Arts & Culture

Green River Ordinance tops Billboard folk chart

Green River Ordinance
Green River Ordinance

Green River Ordinance is keeping Fort Worth’s musical hot streak alive.

The quintet’s new album Fifteen debuted atop Billboard’s folk albums chart yesterday, besting national and international acts like Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Rhiannon Giddens, Hozier and Courtney Barnett. (GRO’s Fifteen also made it to number eight on the Billboard rock chart, and peaked at number two on the iTunes country chart — it currently sits at number 53 there.)

While the Billboard accomplishment is undoubtedly a high point for the veteran band (and its indie label, Residence Music), it’s an achievement that’s come with some questions — chief among them: why isn’t this album considered country music?

It’s a point raised in a thorough article by the blog Saving Country Music, which notes other acts with a similar style and sensibility to GRO’s that did make it onto the Billboard country chart, while for reasons never fully explained, GRO was instead slotted as a folk act. (Decide for yourself by taking a listen to GRO’s current single, Red Fire Night, below.)

The band tweeted Tuesday that it had sought answers from Billboard about the classification, but received no clarification.

However Green River Ordinance is ultimately classified, the show must go on.

Saturday, GRO travels to Nashville to perform a two-song set at the Grand Ole Opry. Their next local gig will be Feb. 27 at the Professional Bull Riders Iron Cowboy event at AT&T Stadium.

Preston Jones: 817-390-7713, @prestonjones