The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown [July 27]

Jason Isbell Something More Than Free

Welcome to a new feature to the site! This is The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown. Every week I’ll post the top 40 from the Americana Airplay chart, which is obtained from From the site: “The Americana Airplay chart represents the reported play of terrestrial radio stations, nationally syndicated radio shows, satellite radio and internet stations who have agreed to submit weekly spin counts. For more information please visit”

The goal of this feature is to track and monitor the current most popular music in the Americana realm, as I believe it’s starting to take on a bigger importance in the world of music, especially concerning the current state of country music. In addition it will bring some new names to the site that haven’t been covered here before and could lead to more Americana coverage. It’s also a place to discuss anything going on in the Americana genre at this moment. I hope you guys enjoy this new feature and be sure to weigh in about it in the comments below.

  1. Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (Grade: 10/10)
  2. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – The Traveling Kind
  3. Richard Thompson – Still
  4. Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard – Django and Jimmie (Grade: 9/10)
  5. Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material (Grade: 9/10)
  6. Chris Stapleton – Traveller (Grade: 10/10)
  7. Dale Watson – Call Me Insane (Grade: 8.5/10)
  8. Ray Wylie Hubbard – The Ruffian’s Misfortune 
  9. Sonny Landreth – Bound By The Blues 
  10. Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams – Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
  11. Rhett Miller – The Traveler
  12. Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color
  13. Amy Helm – Didn’t It Rain
  14. Watkins Family Hour – Watkins Family Hour
  15. Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet
  16. Dwight Yoakam – Second Hand Heart (Grade: 10/10)
  17. Eilen Jewell – Sundown Over Ghost Town
  18. Uncle Lucius – The Light
  19. Sam Outlaw – Angeleno (Grade: 10/10)
  20. Dar Williams – Emerald 
  21. Will Hoge – Small Town Dreams (Grade: 9/10)
  22. Jimmy LaFave – The Night Tribe
  23. Milk Carton Kids – Monterey 
  24. The Deslondes – The Deslondes (Grade: 8.5/10)
  25. Warren Hayes (feat. Railroad Earth) – Ashes & Dust
  26. The Mike & Ruthy Band – Bright As You Can
  27. Calexico – Edge of the Sun
  28. JD McPherson – Let The Good Times Roll
  29. John Moreland – High On Tulsa Heat (Grade: 9/10)
  30. Yonder Mountain String Band – Black Sheep
  31. Whitey Morgan & The 78s – Sonic Ranch (Grade: 10/10)
  32. Samantha Crain – Under Branch & Thorn & Tree
  33. Honey Honey – 3
  34. Shelby Lynne – I Can’t Imagine
  35. Brandi Carlile – The Firewatcher’s Daughter (Grade: 9.5/10)
  36. Kentucky Headhunters – Meet Me In Blues Land 
  37. Steeldrivers – The Muscle Shoals Sessions
  38. Sugarcane Jane – Dirt Road’s End
  39. Della Mae – Della Mae
  40. The Grahams – Glory Bound

26 thoughts on “The Americana Airplay Chart Rundown [July 27]

  1. Zack July 28, 2015 / 1:32 pm

    Oh wow cool! Man just look at these grades! Wow…..Whitey Morgan is “Americana” but Sam Hunt is “Country”?

    Irony at its finest lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott July 28, 2015 / 1:36 pm

      Yeah there’s kind of a pattern here. It’s all good music! Haha! And yes it’s amazing Whitey is Americana and Hunt is country. Then again country has a completely different meaning now and Americana is the real country.


      • Zack July 28, 2015 / 1:40 pm

        VERY true! You know, you posting this list actually reminds me of all of the names I’d like to check out somewhere down the road, particularly Jimmy LaFave, Rhett Miller, Uncle Lucius, JD McPherson, Steeldrivers, Richard Thompson, Kasey Chambers, and John Moreland.


  2. Derek Hudgin July 28, 2015 / 1:49 pm

    I like this new feature! Americana Music is capitalizing on Country’s crap!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Scotty J July 28, 2015 / 1:56 pm

    But isn’t this a ranking of albums not airplay?


    • Josh Schott July 28, 2015 / 2:37 pm

      That’s what I thought at first. But I double checked and this is in fact the airplay chart. I can’t find an official explanation at the moment, but my educated guess is that instead of measuring the airplay of individual songs, it’s measuring the airplay of all the songs off of that particular album and giving a total airplay score. So Isbell’s songs off of his new album as a whole are getting the most airplay. At least that’s how I’m interpreting this to be.


      • Scotty J July 28, 2015 / 2:52 pm

        That might be it does say ‘reported play’ so that means I guess that it’s an honor system deal like the Billboard charts used to be.

        Would like to see an actual song chart though just out of curiosity because that gives a feel for what types of songs are being played as far as tempo, sound, subject matter and the like.

        But I do think that this might be the future for more substantial country sounding music if they don’t get all snobby like some of the people in this scene can be at times.


        • Josh Schott July 28, 2015 / 3:44 pm

          I would love an actual song breakdown too. Of course there would probably need to be a lot more Americana stations before they get that detailed.

          Yeah that’s the only thing I worry about. I’ve heard there can be some snobby people in the scene, but they need to put it aside because this is a huge opportunity for Americana right now. Grady Smith, who I’ve been talking to about this, confirmed in his column that came out today that Musgraves’ label Mercury Nashville is officially promoting her at Americana radio. To me this could be signaling the split we thought was going to happen with Nash Icon last year, except this seems more plausible and is a clearer split.


  4. brettp July 28, 2015 / 3:25 pm

    Ok, never mentioning country again. Im officially an americana fan now….just saying. Lol Whitey, Stapleton, heck even bluegrass gets in on the americana fun. Wish there was an americana station where i live.


    • Josh Schott July 28, 2015 / 3:37 pm

      Haha right?! All of the good stuff is on this chart.


  5. Nadia Lockheart July 28, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    Awwwwwwww, c’mon, Josh! Surely there has to be ONE Americana album you don’t like!

    Admit it, admit it! 😉 😉 😉


    Truthfully, though, Americana is essentially taking orphaned Country singer/songwriters shunned by the mainstream under their wing, along with some disenfranchised veterans that have never quite managed to sell albums off of name recognition alone like Alan Jackson, George Strait and Alison Krauss.

    Americana is essentially the refugee camp for country music in the meantime.


    • Josh Schott July 28, 2015 / 6:39 pm

      Haha I’m sure there’s an Americana Hick Hop album out there…

      I don’t know if this is just a “refugee camp,” as I think it could be something more than that. Then again I’ve gotten my hopes up in the past about this kind of stuff and nothing happens.


    • Scotty J July 28, 2015 / 7:12 pm

      I remember Trigger getting this question over at SCM once about liking things just because they were by unknown acts and hating everything that major label people put out. His answer if I remember correctly was that he gets pitched lots of horrible indie stuff but he just doesn’t review it so it then appears that he likes everything that independents put out. Sort of why kick the little guy when he has a tough enough job to make it in the music business.

      But it does sometimes appear from reading various independent friendly country sites that all independent stuff is great and that can paint an inaccurate picture.

      As for Americana going forward they have to get more outlets with wider reach and they have to be welcoming to people that may not be the ‘cool, hipster kids’. Sometimes it seems like they don’t want to be successful because then they wouldn’t have anything to complain about.


      • Josh Schott July 28, 2015 / 7:58 pm

        I’m glad you brought this up. I can reiterate Trigger’s answer: I get pitched a lot of stuff each week. A lot of it’s not worth featuring on the site and is just terrible. Sometimes I just don’t have time to feature it, but most of the time it’s because the music sucks/isn’t country/totally uninteresting and/or the pitch is complete crap. Believe me there is complete crap out in the Americana and folk realms. More than anything it’s copycat stuff that does nothing to stand out. For a while it felt like I was getting 5 pitches a week from a “Indie folk duo from the West Coast.” It’s maddening. By the way the worst song I’ve heard this year was a song that was pitched to me and I turned down. Other sites got the pitch too and will confirm. It was an independent female artist who described her style of country music as a cross between Sam Hunt and Taylor Swift. Be glad you guys have never heard this song because I made it in 20 seconds and had to shut it off because I started to get a headache. There really isn’t much difference between independent and mainstream, with the only differentiator being exposure. The bad shit in mainstream gets exposed because it’s mainstream. Some high ranking suit somewhere decided to make sure people knew about this terrible music. The bad shit in the independent scene doesn’t get exposed because they’re nobodies and by not covering them on sites like this their shitty music never sees the light of day. Unless of course that same idiot in a suit decided to elevate them…


      • Cobra July 29, 2015 / 1:00 pm

        Agreed. I got pitched something by a band once to review and it was just awful, so after listening to it, I just ignored it and didn’t even bother.


  6. petemarshall724 July 28, 2015 / 8:31 pm

    This is what is good music defiantly real country music. Are you going to cover and rate the Texas Music charts by any chance?


    • Josh Schott July 28, 2015 / 9:20 pm

      At the moment, no. But I’m still considering it for a future feature.


    • Megan Conley July 28, 2015 / 10:32 pm

      Interesting you mentioned the Texas charts, I have thought about covering them on my site. Even if country splits into “country” and Americana, Texas music still gets left out of both scenes.


    • Megan Conley July 29, 2015 / 1:11 pm

      With regards to the Texas chart, I will indeed be adding this to my site in the next couple weeks.


  7. Zack July 28, 2015 / 10:21 pm

    In regards to the “bad Americana groups”. I’ve yet to find an Americana group that I’ve flat out disliked. Most of the albums I’ve listened to are at least an 8/10 with only a few 6 or 7 out of 10’s. This blog has been the most influential in my deciding what to listen to. Admittedly, I came across a group one time on Saving Country Music that I just wasn’t crazy about at all, but I never heard their full album.

    As far as comparing it to mainstream, I grade everything based on its own merit, and I know this blog does as well. Unfortunately, the mainstream really just hasn’t produced anything phenomenal yet this year except for Jon Pardi. Kristian Bush was good, not groundbreaking but pretty solid. I guess you can count Chris Stapleton and Kacey Musgraves, but I mean….they’re “Americana” 😉


    • Scotty J July 29, 2015 / 12:49 am

      The thing is though it is very easy to hear every piece of junk mainstream release coming out but there is no way to hear all of the independent records or songs recorded because they don’t really have a built in PR system which is why they pitch their material to Josh or Trigger because a review on these sites gets them untold amounts of publicity.

      Crappy music that no one hears is still crappy none the less.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cobra July 29, 2015 / 12:57 pm

      That’s probably because even if you can’t completely connect with a certain piece of music from an Americana artist, the quality and the talent are such that you can respect it even if it’s not to your particular taste.
      Unlike with mainstream “country” where the output is just such pure crap that we end up hating it so much.


  8. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria July 29, 2015 / 11:56 am

    Another cool new feature Josh! I’ll have to check some of these artists out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Cobra July 29, 2015 / 12:55 pm

    My God, just looking at the quality of this chart compared to the crap that’s poured out onto “country” radio. This will certainly give me some new artists that are worth checking out.

    OT: I mentioned to Derek via Twitter that he should check out a folk/traditionalist named Josh Ritter. If you’ve never heard of him, give him a listen; he’s got some great material (and a new album coming out in October). He’s not specifically country, but there’s some real country influences in his music: I think you’d like him. I recommend starting with either of these two albums: “The Animal Years” or “Golden Age of Radio.” Let me know what you think of him if you get a chance to check him out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ryan July 29, 2015 / 1:04 pm

      Nice feature Josh! Love the site!


      • Josh Schott July 29, 2015 / 1:17 pm

        Thanks Ryan! Glad you found us!


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