June 18, 2018 / 5:10 PM

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Old Dominion Writes for Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney...Now Themselves



Society always celebrates the records that top the Billboard 200 album chart. Back of The Billboards is a Music Times weekly segment that looks at the opposite end: the new record that finished closest to the back of the Billboard 200 for the previous week. We hope to give a fighting chance to the bands you haven't heard of. This week we look at 'Old Dominion,' the self-titled debut EP from up-and-coming country band that's tight with Kenny Chesney.


WHO: Old Dominion

WHAT: Old Dominion EP

SPOT: 200

Old Dominion seems to have everything going for them, yet they've barely broken through on numerous charts. The five-piece from Virginia (none of them attended the titular university) has songwriting credits galore, having penned numbers for Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, The Band Perry and others. That background has resulted in plenty of live opportunities, opening for Chesney and Alabama. Perhaps the band needs to quit drafting material for others and focus on itself, having only put out one EP in its history. The self-titled debut was released last October but is only now cracking the Top 200, narrowly taking the final spot (thanks in part to the odd 11-day sales period for this week's chart).

Why now? Part might be the effect of opening for Chesney on his massive "Big Revival" tour, selling-out stadiums across the country earlier this year, but a majority of the recent buzz comes from just cracking another, more impressive chart: The Hot 100. Even the biggest of country singles can struggle to crack the mainstream's most popular chart, and Old Dominion just broke through to no. 99 this week with "Break Up With Him," featured on the EP.

What you'll think about Old Dominion will largely depend on what you think of Bryan, one of the band's most popular songwriting clients. "Beer Can in a Truck Bed" is as "bro-country" as it sounds and "Nowhere Fast" strikes a similar chord. If you can dig that, Old Dominion will be your new cup of tea, er, 'Nati.

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