Dierks Bentley and Rascal Flatts are up where the sun is bright and the air fresh. Now in its 19th week on the singles chart, Bentley's "Settle for a Slowdown" finally moves to No. 1, elbowing the former tenant, Jason Aldean's "Why," back to the No. 2 slot. The Rascals have occupied the No. 1 album site for so long with Me and My Gang -- seven consecutive weeks now -- that they're probably thinking of planting a garden there.
Of course, the jury is still out on whether country's petulance still afflicts the Dixie Chicks. Even before the official release date on Tuesday's (May 23), the trio's highly publicized Taking the Long Way sold enough advance copies to land at No. 69 on Billboard's country albums chart. A better indication of the Chicks' current popularity will come next week when the chart reflects a full week of sales at retail outlets throughout the nation. Meanwhile, over on the Billboard's country singles list, the Chicks' "Everybody Knows" tumbles from No. 50 to No. 54 after only five weeks of exposure.
Elsewhere on the loftier reaches of the singles terrain, LeAnn Rimes holds the No. 3 niche for another week with "Something's Gotta Give," and Kenny Chesney's "Summertime" leapfrogs from No. 8 to No. 4. Phil Vassar's "Last Day of My Life" skips from No. 7 to No. 5, Tim McGraw's "When the Stars Go Blue" slips from No. 5 to No. 6 and Jack Ingram's recent No. 1, "Wherever You Are," falls to No. 7. Brad Paisley jumps from No. 12 to No. 8 with "The World," and Joe Nichols' "Size Matters (Someday)" moves from No. 9 to No. 11. "Who Says You Can't Go Home," Bon Jovi's chart-topping duet with Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, manages to spend a second week at No. 10.
SHeDAISY's "In Terms of Love" makes the highest singles debut, coming in at No. 47. Other new entries are "Building Bridges," Brooks & Dunn's collaboration with Sheryl Crow and Vince Gill, which surfaces at No. 59 and Van Zant's "Things I Miss the Most," which pops in at No. 60.
Chris Cagle's "Anywhere but Here" re-enters the chart at No. 57.
Keeping company with Rascal Flatts on the country albums chart are Tim McGraw's Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (at No. 2), Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts (No. 3), Toby Keith's White Trash With Money (No. 4) and Alan Jackson's Precious Memories (No. 5). Rounding out the Top 10 albums chart are The Legend of Johnny Cash (No. 6), Keith Urban's Be Here (No. 7), Phil Vassar's Greatest Hits Volume 1 (No. 8), Rascal Flatts' Feels Like Today (No. 9) and Josh Turner's Your Man (No. 10).
Among the few surprises in this essentially turgid week for albums is the re-emergence of the late -- and widely forgotten -- funnyman, Jerry Clower, who died in 1998. His Classic Clower Power makes a splashy entrance at No. 52 as the highest debut of the week.
John Denver's Definitive All-Time Greatest Hits re-enters the chart at No. 57. Also making a comeback is the soundtrack of Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again at No. 70 and the various artists anthology, Totally Country Vol. 4, at No. 75.
If there's anything else you'd like to know, just ask Rascal Flatts. They rule.