Whether his tour bus was parked behind an arena or a club (but almost never at home), country's newest road warrior, Dierks Bentley, spent the last two years taking his music to the people. The high mileage has paid off, though, as his second album, Modern Day Drifter, debuts at No.1 on this week's Billboard country albums chart. It's the follow-up to his 2003 self-titled debut that was certified platinum earlier this year.
Brother duo Van Zant barely reached the Top 30 with their first country single, "Help Somebody," but apparently Southern rock fans remember that famous last name. (Their brother Ronnie was a founder of Lynyrd Skynyrd.) Get Right With the Man, their major label debut as a duo, enters the country albums chart at No. 2.
Meanwhile, Rascal Flatts' Feels Like Today and Keith Urban's Be Here dip to third and fourth place, and Jo Dee Messina's Delicious Surprise tumbles from No. 1 to No. 5. Larry the Cable Guy's The Right to Bare Arms is at No. 6, with Sugarland's Twice the Speed of Life at No. 7 and Gretchen Wilson's Here for the Party at No. 8. Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down and Be As You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair round out the Top 10.
Robert Earl Keen's What I Really Mean enters the chart at No. 21, with Patsy Cline's Gold at No. 70. Three new albums arrive on the bluegrass album chart, too: Banjo master Alison Brown's Stolen Moments (on Compass Records, the label she co-founded); young trio the Greencards' Movin' On (newly reissued on Dualtone) at No. 10; and The Bluegrass Bible: 40 Bluegrass Gospel Classics (a Wal-Mart exclusive) at No. 15.
Urban's hot streak continues, as "Making Memories of Us" jumps two positions to top the country airplay chart. Written by Rodney Crowell, the romantic ballad first surfaced on the Notorious Cherry Bombs' album last year. Love conquers all, apparently, because the song slides right over Wilson's "Homewrecker," which sits at No. 2 for the third week. Messina's similarly sassy "My Give a Damn's Busted" drops from the top spot to No. 3.
Joe Nichols holds steady at No. 4 with "What's a Guy Gotta Do," just ahead of Bentley's "Lot of Leavin' Left to Do," Trace Adkins' "Songs About Me," Rascal Flatts' "Fast Cars and Freedom," Craig Morgan's "That's What I Love About Sunday," George Strait's "You'll Be There" and Andy Griggs' "If Heaven," at No. 5 to 10, respectively.
Faith Hill handily takes the highest debut of the week as "Mississippi Girl" bows at No. 27. Big & Rich's John Rich co-wrote the song with MuzikMafia guitarist, Adam Shoenfield. Hill's husband, Tim McGraw, debuts at No. 59 with "Do You Want Fries With That," an album track that hasn't been officially released to radio as a single. Blaine Larsen's new single, "The Best Man," arrives at No. 60.