Now we're talkin'! There's plenty of drama on Billboard's country albums chart this week as five new titles dig in for the long and treacherous climb ahead. Two of these new-ons are bluegrass packages, an achievement that would have been unimaginable a few years ago.
There are no new entries, however, topping the CD or the singles list. Rascal Flatts' unsinkable Me and My Gang has again bobbed up to the No. 1 album slot, while the Wreckers' "Leave the Pieces" enjoys its second week at the singles summit.
The soundtrack to Broken Bridges, the new Toby Keith-Kelly Preston film, is this week's highest chart entry, sweeping in at No. 4. Arriving at No. 16 is the various artists collection, Three Wooden Crosses. Big Iron World from Old Crow Medicine Show makes its bow at a surprisingly prominent No. 27. The Lost Trailers' self-titled CD pulls in at No. 46. And the Grascals' sophomore showcase, Long List of Heartaches, takes a seat at No. 70.
The new albums from Old Crow and the Grascals enter at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, this week on the Billboard bluegrass chart.
Following Me and My Gang are Trace Adkins' Dangerous Man at No. 2 and Josh Turner's Your Man at No. 3. With Broken Bridges in fourth place, Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts follows at No. 5.
Albums showing the most upward chart action this week are Alan Jackson's Precious Memories (rapturing from No. 15 to No. 10), Montgomery Gentry's Something to Be Proud Of: The Best of 1999-2005 (puffing up from No. 57 to No. 41) and Randy Travis' Glory Train: Songs of Faith, Worship and Praise (chugging back onto the charts at No. 67).
There are no new songs among the Top 5 singles, but some positions have changed from last time. Steve Holy's "Brand New Girlfriend" stays at No. 2. George Strait's "Give It Away" advances from No. 4 to No. 3. Rodney Atkins' "If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)" drops from No. 3 to No. 4. And Little Big Town's "Bring It on Home" spends its second week at No. 5.
In just three weeks, Keith Urban's "Once in a Lifetime" has risen to No. 10. Underwood's "Before He Cheats" bounces from No. 25 to No. 18. Rascal Flatts' "My Wish" vaults from No. 30 to No. 23 as Brad Paisley's "She's Everything" takes a giant step from No. 57 to No. 40. The Randy Rogers Band's "Kiss Me in the Dark" soars from No. 54 to No. 45.
Katrina Elam practically creeps into the No. 57 berth with "Love Is," and Tracy Lawrence is even more furtive as his "Find Out Who Your Friends Are" edges in at No. 59.
Kinda makes you long for the excitement of chess, doesn't it?