The Turnpike Troubadours have just crashed the mainstream party at the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart with the release of their latest record, A Long Way From Your Heart. The album debuted at #3 on the grid, with strong sales behind their critically-acclaimed effort that continues to place them near the very top of independent country music. Signed to Thirty Tigers, and with little help from radio beyond regional play in Oklahoma and Texas, they continue to show what quality music and grassroots efforts can result in.
This is the second time the Oklahoma-based outfit has scored an impressive position on the Billboard charts. Turnpike’s self-titled record from 2015 also debuted at #3. Their new album was beaten out on the charts by two other debuts from major label artists: Chris Young’s Losing Sleep, which came in at #1 with roughly 32,000 albums sold, and Darius Rucker’s When Was the Last Time, which hit #2 with 30,000 units moved. A Long Way From Your Heart sold approximately 18,000 records to land at #3.
Also on the Country Albums chart, Chris Stapleton continues to impress, holding at #6 with his 2015 record Traveller, and #8 with 2017’s From ‘A’ Room: Vol. 1. With From A Room Vol. #2 on the way in December, it gives Stapleton the very real possibility of having three albums in the top of the charts simultaneously.
Margo Price’s All American Made also debuts at #12, with roughly 7,000 albums sold. The chart position is slightly down from her first solo record Midwest Farmers Daughter, which came in at #10, though the initial sales for All American Made are slightly up from her freshman effort. Willie Nelson comes in at #19 with the second installment in his B-sides “Willie’s Stash” series with Willie & The Boys, which features mostly Hank covers with his sons Lukas and Micah.
Also as a notable chart distinction for an independent artist, Aaron Watson has now cracked the Top 20 on country radio with his current single “Outta Style.” It currently sits at #18, stretching the ceiling for what independent artists can accomplish on country radio as well. Also surprising, oldtimer Garth Brooks right now sits at #9 on radio with “Ask Me How I Know.”