Rascal Flatts’ Domination of Album Chart Seems Chiseled in Stone

However, Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles Finally Dislodge the Trio's Hit Single

Adjust your microscope, and we’ll try to see how this week’s Billboard country albums chart differs from last. But you’ll have to look closely.

The top five albums remain in precisely the same positions: Rascal Flatts’ Me and My Gang at No. 1 (for the third week); Toby Keith’s White Trash With Money, No. 2; Tim McGraw’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2, No. 3; Alan Jackson’s Precious Memories, No. 4; and Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts, No. 5.

And although minor chart shifts are noted in the remainder of the Top 10, the artists and titles remain the same for a second week with The Legend of Johnny Cash at No. 6, followed by Keith Urban’s Be Here, the Walk the Line soundtrack and Rascal Flatts’ Feels Like Today. At No. 10 is Josh Turner’s Your Man.

There isn’t one new album in the country Top 10 — nor on the entire chart, for that matter. But there is some discernible movement farther down the ladder. Dierks Bentley’s Modern Day Drifter skips from No. 15 to 13. Jason Aldean’s self-titled collection marches from No. 22 to No. 17. Van Morrison’s Pay the Devil inches from No. 26 to No. 24. And the Little Willies’ self-titled debut takes a big step from No. 31 to No. 26.

Making the biggest leap is Randy Travis’ Glory Train: Songs of Faith, Worship and Praise. It rockets from No. 64 to No. 50. Two albums return to the chart this week: Kenny Rogers’ Golden Legend: Kenny Rogers, which re-enters at No. 70, and Cowboy Troy’s Loco Motion, popping back at No. 71.

Prompting even more Rascal Flatts revelry is the fact that Me and My Gang is also spending its third week atop the Billboard 200 album chart that monitors all forms of music.

There’s actually some news cooking at Billboard’s country singles chart. Not a lot, but some. “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” Bon Jovi’s duet with Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, bumps Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts The Most” out of the No. 1 spot — but only to No. 2. Aldean’s “Why” forges from No. 4 to No. 3. Jack Ingram’s “Wherever You Are” climbs to No. 4 from No. 6. And Faith Hill’s “The Lucky One” scoots from No. 7 to No. 5.

Rounding out the Top 10 singles are Bentley’s “Settle for a Slowdown” (No. 6); LeAnn Rimes’ “Something’s Gotta Give” (No. 7); Brooks & Dunn’s “Believe” (No. 8, where it’s been spinning its wheels for three weeks); McGraw’s “When the Stars Go Blue” (No. 9); and Urban’s “Tonight I Wanna Cry” (No. 10).

A few titles that seemed mired in molasses are now showing some speed. Garth Brooks’ “That Girl Is a Cowboy” springs from No. 42 to No. 36. Miranda Lambert’s “New Strings” advances from No. 53 to No. 45. And Sara Evans’ “Coalmine” vaults from No. 60 to No. 49. Headed south is the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice,” which slides from No. 37 to No. 43. Fortunately for them, another of their singles has just come on the chart.

Singles making their first appearance this week are Turner’s “Would You Go With Me,” which enters at No. 47, the Chicks’ “Everybody Knows” at No. 53, Mark Wills’ “Hank” at No. 54 and Carolina Rain’s “Get Outta My Way” at No. 60.

Doze until next week.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.