Montgomery Gentry’s New Album Arrives at No. 2

Gretchen Wilson Is Still Here for the Party

Montgomery Gentry’s You Do Your Thing makes an impressive at entry at No. 2 on the Billboard country albums chart this week, but it’s not enough to displace Gretchen Wilson’s juggernaut, Here for the Party. Both artists are signed to Sony Nashville, giving the label a new lease on life after the Dixie Chicks fiasco more than a year ago. The Kentucky guys and the “Redneck Woman” will hit the road together in the fall, opening for Brooks & Dunn.

Wilson also holds her own in the Billboard 200 this week, slipping to No. 4, behind Usher and debuts from Method Man and New Found Glory. However, she outpaced the new Alanis Morissette album, So-Called Chaos. Montgomery Gentry enter at No. 10 on the all-genre chart.

Back on the country side, the latest albums from Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban and Toby Keith claim Nos. 3 to 5, while Wilson’s buddies Big & Rich saddle up at No. 6 with Horse of a Different Color. The duo’s fast-rising album debuted two weeks ago at No. 14, then climbed to No. 9 last week. Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose shows remarkable staying power for a 70-year-old, while Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley and Tracy Lawrence complete the Top 10.

Wynonna exits the Top 10 after a major rebound last week but still lands at No. 17 with What the World Needs Now Is Love. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Between Here and Gone remains in the Top 20 as well, at No. 19, despite no significant country radio airplay.

On the country singles chart, Wilson’s “Redneck Woman” and John Michael Montgomery’s “Letters From Home” stick at Nos. 1 and 2, as Montgomery Gentry’s “If You Ever Stop Loving Me” races to No. 3 from No. 8. Keith’s “Whiskey Girl” catapults from No. 10 to No. 4, followed by Lonestar’s “Let’s Be Us Again.”

Meanwhile, George Strait’s “Desperately” stalls at No. 6. It’s followed by Rascal Flatts’ “Mayberry,” Lawrence’s “Paint Me a Birmingham,” Brooks & Dunn’s “That’s What She Gets for Loving Me” and Chesney’s duet with Uncle Kracker, “When the Sun Goes Down.”

Chesney’s new single, “I Go Back,” climbs to No. 19 in its sixth week on the chart. He can also be heard singing with Jimmy Buffett on the all-star track, “Hey, Good Lookin’,” at No. 27. Tim McGraw scores the week’s highest debut with “Live Like You Were Dying,” entering at No. 36. It’s the first single from a future album. Kellie Coffey’s “Dance With My Father,” a Luther Vandross remake, bows at No. 50, while teenager Blaine Larsen’s “In My High School,” reports at No. 60.

Craig Shelburne has been writing for since 2002. He is also a producer for CMT Edge, Concrete Country and Live @ CMT.