Here’s what’s happening on Country Radio this week, for the chart dated August 19.
Top of the Pile
Billy Currington – Do I Make You Wanna. A second week as the airplay leader for Billy, whose vocal has grown more gentle since the days of People Are Crazy. It works when he sings in falsetto, and I those guitars stabs on the main beats of the chorus punctuate Billy’s wishes.
The Sales Number One
Sam Hunt – Body Like a Back Road. There was an interview with Luis Fonsi, creator of Despacito, in the Times this week. He said that the guest vocalist on the follow-up has been confirmed; could it be the equally suave Sam, who has had the country version of Despacito this year with the song that won’t quit? 26 weeks as the most-sold track in the download stores, as Sam counts his money. Maybe his next album will be full of coins acting as percussion. Still a great piece of music, now with a live recording that proves Sam has many female fans, who sing along loudly in the recording.
Justin Moore – Somebody Else Will. Justin is growing his sound with a tune that Thomas Rhett could have recorded. Even though the second verse seems very short (it lasts about nine seconds), the mood of the song is great and the chorus really leaps out with that percussive vocal delivery. It rises to 3.
Kane Brown ft. Lauren Alaina – What Ifs. I love the syncopated riff that introduces the song, the descending melody that introduces the chorus, and Kane’s desire to ‘love all these “what ifs” away’. Up to 16 and climbing, proving that I’m not the only one convinced by the amiability of the tune.
Thomas Rhett – Unforgettable. The man of the moment, whose album Life Changes (great title) is due in September, has released the second single from it, all about love and stuff. TR looks set to become a reliable presence on country radio for the next few albums, buoyed by his presence in the lifestyle sections of Nashville publications, with his second child on the way while he stands smiling beside his first, adopted child. Up to 29.
The Lower Reaches
Aaron Watson – Outta Style. He’s up to 27. The line about the ‘pawn-shop guitar’ is great here; after two decades of plugging away in Texas, he has followed up his chart-topping Underdog album from two years ago with a magisterial rock song, the sort that Kenny Chesney would love. More airplay than Chris Young, Jake Owen and recent UK visitor Russell Dickerson, who is ‘russelling’ up to 34 with Yours. Still only three solo women in the top 40; if we don’t mention it, it won’t be reported…