Happy New Year … Oh, wait, that’s a few weeks off, isn’t it? On Music Row, the CMA Awards seem to mark the year’s turning. We’re provincial that way.
OK, back to reality. Blake Shelton rockets to the top of Billboard’s country albums chart this week with Texoma Shore, while Carly Pearce’s “Every Little Thing” moves into the penthouse on the country airplay/songs list after a tedious 35-week climb.
As ubiquitous as Shelton is these days, Texoma Shore bowed only at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 all-genres rankings– which is still pretty good.
There are six other new albums to report. They are Kelsea Ballerini’s Unapologetically (entering at No. 3), Kid Rock’s Sweet Southern Sugar (No. 4), the eponymous Lee Brice (No. 7), Roy Orbison’s A Love So Beautiful, backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (No. 26).
Also, Elvis Presley’s It’s Christmas Time (No. 36) and Ned LeDoux’s Sagebrush (No. 38).
Returning to action are Reba McEntire’s My Kind of Christmas (No. 18), Jessie James Decker’s Southern Girl City Lights (No. 24), Shelton’s Cheers, It’s Christmas (No. 31), Little Big Town’s The Breaker (No. 33) and Alan Jackson’s 34 Number Ones (No. 42).
Keith Urban has the top-debuting song, “Female,” which he debuted to great applause on the CMA Awards show. It checks in at No. 23.
The other new songs are David Lee Murphy and Kenny Chesney’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” (No. 44) and Brad Paisley’s “Heaven South” (No. 57).
Four songs are making comebacks — Chase Bryant’s “Hell If I Know” (No. 55), Joe Nichols’ “Never Gets Old” (No. 58), Billy Currington’s “Wake Me Up” (No. 59) and Morgan Evans’ “Kiss Somebody” (No. 60).
The No. 2 and No. 4 albums, respectively, are Chesney’s Live in No Shoes Nation (last week’s No. 1) and Chris Stapleton’s From a Room: Volume 1.
Rounding out the Top 5 songs array, in descending order, are Thomas Rhett’s “Unforgettable” (last week’s No. 1), LANCO’s “Greatest Love Story,” Luke Combs’ “When It Rains It Pours” and Chris Janson’s “Fix a Drink.”
Enough with the numbers! I’m taking Janson up on that drink.