Steve Earle is once again king of the Gavin Americana chart, and B.B. King and Eric Clapton are living like earls atop the Billboard Top Blues albums chart.
Earle's Transcendental Blues is at #1 for the eighth straight week on the Americana survey, which tracks radio airplay, while guitarists King and Clapton's Riding With the King is at #1 for the fifth consecutive week on the Billboard Top Blues albums chart, which measures sales.
Riding With the King also is doing well on the Billboard pop chart, where it's at #11 in its fifth week of release.
Making a strong move on the Americana chart is Mr. All-Americana himself, Willie Nelson. Nelson and the Offenders' Me and the Drummer, which earned envious e-mail praise from Merle Haggard when it was still an Internet-only release, jumps to #4 from #7.
Slipping a bit, to #5 from #3, is the eponymous, Alison Krauss-produced debut by Nickel Creek. However, this young bluegrass-and-more band, whose album features a version of Sinead Lohan's "Out of the Woods" (RealAudio excerpt), might pick up a few fans when it opens 11 shows in August for country star Lyle Lovett, beginning Aug.10 in Chicago.
The single from its album, "Reasons Why," meanwhile, has been at #1 two weeks running on the Gavin singles chart. The players, Chris Thile (mandolin), Sara Watkins (fiddle), and Sean Watkins (guitar), range in age from 19 to 23 but have already established themselves as bluegrass heavyweights. Thile recently jammed with Kid Rock and Hank Williams Jr. at a Fourth of July party and joined Dolly Parton in the recording studio. The Watkins siblings have been busily recording a solo disc and teaching, respectively.
Rounding out the top 10 Americana chart are the Texas duo of Joe Ely, whose Live at Antone's remains at #2, and Pat Green, whose Carry On moves to #3 from #4; Neil Young, Silver & Gold, at #6; Todd Snider, Happy To Be Here, at #7; Stacey Earle, Dancin' With Them That Brung Me, at #8; Big House, Woodstock Nation (RealAudio excerpt of title track), at #9; and Max Stalling, whose Wide Afternoon jumps to #10 from #15.
Making up the rest of the Top Blues albums top 10 are: Johnnie Taylor, Gotta Get the Groove Back, at #2; Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Blues at Sunrise, at #3; Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Live On, at #4; Jonny Lang, Wander This World, at #5; Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Real Deal: Greatest Hits Volume 2, at #6; Shannon Curfman, whose #7 Loud Guitars, Big Suspicions switches places with Indigenous' Circle at #8; Etta James, Best of Etta James, at #9; and B.B. King, Makin' Love Is Good for You, at #10.