Brad Paisley’s Wheelhouse Debuts at #1 on Billboard Top Country Albums Chart (from the mailbag)

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Brad Paisley's eighth studio album and first self-produced project, Wheelhouse, debuts at #1 this week on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart with more than 100,000 albums sold according to Nielsen SoundScan. The release marks Paisley's seventh consecutive studio album to debut as the nation's country best-seller, while the album also arrives at #2 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.

Paisley is currently Top 15 and climbing the country airplay charts with "Beat This Summer," the second single from Wheelhouse and the follow-up to the album's chart-topping debut smash, "Southern Comfort Zone."

A three-time GRAMMY® winner, Paisley stepped out of his comfort zone with the release of Wheelhouse, his first self-produced collection. Featuring 14 songs and three interstitials, each of the album's full songs were written or co-written by Paisley.

Taking a fresh approach to this album found Paisley stretching his boundaries, even as he kept things close – enlisting his band, the Drama Kings, to perform throughout the album and renovating a farmhouse into a recording studio at his Tennessee home. In the liner notes to Wheelhouse, Paisley shared, "We only had one rule with this record: to throw out the rules."

Among recent praise, in a 3 ∏ out of 4-star review, the Los Angeles Times declared Paisley's Wheelhouse "…perhaps his most ambitious album to date, taking on such hot-button topics as spousal abuse, Southern provincialism, racism and social justice alongside characteristically well-crafted mainstream country fare."

The Boston Globe hails, "Brad Paisley can swing for the top of the charts and not lose any respect in the process. On 'Wheelhouse,' the country star keeps his contemporary edge sharp with various production tweaks (loops!) and guest appearances while maintaining a grasp on traditions."

HitFix.com offers, "…Paisley is, not surprisingly, a confident producer, bringing in a wealth of different elements with total sure-footedness," while NPR proclaims that "as a musician, he's at the top of his game."

Also available in conjunction with Wheelhouse are Wheelhouse (Deluxe Version) with four additional tracks, as well as Paisley's first interactive book, Building a Wheelhouse, an exclusive look at the making of the album, with all three projects available here: http://smarturl.it/PaisleyWheelhouse

Simultaneous with last week's release of Wheelhouse, Sony Music Nashville and Sony Electronics launched the "Out of Your Wheelhouse" sweepstakes. Beginning with the April 9 album release and continuing through June 30, 2013, each specially marked Wheelhouse album containing a unique code will give fans a chance to enter to win Sony electronics and other exciting prizes, with the Grand Prize a trip for two to Nashville to meet Brad Paisley and tour his home studio where he recorded Wheelhouse. Fans can also request a free code to enter to win, online here www.BradPaisley.com/Wheelhousesweepscode. For complete sweepstakes details, visit www.BradPaisley.com/Wheelhousesweeps.

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