Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton Still Cap Sluggish Country Charts

Backroad Anthem’s Torn, Big & Rich's "Lovin’ Lately" Top New Album, Song

OK. Maybe next week.

Billboard’s country albums and country airplay charts continue to seem frozen in time. The No. 1 song — for the fourth week — is Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man,” while the top album — for even longer — remains Chris Stapleton’s Traveller.

And believe it or not, this week’s Top 5 songs are precisely in the same order they were last week.

Fortunately, there is some stirring in the lower regions of both charts to assure us that musical life goes on.

The three new albums are the Backroad Anthem’s EP, Torn, which debuts at No. 34, the various artists collection Playlist: The Very Best Country Hits (No. 38) and the self-titled Icon: Reba McEntire (No. 42).

(Craig Strickland, Backroad Anthem’s 29-year-old lead singer, was found dead Jan. 4 following an accident while on a hunting trip in Oklahoma.)

Albums returning to the chart include Joey + Rory’s Country Classics: A Tapestry of Our Musical Heritage (back at No. 44), the eponymous The Turnpike Troubadours (No. 46), the multi-artist package The Sound of Today: Country! (No. 49) and Hank William Jr.’s 35 Biggest Hits (No. 50).

Big & Rich’s “Lovin’ Lately,” featuring Tim McGraw is — at No. 59 — is the highest-charting new song, followed at No. 60 by the Josh Abbott Band’s newest single, “Amnesia.”

David Nail’s “Night’s on Fire” re-enters at No. 34.

Following Traveller, in descending order, within the Top 5 albums array are Luke Bryan’s Kill the Lights, Sam Hunt’s Montevallo, Carrie Underwood’s Storyteller and Thomas Rhett’s Tangled Up.

And your encore edition of the remaining Top 5 songs, also ranked top to bottom, are Jason Aldean’s “Gonna Know We Were Here,” LoCash’s “I Love This Life,” Brothers Osborne’s “Stay a Little Longer” and Hunt’s “Break Up in a Small Town.”

Who knew that global warming could also cause a drought in new music!

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