K, with Brown’s “Heaven” rounding out the Top 5 with 14K.

Information provided by Nielsen Soundscan.

Bobby Karl Works The Room: CRS New Faces Of Country Music Show

Carly Pearce. Photo: CRS Instagram


Chapter 585

If the 2018 New Faces Show at CRS represents the future of country music, then that future contains very good artists, if no actual superstars.

All five of the showcasing artists were solid talents. But there was no Cinderella moment when we witnessed a star being born.

The act who came closest to capturing the hearts and minds of the radio taste makers was Lauren Alaina. The young, big-voiced belter is rapidly evolving from being a pageant singer to being a vocalist of true nuance and finesse.

She sang her breakthrough No. 1 hit, the rocking and repetitive “The Road Less Travelled.” It vividly illustrates that she knows how to craft a killer chorus. Next, she needs to work on creating verses.

Lauren also performed what was arguably the evening’s best song, the autobiographical “Three.” This soaring, inspiring number was her opening song, and it had the crowd on its feet by the time she finished it. Her clear, penetrating and supremely assured voice was also effectively showcased on her current single, “Doin’ Fine.”

Luke Combs. Photo: CRS Instagram

Luke Combs was the show’s closing act. He was the evening’s most solidly “country” vocalist, which was particularly evident on his mash-up of the two stepper “Honky Tonk Highway” with “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.”

Luke’s wry and winning No. 1 hit “When It Rains It Pours” bubbled with energy. He presented his current single, the lovelorn “One Number Away,” as well as his career-launching chart-topper “Hurricane.”

Handsome and charming Michael Ray also had two chart toppers in his arsenal, his energetic set kick-off “Kiss You in the Morning” and the churning and blazing “Think a Little Less.” Sitting alone with his guitar, he also introduced a new heartache ballad, “Her World Or Mine.” By the way, Michael is a real “give back” guy who donates his time and talents to many charities.

The new trio Midland repeatedly emphasized its Texas roots, but still sounded like creamy-smooth, California country-rockers. The group came out swinging with its dynamic “Make a Little.” The easy-going, western vibe of “Burn Out” was right up the group’s alley, since it emphasized the trio’s strengths, strong melodies and fine vocal harmonies.

Midland closed with its breakthrough No. 1 hit, the inescapably catchy “Drinkin’ Problem.”

Winsome Carly Pearce had the unenviable job of opening the New Faces Show. But she demonstrated vocal confidence, effective stagecraft and admirable pluck.

In addition, her funky, groove-soaked “Hide the Wine” was the finest of the new singles showcased during the evening. It even outshone her outstanding No. 1 smash “Every Little Thing.”

She summed up what every one of the New Faces was thinking by saying to the radio folks, “You guys came together and believed in me. All I’ve ever wanted to do in the whole world is to sing country music. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It is such an honor to stand on this stage tonight.”

Lauren Alaina. Photo: CRS Instagram

A who’s who of fabulons attended – John Esposito, George Briner, Chris Farren, Scott Hendricks, Rob Simbeck, Diane Pearson, Gator Harrison, Daniel Hill, George Walker IV, Lori Badgett, Fred Vail, Cindy Watts, B.J. Hill and the ubiquitous Dennis Banka for starters.

Clay Myers had the talented Nora Collins in tow. Melanie Howard was introducing folks to the talented Heidi Raye. Country hunk Travis Rice worked the room solo.

Schmoozing up a storm were Bobby Bones, Royce Risser, Lisa Lee, Wes Vause, David Preston, Chuck Dauphin, Jimmy Harnen, Melinda Newman, Cody Alan, Jennifer Meyer, Ben Vaughn, Mike Sherry, Big John Bowen and Phyllis Stark. MusicRow greats Jessica Nicholson, Eric T. Parker, Alex Kobrick and Haley Crow shared a table.

We dined on moist baked, herbed chicken quarters with polenta and roasted cauliflower, carrots and broccoli. Chocolate mousse cups were the delectable desserts.

The ACM announced its radio-award nominees and Country AirCheck presented its kudos during the banquet.

Jameson Rodgers entertained during the cocktail reception. He had a cool, rocking, blue-collar country sound, which was unfortunately amped up too loud.

Midland. Photo: CRS Instagram

Michael Ray. Photo: CRS Instagram

Bobby Karl Works The Room: 2018 BMLG Luncheon At CRS

Pictured (back row L-R): Big Machine Records GM Jim Weatherson, BMLG EVP & BMLG Records President Jimmy Harnen, CRB Executive Director Bill Mayne, The Valory Music Co. GM George Briner, CRB Board President Kurt Johnson (Townsquare Media); (middle row L-R): Drake White, Tyler Rich, Trent Harmon, Brett Young; (front row L-R): Sugarland, BMLG President & CEO Scott Borchetta, Thomas Rhett. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Any way you look at it, the Big Machine Label Group is red-hot, and the company proved it at its Country Radio Seminar (CRS) luncheon showcase on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

“Thank you for a great 2017,” label CEO Scott Borchetta said to the assembled radio gatekeepers. The company has brought a slew of new hit makers into country music, and judging by its showcase lineup, it is far from finished.

Scott’s surprise opener was Thomas Rhett, whom he described as “the biggest artist in our music today.” Rhett delivered his current heartache ballad “Marry Me” in a stripped-down, semi-acoustic arrangement.

“Thomas Rhett is so on fire,” said Scott. “He’s been writing with Nick Jonas of The Jonas Brothers. I can’t say enough great things about Thomas Rhett.”

Passionate performer Drake White was next. He did “Livin’ the Dream” and then introduced two new tunes. “All Would Be Right With the World” was a sweet message song. “Girl In Pieces” was a summer-sounding toe tapper about healing a gal’s wounded soul.

Newcomer Tyler Rich performed with just his own guitar accompaniment. “Adrenaline” was a romantic power ballad. His forthcoming single “The Difference” had a lilting, plaintive quality.

In between performers, Scott hyped his label’s new Big Machine Vodka. You can sample and/or buy it at the BMLG store at 120 3rd Ave. S. He’ll feature it in a music fest at Indie’s Brickyard 400 in September.

Brett Young and Midland and Carly Pearce were all brought to the top of the charts with debut singles by the aggressive BMLG team. Brett sang his debut song, the percolating “Sleep Without You,” as well as his two succeeding No. 1 hits. “Like I Loved You” was steadily driving and full of tension. His triple Platinum “In Case You Didn’t Know” was dreamy and swooning. It became the country wedding anthem of last year.

“Thank you for the platform that you give us,” he told the radio folks. “I feel very, very grateful that y’all took a chance on me.”

Former American Idol winner Trent Harmon has been woodshedding as a songwriter in Nashville and was ready to show the results. “Her” was an intense, slow-burning blues. His super-melodic pop tune “I Think You Got ‘Em All” was even better. His powerful vocal delivery of it earned him the day’s only standing ovation.

“This is why we do this, right?” commented Scott about his leather-lunged artist’s stunning reception.

The reunited Sugarland closed the show with a vivacious mini set of its oldies “Baby Girl” (2004), “All I Want to Do” (2008), “Something More” (2005) and “Stuck Like Glue” (2010). The group’s finale was its stirring new single “Still the Same.”

“So many memories are made during this week,” Scott accurately observed.

Prior to the label luncheon, indie artist Kaylee Rutland serenaded the waiting crowd with a spirited set of tunes. She was backed by her tight, five-piece band featuring twin lead guitars.

Mixing and mingling on Wednesday afternoon around the Omni Hotel “campus” of this year’s CRS were Tony Jackson, Scott Hendricks, T.G. Sheppard & Kelly Lang, Drew Bennett, John Schneider, Chuck Aly, Jamie O’Neal, Larry Vincent, Stephanie Quayle, Bob Paxman, Drew Baldridge, Cindy Watts, Daniel Hill, Tom Roland, Ben Vaughn, Chuck Dauphin, Allison Jones and Preshias Harris.

Bobby Karl Works The Room: “Team UMG” Showcase At Country Radio Seminar


Chapter 583

This year’s edition of the “Team UMG” showcase at Country Radio Seminar was characterized by lots of new faces and new songs.

The event is already one of the coolest things you will ever experience in Music City. A huge chunk of the Capitol/MCA/Mercury/EMI artist roster is presented to the conventioneers in stripped-down, acoustic settings. Each act gets one song, and each is a surprise appearance.

“This show is one of a kind and cannot be duplicated in any way,” said the always-fabulous host Royce Risser. He can say that again. Tune for tune, it ranks as one of the greatest annual concerts given in Nashville. That the 2018 version was so full of shining newcomer moments was the icing on the cake.

Jordan Davis. Photo: Peyton Hoge

“This is the mecca,” said Jordan Davis as he stood center stage at the hallowed Ryman Auditorium, the venue for Tuesday’s lunch-time gala. “This is the first time I’ve ever been on this stage. This is pretty cool. It’s been the best year of my life.”

He introduced the crowd to a rolling, lyrical, evocative album cut titled “Leaving New Orleans.”

“This is my very first time to play the Ryman,” echoed Brandon Lay. “This is my first CSR week. If I don’t freak out now, I’ll be okay for the rest of my life.” Brandon told the crowd that he’d just learned that he is going to be a father. Then he favored the audience with his youthful “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers.”

“This is my third time at this show….my first to play it inside,” quipped new Mercury signee Travis Denning. “It’s exciting, this being my first CRS.” His story song about a fake I.D. was “David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs.”

Kassi Ashton. Photo: Peyton Hoge

Maddie and Tae. Photo: Peyton Hoge

The only newcomer who drew a standing ovation was Kassi Ashton, thanks to her sultry, slow, r&b ballad “The Straw.” She told the capacity crowd, “This is my first CRS. This is my first time on the Ryman stage. I’m trying not to pee my pants.”

A number of established acts introduced new tunes at the gig. Maddie & Tae are newly signed to Mercury. They premiered the languid, bluesy “One Heart to Another.”

Eric Paslay has been silent on radio for the past year. Royce introduced him as “The Jolly Red Giant,” and Eric proved that the moniker was apt with a driving, energetic, soaring and joyous new song called “Young Forever.”

Dierks Bentley introduced his new moustache as well as his terrific new, pulse-quickening single “Woman, Amen.” His band offered way-cool counterpoint vocals. The performance drew a big cheer and a standing ovation.

“I like to do things here that you’re never gonna hear anywhere else,” said Chris Stapleton. Country music’s largest selling current artist drew a standing ovation for his penetrating, hair-raising, blues moaner “There Ain’t No Easy Way,” penned by Darrell Scott. Chris and wife Morgane are expecting twins, which Royce promised would be signed to UMG as “The Stapletwins.”

Brothers Osborne. Photo: Peyton Hoge

Vince Gill. Photo: Peyton Hoge

One of the other two standing ovations went to Brothers Osborne, for their thrilling, propulsive run through of “Shoot Me Straight.” Vince Gill received the other one. He revealed to the audience that a gym teacher had tried to molest him when he was a kid and dedicated his song to all people who are standing up against sexual abuse. His choked-with-emotion, heart-in-throat delivery of “Forever Changed” moved us all deeply.

Another show highlight belonged to ACM & CMA New Artist of the Year Jon Pardi. His “She Ain’t In It” was drawling and aching and wonderfully country. Kip Moore opened “Last Shot” a cappella, which was a super effective use of his raspy growl.

Jon Pardi. Photo: Peyton Hoge

Kip Moore. Photo: Peyton Hoge

Luke Bryan offered his earnest new single “Most People Are Good,” as well as his new CD’s thumping title tune “What Makes You Country.” Darius Rucker sang the jaunty “For the First Time.”

Keith Urban closed the show with his sincere “Female” and the rapid-fire “Wasted Time,” with which the crowd sang along.

The place was packed throughout the event. Basking in the UMG greatness were Ben Vaughn, B.J. Hill, Bob Paxman, Bobby Young, Jimmy Knight, Jim Allgren, Eric T. Parker, Erich West, David Frasure, Donna Hughes, Sarah Skates, Natalie Osborne, Tom Baldrica and thousands more lucky CRS registrants.

Weekly Register: Chris Stapleton Takes Top Three Country Albums Sales Slots

Following the Grammy Awards, all three of Chris Stapleton‘s solo projects earned large sales increases, earning him the top three best-selling country albums this week. From A Room Vol. 2 tops the country albums rankings, with 20K. Traveller landed at No. 2, with 17K, followed by From A Room Vol. 1 at No. 3 with 16K.

Kane Brown is at No. 4 this week with his self-titled album, while fellow Grammy nominee Thomas Rhett was at No. 5 with Life Changes moving 14K.

Jason Aldean has the top debut this week both Nielsen Soundscan’s downloads chart and country streaming chart with “You Make It Easy,” which earned overall sales of 77K, and 4.5 million streams.

On the country digital song downloads chart, Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line‘s “Meant To Be” is at No. 2 with 37K, followed by Thomas Rhett‘s “Marry Me” at No. 3 with 19K. Chris Stapleton‘s “Broken Halos” is at No. 4 with 18K, and Kane Brown‘s “Heaven” rounds out the Top 5 with 15K.

Information courtesy of Nielsen Soundscan.




DISClaimer: Smithfield, Brett Young Offer Soulful, Emotional New Tracks

Perhaps it is the upcoming CRS convention.

This week, a bevy of country stars-in-the-making are issuing new sounds, hoping to catch radio’s ears. They include Devin Dawson, Luke Combs, Lance Carpenter & Krystal Keith, Brett Young and Walker McGuire, with a dandy little bonus track from Ryan Kinder thrown into the mix.

Brett Young emerges from the pack with the Disc of the Day.

The new duo Smithfield wins our DisCovery Award today in DisClaimer.

Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; In2une (ERG)
– She can’t hold her lover while he’s in the clutches of alcohol. The lyric is dynamite. The delivery is piercing and emotional. The production is solid. Play it.

Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Wheelhouse (ERG)
– I like his innocent-sounding Southern accent, and it suits this story of a country boy who gets lost in love. Swirling and endearing.

Writers: Brett Young/Sean McConnell; Producers: Dann Huff; Publishers: Super Big/Caliville/Big Machine/Warner-Tamerlane/Little Beluga, ASCAP/BMI; BMLG (TRACK)
– A stately slab of heartache. The ballad is soulfully sung, and the piano-dominated arrangement punctuates every emotional wound. Highly recommended.

Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; BBR
– It’s a power ballad with fairly generic romantic cliches and the obligatory rock guitar solo.

Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Atlantic (download)
– A pop-flavored come-on with a percolating track and jaunty vocal delivery. Easy on the ears.

Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Show Dog
– Very exciting. An “escape” road song with perfect harmonies and lotsa rhythmic drive. Newcomer Carpenter delivers the goods, vocally, while Krystal solidifies her promise.

RYAN KINDER/Fortunate Son
Writer: John Fogerty; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Warner Bros.
– It’s such a great song. Kinder slows it and strips down the instrumentation to throw the spotlight on its extraordinary lyric. Bluesy, groovy, stark, soulful and meaningful.

Writers: Jordan Schmidt/Andy Albert/Jessie Jo Dillon; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Atlantic (download)
– The rapid-fire lyric is quite well written. Hayes, as usual, gives it plenty of oomph in his vocal-and-guitar delivery. Radio ready, for sure.

SARA EVANS/All The Love You Left Me
Writers: Hillary Lindsey/Gordon Sampson/Ben West; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Born To Fly
– Somebody pushed down too hard on the “echo chamber” button.