George Strait’s Honky Tonk Time Machine Debuts as Top Country Album

Ring the bells and fire the cannon. The Billboard country charts are finally churning this week with lots of new music.The eternal George Strait rockets in at No. 1 on Billboard’s albums chart with Honky Tonk Time Machine. That package also surfaces at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 all-genres rankings.

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But shed no tears for Luke Combs, whose This One’s for You Strait’s debut demotes to the No. 2 niche. Combs’ “Beautiful Crazy” remains the most-played country song for the seventh week in a row.

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Five other albums make their first appearance this week in the Top 50. They are Greetings From . . . Jake Owen (No. 8), Steve Earle and the Dukes’ Guy (No. 14), Now That’s What I Call Country, Volume 12 (No. 27), LOCASH’s Brothers (No. 34) and This Is Eli Young Band: Greatest Hits (No. 46).

There are three new songs to celebrate — Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” (No. 53), Kip Moore’s “The Bull” (No. 57) and King Calaway’s “World for Two” (No. 60).

The No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 albums, in that order, are Dan + Shay, Maren Morris’ Girl and Chris Stapleton’s Traveller.

Completing the Top 5 songs array are Brett Young’s “Here Tonight,” Michael Ray’s “One That Got Away,” Riley Green’s “There Was This Girl” and Old Dominion’s “Make It Sweet.”

If you caught the Academy of Country Music’s award show Sunday (April 7), you heard a lot of new songs that are likely to show up here soon — and maybe some that won’t.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to