The Billboard country albums chart gets a boost this week from five new releases, as Blake Shelton, Willie Nelson, Big & Rich, Bill Engvall and the new band Sugarland all debut in the Top 40.
Blake Shelton’s Barn & Grill arrives at No. 3, buoyed by its tongue-in-cheek single, “Some Beach.” He’s just behind George Strait’s 50 Number Ones at No. 1 and Tim McGraw’s Live Like You Were Dying at No. 2. Following Shelton, Gretchen Wilson’s Here for the Party ascends one spot to No. 4, and Brooks & Dunn’s The Greatest Hits Collection II falls to No. 5. Rascal Flatts’ Feels Like Today, Big & Rich’s Horse of a Different Color, Keith Urban’s Be Here, Kenny Chesney’s When the Sun Goes Down and Brad Paisley’s Mud on the Tires round out the Top 10.
Nelson’s zillionth studio album, It Will Always Be, bows at No. 12. The original Outlaw wrote a number of songs for the Lost Highway Records project, but also covered material from Tom Waits and Jimmy Day. Guests include Norah Jones, Toby Keith and Lucinda Williams. Meanwhile, the CD/DVD combo Big & Rich’s Super Galactic Fan Pack lands at No. 17, trailed by Bill Engvall’s A Decade of Laughs at No. 27. Now climbing the singles chart with “Baby Girl,” the upbeat Atlanta trio Sugarland enter at No. 32 with Twice the Speed of Life.
Though his album is at No. 36 in its fifth week, Phil Vassar’s “In a Real Love” tops the singles chart for the second week in a row. Lonestar’s “Mr. Mom” gets a No. 2 berth, followed by Brooks & Dunn’s “That’s What It’s All About,” Gary Allan’s “Nothing On But the Radio,” Keith’s “Stays in Mexico” and Chesney’s “The Woman With You.” All six of these songs had an increase in airplay last week. Strait’s “I Hate Everything” dives to No. 7, with Sara Evans’ “Suds in the Bucket” fizzing out at No. 8, McGraw’s “Back When” rising to No. 9 and Shelton’s “Some Beach” coasting into the Top 10.
Teen singer Blaine Larsen has the week’s highest-debuting single, landing at No. 51 with the suicide song, “How Do You Get That Lonely.” Though her album still isn’t in stores, Amy Dalley offers her fourth single, “I Would Cry,” which debuts at No. 54. Brad Cotter’s “I Miss Me” enters at No. 59, just ahead of Wilson’s World Series-remake “Red Bird Fever” at No. 60.