Dierks Bentley Is Back in Black

Thomas Rhett’s “T-Shirt” Is Week’s Most-Played Song

Dierks Bentley Black makes its official bow at No. 1 this week on the Billboard country albums chart, having arrived there on initial sales of 87,732 copies, as confirmed by Nielsen SoundScan.

That sales momentum was also sufficient to earn Black the No. 2 niche on the Billboard 200 all-genres rankings. This is the sixth Bentley album to top the country chart.

Thomas Rhett’s “T-Shirt” is the week’s No. 1 song, as judged by airplay. It achieves that eminence at the end of a 19-week climb. It’s his sixth chart-topping single.

The other new albums are the eponymous EP, Zach Seabaugh (No. 25), Cory Kent White’s Long Way (No. 42) and Tony Joe White’s Rain Crow (No. 46). Rain Crow is White’s first album to enter the country chart since his Dangerous peaked at No. 50 in 1983.

Jana Kramer’s Thirty-One returns to action at No. 28.

There are two first-time songs — Blake Shelton’s “She’s Got a Way With Words,” which emerges at No. 54, and Josh Turner’s “Hometown Girl,” checking in at No. 58.

Rounding out the Top 5 albums array, in descending order, are Shelton’s If I’m Honest (last week’s No. 1), Chris Stapleton’s Traveller, Keith Urban’s Ripcord and Cole Swindell’s You Should Be Here.

The No. 2 through No. 5 songs are Shelton’s “Came Here to Forget” (last week’s No. 1), Luke Bryan’s “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day”, Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind” and Bentley’s “Somewhere on a Beach.”

Wordplay is the safest physical exercise — and the most amusing. In typing the title of Cole Swindell’s current album, I hit an extra letter and accidentally turned it into You Should Bed Here. Just one slip of the finger and Dierks Bentley’s “Somewhere on a Beach” becomes “Somewhere on a Bench” and Frankie Ballard’s “It All Started With a Beer” transforms alarmingly into “It All Started With a Bear.”

You see the possibilities — and the dangers. I’m being extra careful in alluding to Jon Pardi’s “Head Over Boots.”

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