The news of Gretchen Wilson's new album debuting at No. 1 isn't quite as surprising as one of the albums showing up farther down on Billboard's country albums chart. Cherryholmes, a six-piece family band, enter the country chart at No. 74 -- a truly impressive feat for a bluegrass act releasing its first nationally-distributed CD.
The bigger story for Wilson is that first-week sales of her second album, All Jacked Up, exceeded 264,000 copies to mark her debut at the top of the Billboard 200, a chart tracking sales of all genres of music. Two other country-influenced artists -- Sheryl Crow and Neil Young -- also premiered new albums this week on the Billboard 200. Crow's Wildflower blooms at No. 2. Young's Prairie Wind, blowing in at No. 11, was partially recorded in Nashville.
Cherryholmes are nominated for entertainer of the year at the upcoming International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, but the buzz about the band is beginning to extend beyond bluegrass circles. Featuring husband and wife Jere and Sandy Cherryholmes and their four children, the group recorded three albums on their own label before signing with Skaggs Family Records for the new self-titled project. The album debuted at No. 3 on Billboard's bluegrass chart.
Elsewhere on the country albums chart, Wynonna had a strong week, premiering at No. 2 with the concert recording, Her Story: Scenes From a Lifetime. She and Wilson knocked the next six titles down two notches each. Landing in third through eighth place, respectively, are Trisha Yearwood's Jasper County, Rascal Flatts' Feels Like Today, Sugarland's Twice the Speed of Life, Faith Hill's Fireflies, Keith Urban's Be Here and Brad Paisley's Time Well Wasted. Remaining at No. 9 is Wilson's first album, Here for the Party, followed by Brooks & Dunn's Hillbilly Deluxe, which falls three rungs to No. 10.
Other albums debuting on this week's country chart include Country's Got Heart, a multi-artist compilation arriving at No. 39. Newcomer Luke Stricklin made an impressive showing by debuting at No. 65 with American by God's Amazing Grace. Kathy Mattea's Right Out of Nowhere lands at No. 73, and Marty Stuart's inspirational Soul's Chapel enters the chart at No. 75.
On Billboard's country singles chart, Montgomery Gentry's "Something to Be Proud Of" spends a second week at No. 1. Urban's "Better Life" rises two levels to second place while Craig Morgan's "Redneck Yacht Club" remains at No. 3, and Jamie O'Neal's "Somebody's Hero" climbs a space to No. 4. Sara Evans' recent No. 1, "A Real Fine Place to Start," continues to descend, stopping at No. 5. Josh Gracin's "Stay With Me (Brass Bed)" spends another week at No. 6, and LeAnn Rimes' "Probably Wouldn't Be This Way" moves upward two rungs to No. 7. Falling one notch each are Toby Keith's "As Good As I Once Was" (to No. 8) and Wilson's "All Jacked Up" (to No. 9). After advancing six spaces last week, Rascal Flatts remain at No. 10 with "Skin (Sarabeth)."
Miranda Lambert has the highest-debuting country single of the week with "Kerosene," the title track of her debut album. Newcomer Danielle Peck debuts at No. 53 with "I Don't," and Wynonna arrives at No. 58 with "Attitude," a song she wrote with John Rich of Big & Rich. Texas favorite Jack Ingram hits the chart at No. 60 with "Wherever You Are." Ingram and Peck are the first artists to release singles on Big Machine Records, a new label that's working in tandem with Toby Keith's new imprint, Show Dog Records.