Texas Music From Oklahoma: A Look at the Texas Music Chart (August 10th)

Texas Music Chart

1. Wade Bowen–“Sun Shines on a Dreamer” (second week at No. 1)
2. Josh Ward–“Highway” (up 1)
3. Pat Green–“While I Was Away” (up 3)
4. Rich O’Toole–“Talk About the Weather” (up 1)
5. Aaron Watson–“Freight Train” (down 3)
6. Cody Canada and the Departed–“Easy” (up 2)
7. Granger Smith–“Back Road Song”
8. William Clark Green–“Sticks and Stones” (down 4)
9. Matt Kimbrow–“Livin’ the Good Life” (up 1)
10. Sam Riggs–“Long Shot” (down 1)
11. Cory Morrow–“Old With You” (up 2)
12. Whiskey Myers–“Shelter From the Rain”
13. Kyle Park–“What Goes Around Comes Around” (up 1)
14. Turnpike Troubadours–“Down Here” (up 3)
15. Prophets and Outlaws–“Texas Home”
16. Bart Crow–“Life Comes at You Fast”
17. Reckless Kelly–“Real Cool Hand” (up 3)
18. Matt Hillyer–“If These Old Bones Could Talk”
19. Curtis Grimes–“Smile That Smile” (up 2)
20. James Lann–“Let it Rain” (down 9)
21. JB and the Moonshine Band–“Shotgun, Rifle, and a .45” (up 1)
22. Uncle Lucius–“Don’t Own the Right” (up 2)
23. Sundance Head–“Darlin’ Don’t Go” (up 5)
24. Aaron Einhouse–“I Could Fall” (up 3)
25. Asleep at the Wheel with Randy Rogers, Reckless Kelly, and Shooter Jennings–“Bob Wills is Still the King” (down 6)
26. Adrian Johnston–“Avalanche” (up 3)
27. Miles Williams–“Teasin’ Me” (up 5)
28. Stoney LaRue–“Easy She Comes” (up 8)
29. Scott Taylor Band–“By Now” (up 4)
30. Adam Fears–“Golden Gravel Road” (down 4)
31. The Statesboro Revue–“Undone” (up 10)
32. Josh Grider–“You Dream I’ll Drive” (up 2)
33. Jesse Raub Jr.–“Plead the Fifth” (down 2)
34. Tori Martin–“Woman Up” (up 1)
35. Kylie Frey–“The Chase” (down 12) [biggest loser]
36. Caleb McIntire–“Ozark Mountain Stomp” (up 2)
37. Kevin Fowler & Deryl Dodd–“Damn This Ol’ Honky Tonk Dream” (up 11) [biggest gainer]
38. Judson Cole Band–“Time to Run” (up 1)
39. Mike Ryan–“Girls I Date” (up 3)
40. Saints Eleven–“I Don’t” (up 7)
41. Thom Shepherd–“Little Miss Everything” (down 4)
42. Chance Anderson Band–“245 Miles” (entering top 50)
43. Jeremy Steding–“Love Love Love”
44. TJ Broscof–“Phone Calls” (up 2)
45. Callahan Divide–“Happy”
46. Cody Joe Hodges–“One More Drink” (up 4)
47. Paul Thorn–“Everybody Needs Somebody” (re-entering top 50)
48. Luke Robinson–“Roses on the Radio” (entering top 50)
49. Doc West–“Whole Lotta Bull” (down 5)
50. Dalton Domino–“Jesus & Handbags” (entering top 50)

  • Wade Bowen’s “Sun Shines on a Dreamer” stays at No. 1, after gaining 133 spins this week
  • next week’s No. 1 prediction: “Highway”
  • Turnpike Troubadours have gotten to No. 14 in five weeks

Single Review: Jana Kramer’s “I Got the Boy”

Rating: 9/10

It’s not every day that a good song cracks the top thirty on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, so now that one has, I feel it deserves to be reviewed. Jana Kramer has flown under the radar somewhat, and although she has broken the airplay barrier, she has not had consistent chart success. Her debut single, “Why You wanna” hit No. 3, but since then, she hasn’t had one single crack the top twenty. Enter her latest effort, “I Got the Boy.”

“I Got the Boy” features a more traditional sound than most of what we’re hearing on mainstream radio. In fact, it’s even different among the current list of women getting airplay lately–there’s Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town’s 80’s pop/soft rock “Smokin’ and Drinkin’,” Kelsea Ballerini’s straight pop “Dibs,” and Carrie Underwood’s pop rock “Little Toy Guns” (that’s nothing against “Little Toy Guns,” as that was actually a great song.) This is more similar to Cam’s “Burning House” and Maddie & Tae’s “Fly.” The acoustic guitars blend nicely to make this something I could picture playing on the radio ten years ago. In other words, it sounds modern without taking the giant leap that the last few years have introduced. The instrumentation also allows the listener to focus on the lyrics, which is something that I have said many times is a lost art in country music.

A song like this especially benefits from the traditional arrangement because it tells a story. Jana sings about seeing a “picture in the paper” of her high school boyfriend getting married to someone else. She recalls how she knew him when he was young and fearless, with “fake ID’s to get into those Spring Break bars.” Now he has grown up and is “cleaned up with a haircut, nice tie and shoes.” The song talks about how the man has changed so much, and Jana reflects, I got the boy, and she got the man.” She does not seem to be jealous of the other woman; it’s more of an acknowledgement that each of them got to have a part of the guy’s life that the other will never experience.

The only drawback with this song is the vocals. Sometimes it seems like some of the words are forced. That seems to be true in most Jana Kramer songs, and I have actually never liked her voice until this song. This is easily my favorite song she has ever done, and I hope it stays around on the charts for awhile.

Album Review: Lindi Ortega–Faded Gloryville

Rating: 8/10

As mentioned in Female Fridays, Faded Gloryville is Lindi Ortega’s fourth album for Last Gang Records. She brought in producer Dave Cobb from 2013’s Tin Star, as well as Colin Linden from 2012’s Cigarettes and Truckstops. Dave Cobb seems to be on a roll–he worked on Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free as well. Lindi experimented with “a more Muscle Shoals sound,” for which she got help with Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes and John Paul White of The Civil Wars. The result is the most soulful album of her career to date.

The album opens with “Ashes,” which is also my favorite track. Basically, the premise is that she was once in love, but now the fire has burned out, and he has left her with “these cold, dark ashes.” Lindi’s voice soars through this song, singing, “Darling, this is madness, why don’t you come back to me? Don’t leave me in the ashes of your memory.” The title track is similar to “Tin Star” and is an ode to the disillusioned dreamers who feel like there is no hope left. However, unlike “Tin Star,” which was only for musicians, this feels more universal. It is a theme that I feel Ortega uses too often, but this is still a good song, and I prefer it to “Tin Star.”

“Tell it Like it Is,” takes a more bluesy, soulful approach. Lindi is trying to persuade a man to stop pretending and “tell it like it is.” It’s a more interesting version of Clare Dunn’s “Move On.” Next is “Someday Soon,” which is one of the more relatable songs on the album. Lindi says she’s been “spending all my nights on someone that just ain’t right” and looks forward to a day “someday soon” when she can move on from her disappointing life. This is another song that stood out for me and will hit different people in different ways. Lindi then does a cover of “To Love Somebody,” and although it is unique, I prefer the original. Some people will probably love it, I am just not one of them. It was released ahead of the album, and it was the only song I heard beforehand that I didn’t like. I haven’t warmed up to it much.

“When You Ain’t Home” is an upbeat song ironically about the narrator feeling lonely while her lover is away. I said before that I hear Dolly Parton, Stevie Nicks, and Emmylou Harris in Lindi’s voice, depending on the song, but never have I heard so much soul in her voice. I can’t think of anyone to compare her to, and while it sounds less country, it makes her sound even more like just Lindi. This side of her adds to the individuality that she so obviously prizes. I can’t say I love this song, but I do love what it brings out in her.

“Rundown Neighborhood,” is a lighthearted track about two friends who look out for each other in a bad neighborhood. They are “bad for each other,” but that’s all right because they will always have each other’s backs. Among other things, they share whiskey, rum, cigarettes, and weed. Next is “I Ain’t the Girl,” a relatable song in which Lindi tells a guy she’s not the girl for him because he’s too straight-laced. She likes “long-haired guys” who are “rugged with tattoos,” and he wears a suit and tie. It’s a fun song, but it speaks to many people who feel like they are with the wrong match. As a girl who doesn’t like pretty boys like the one she seems to be describing, I am a little biased toward this song.

In “Run Amok,” Lindi pours out her frustration with someone who is doing “every crazy drug,” alcohol, etc. It’s upbeat and catchy, but a line still caught my attention–“When you run with the devil you burn everything you tuch, bridges and money and everyone you love.” In the end, she finally gives up and decides, “I’ll just let you run amok.” The album slows down to close with “Half Moon,” a thought-provoking ballad. This is actually one of my favorite songs on Faded Gloryville, but I was surprised that I enjoyed it because it is one of those that has to be heard to appreciate. She compares people–or at least herself–to “Half moons hanging in the sky,” with something to hide, but still shining some light. This is probably the most country song on the album, and the mystery in her voice fits the lyrics very well.

All in all, this is my favorite Lindi Ortega album as a whole. Some people will not like it as much as her previous material because of the more soulful songs, but I think this is more in her wheelhouse. This is also a better mix of ballads and upbeat songs, as well as a better balance of lighthearted and dark material. Faded Gloryville is a solid album and one that I would recommend, especially for people who have just been introduced to her work.

Listen to Album

Female Fridays: Featuring Lindi Ortega

Her new album, Faded Gloryville, is available today, (expect a review shortly), so today the Female Friday spotlight is on Lindi Ortega.

How You Might Know Lindi

If you watch ABC’s Nashville, you may have heard Lindi–she has had several song placements on the show. (Interesting that a TV show would help promote her, but radio won’t…)

Bio

From a 2013 interview with
Saving Country Music
in reference to her motivation to make music that might not have mass commercial appeal

But my motivation comes from my influences, and people that have stuck to their guns. I read a lot of biographies. If there is one thing I can respect more than anything, it’s individuality in music. And I think back in the early era of country music that was so apparent. Like you could really tell your Johnny Cash from your Waylons from your Merles. They all had a distinct thing happening. And they were all really great at what they did. It was really important for me to etch out my own thing as a student of that.

From one listen to Lindi Ortega, I can tell she means every word she says. She easily has the most unique female voice in country music today.

Lindi Ortega (born May 28, 1980, from Toronto, Ontario), wrote her first song, “Faded Dress” at the age of seventeen. She spent many hard years in the Toronto music scene, where she gained the nickname “Indie Lindi.” Her struggles as an artist, as well as the universal struggles of musicians, are often referenced in her songs. The best example of this is the title track from her 2013 album Tin Star, where she sings of the “tin stars” who are “lost in the shining stars of Nashville, Tennessee.”

After struggling for about a decade and eventually moving to Nashville, Lindi signed with Last Gang Records in 2011. She has released three albums since then, including Little Red Boots, (2011), Cigarettes and Truckstops, (2012), and Tin Star (2013.) She is known for her unique soprano voice, wich has been compared to the voices of both Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. When I first heard her sing, I heard Dolly Parton and Stevie Nicks, but in other songs I can hear Emmylou Harris as well. Her albums have received much critical acclaim, and she has been nominated for several awards by the Canadian Country Music Association. In 2014, Lindi won the CCMA Award for Roots Artist or Group of the Year and was nominated for Female Artist of the Year. She has also been nominated by the CCMA for 2015’s Roots Artist or Group of the Year.

Since this column is dedicated to promoting females, it should be noted that my first exposure to Lindi Ortega came shortly after the “tomato” incident in May. Lindi spoke out about the comments in an article called
“I Say, Include Women”
Lindi comments,

Women have had to fight to be treated as equals in society. We have had to fight for equal pay. We have had to fight against sexism, harassment, misogyny. And as if we don’t have enough battles, now we have to fight to get equal play on the radio. The entertainment industry has got to be one of the most difficult industries for women, because we are faced with so many double standards. We decide to have children and suddenly we are asked about how we can handle having a child and a career. Or the public is more concerned with who designed our dress rather than what inspired our craft.

But circling back to “take women out,” just think of those words: “TAKE WOMEN OUT.” I can’t begin to describe to you how my blood boils at those words. Erase us, delete us . . . make it so we don’t exist.

I highly recommend reading this; when I read it, I immediately wanted to check out her music. When I did, I found songs from each of her first three albums that I enjoyed. I would not have known about her if she hadn’t spoken up about this. Her fourth album for Last Gang Records, Faded Gloryville, comes out today, and I will have a review soon.

Why Lindi Belongs on Country Radio

Lindi Ortega is not seeking airplay at all. Up to this point, she hasn’t released anything with widespread mainstream appeal and seems to stick to her “individuality” that she values so much. I would argue that that is exactly why she belongs on the radio. I have seen comments on other sites by Canadians who say she doesn’t even get played up there. What do we hear every time we turn on a show like The Voice? They want uniqueness, originality, individuality, etc. I hear Blake Shelton talk all the time about turning on the radio and immediately recognizing someone’s voice. If uniqueness is what we’re going for, Lindi Ortega should be getting radio airplay. She has the most distinct female sound in country music.

Tracks I Recommend

Lindi has a lot of dark material, and I am not always a fan of dark albums, so I don’t prefer to listen to everything on all her albums. Having said that, most of it is good, and if you have a taste for it, you will like most of it. These tracks are my personal preferences. Also, just like with Ashley Monroe, her new album is off limits.

1. Murder of Crows–Cigarettes and Truckstops
2. Little Lie–Little Red Boots
3. Cigarettes and Truckstops–Cigarettes and Truckstops
4. When all the Stars Align–Little Red Boots
5. Angels–Little Red Boots
6. Bluebird–Little Red Boots
7. The Day You Die–Cigarettes and Truckstops
8. Tin Star–Tin Star
9. I Want You–Tin Star

Listen to Little Red Boots

This was my first introduction to Lindi’s remarkable and distinct voice. Like I said, I hear Dolly Parton and Stevie Nicks. Certainly not a bad comparison.

Billboard Country Airplay and Country Albums Chart (August 15th)

Billboard Country Airplay

1. Luke Bryan–“Kick the Dust Up” (up 3) [really?]
2. Michael Ray–“Kiss You in the Morning” (up 1) [again, really?]
3. Frankie Ballard–“Young and Crazy” (up 3)
4. Zac Brown Band–“Loving You Easy” (up 1)
5. Brantley Gilbert–“One Hell of an Amen” (down 4)
6. Jason Aldean–“Tonight Looks Good on You” (down 4)
7. Dustin Lynch–“Hell of a Night”
8. Sam Hunt–“House Party”
9. Thomas Rhett–“Crash and Burn” (up 2)
10. Chris Janson–“Buy Me a Boat” (up 2)
11. Brett Eldredge–“Lose My Mind” (up 3)
12. Keith Urban–“John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” (up 1)
13. Eric Church–“Like a Wrecking Ball” (up 2)
14. Kenny Chesney–“Save It for a Rainy Day” (up 3)
15. Maddie & Tae–“Fly” (up 1)
16. Chase Rice–“Gonna Wanna Tonight” (up 3)
17. Jake Owen–“Real Life” (up 1)
18. Cole Swindell–“Let Me See Ya Girl” (up 3)
19. Florida Georgia Line–“Anything Goes” (up 3)
20. Dan + Shay–“Nothin’ Like You” (up 5) [biggest gainer]
21. Kip Moore–“I’m to Blame” (down 1)
22. Old Dominion–“Break up With Him” (up 1)
23. Lady Antebellum–“Long Stretch of Love” (up 2)
24. Cam–“Burning House” (up 2)
25. Big & Rich–“Run Away With You” (up 2)
26. Brothers Osborne–“Stay a Little Longer” (up 2)
27. Parmalee–“Already Callin’ You Mine” (up 2)
28. Chris Young–“I’m Comin’ Over” (up 2)
29. Jana Kramer–“I Got the Boy” (entering top 30)
30. Hunter Hayes–“21” (entering top 30)

  • new No. 1: “Kick the Dust Up”
  • next week’s No. 1 prediction: “Kiss You in the Morning”
  • Luke Bryan and Michael Ray have albums coming out Friday, and they have the No. 1 and No. 2 slots…how convenient
  • once again, a good song (Jana Kramer) enters the top 30 and is balanced by crap (Hunter Hayes)
  • Brad Paisley’s “Crushin’ It” and Canaan Smith’s “Love You Like That” fell from No. 9 and No. 10, respectively, to out of the top 30

Billboard Top Country Albums

1. Alan Jackson–Angels and Alcohol
2. Ashley Monroe–The Blade [debut]
3. Sam Hunt–Montevallo
4. Jason Isbell–Something More Than Free
5. Zac Brown Band–Jekyll + Hyde
6. Eric Church–The Outsiders
7. Little Big Town–Painkiller
8. Jason Aldean–Old Boots, New Dirt
9. Brantley Gilbert–Just as I Am
10. Florida Georgia Line–Anything Goes
11. Kacey Musgraves–Pageant Material
12. Various Artists–Now That’s What I Call Country, Volume 8
13. Luke Bryan–Crash My Party
14. Willie Nelson/Merle Haggard–Django and Jimmie
15. Chase Rice–Ignite the Night
16. Luke Bryan–Spring Break…Checkin’ Out
17. Zac Brown Band–Greatest Hits So Far…
18. Easton Corbin–About to Get Real
19. Cole Swindell–Cole Swindell
20. Kenny Chesney–The Big Revival
21. Big Smo–Bringin’ It Home (EP)
22. Blake Shelton–Bringing Back the Sunshine
23. Carrie Underwood–Greatest Hits: Decade #1
24. Miranda Lambert–Platinum
25. Kelsea Ballerini–The First Time

  • Alan Jackson’s Angels and Alcohol hits No. 1 after all
  • Ashley Monroe’s mostly great album The Blade debuts at No. 2
  • Luke Bryan will probably have three albums on this chart next week…
  • if Sam Hunt weren’t in the way, this would be the best top five albums I’ve seen in awhile…sadly, he is infecting it
  • who is buying these Now That’s What I Call Country albums???

Source: Billboard

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