Steve Earle Heading Toward I-10 Territory

Singer/guitarist closing in on all-star album's #1 Gavin slot; Stevie Ray Vaughan maintains hold on Billboard chart.

The all-star I-10 Chronicles, featuring Joe Ely and Flaco Jimenez and a guest turn by Willie Nelson, will top the Gavin Americana chart for the second straight week, but the real story is an album that hasn't even hit the streets yet.

Steve Earle's Transcendental Blues (RealAudio excerpt of title track), due in stores June 6, will move from #9 to #4 on Friday's chart, which polls radio stations on airplay of folk, bluegrass and alternative-country acts.

"It's a rock record," Earle said while finishing up the album, but that didn't stop the singer/guitarist from including a couple of Irish tunes (recorded in Dublin with accordion wizard Sharon Shannon); "Until the Day I Die," with Tim O'Brien & the Bluegrass Dukes; and the folky "When I Fall," in which he's joined by his sister, Stacey Earle.

Between I-10 and Earle are Jimmie Dale Gilmore's One Endless Night, spending another week at #2, and BR5-49's Coast to Coast Live, which moves up from #6 to #4.

Rounding out the top 10 on the Americana chart are: the honky-tonkin' Hollisters with Sweet Inspiration, at #5; Mark David Manders & Nuevo Texas, Chilli Pepper Sunset, at #6; Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Billy Joe Shaver, Honky Tonk Heroes, at #7; Wylie & the Wild West, Ridin' the Hi-Line, at #8; Slaid Cleaves, Broke Down, at #9; and Nickel Creek, Nickel Creek, at #10.

On the Billboard Top Blues albums chart, Stevie Ray Vaughan's Blues at Sunrise is rolling steadily along in the top spot in its fifth week out. Right behind is B.B. King's Makin' Love Is Good for You, which has been at #2 for the two weeks since its release.

That album displaced Kenny Wayne Shepherd's Live On, which spends its second week in the #3 spot. Also static are teenager Shannon Curfman's Loud Guitars, Big Suspicions (#4) and Vaughan's The Real Deal: Greatest Hits Volume 2 (#5).

The sole debut this week, at #13, is Fleetwood Mac co-founder and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers guitarist Peter Green's Hot Foot Powder, a collaboration with guitarist Nigel Watson.

Rounding out the top 10 are: Johnnie Taylor's Getting the Groove Back (#6, up from #7); Jonny Lang's Wander This World (#7, down from #6); Etta James' Best of (#8, up from #9); Mel Walters' Material Things (#9, up from #12); and King's Best of B.B. King — The Millennium Collection (#10, down from #8).