In the immortal words of Tom Petty, it’s Christmas … again. That’s means we have a bunch of seasonal releases from a slew of your favorite country and roots artists to round up just in case Christmas music is your thing (find a playlist below of the top selections). Of course country music boasts some of the greatest Christmas classics of all time from folks like Gene Autry and Brenda Lee. And recently some of the best and most interesting Christmas records have come from country and roots performers, including Kacey Musgraves’ A Very Kacey Christmas from 2016, and JD McPherson’s Socks from 2018.
Similar to Kacey Musgraves, those performers who know how to bridge the world of camp and classic sounds tend to be the best at recording Christmas tunes, and that’s certainly the case with Saving Country Music Album and Song of the Year nominee Charlie Marie. She’s released two Christmas tunes for 2019, “Old-Fashioned Christmas” and “Underneath The Mistletoe” that are worth adding into your Holiday listening rotation.
If your looking for Christmas with some country twang, 2019 definitely has you covered. The Oak Ridge Boys have released a Dave Cobb-produced Christmas album called Down Home Christmas. The song “Don’t Go Pullin’ On Santa Clause’ Beard” features those deep bass vocals which make the Oak Ridge Boys so fun. We all know that Santa Claus is a traditional country fan, and country traditionalist Richard Lynch confirms it in the twangy “I Saw Santa Fishin'” just released for the season. Darryl Worley has released seven Christmas songs under the title Country Christmas, which also includes some good twang, while traditional country singer Scott Southworth hits a more melancholy note in his seasonal offering, “Maybe Next Year, Christmas.”
If Texas and Red Dirt is how you like your country, 2019 has you covered too. In fact Wade Bowen‘s brand new Twelve Twenty-Five includes 13 Christmas classics sung by the Texas music star, with some assists on certain songs by sons Brock and Bruce, as well as appearances by Sean McConnell, and Cody Canada singing the old Merle Haggard classic “If We Make It Through December.” Randall King also chimes in from the Lone Star State with “White Christmas Makes Me Blue.”
If mainstream country is your bag, you’re covered there as well. No, don’t go near the new Keith Urban or Mitchell “Bitches” Tenpenny Christmas songs, but Maddie & Tae have released a pretty version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and Cam has released her interpretation of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Lockwood Barr has released a Christmas EP called Christmas in Memphis that includes four classics, and the original title track. Tara Thompson has released a 10-song album called Hillbilly Christmas, and Nashville’s Jenny Tolman keeps it country with her Holiday song, “Cowboy for Christmas.”
If the Americana scene is more your bag, you’ve got plenty of options in 2019. If you’ve heard a quartet of backup Gospel singers on a country or roots record in the last few years, it’s more than likely The McCrary Sisters singing those harmonies. They’ve released A Very McCrary Christmas this year to usher in the yuletide with 13 religiously-themed country classics, and contributions from Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Buddy Miller, and more. Keb Mo also appears on the McCrary record, but has an entire record of his own called Moonlight, Mistletoe, & You. Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters also have a 5-song Christmas EP this year called Christmas on a Greyhound Bus.
Phoebe Hunt and the Gatherers have an inspired new Christmas song called “December Again” that was partially inspired when the group participated in the Music Abroad program and visited Jerusalem. And if all those sappy Christmas songs tend you get you saying bah humbug, Saving Country Music Song of the Year n0minee Gabe Lee has a more thoughtful selection in “Christmas Day.”
Dualtone Records has also released an eight-song Christmas compilation from their respective artists, with The Delta Spirit turning in a spirited rendition of “Santa Clause Is Coming to Town,” Kathleen Edwards releasing one of the better songs of the season with “It’s Christmastime (Let’s Just Survive),” and Amos Lee‘s “Holiday Song” challenging Gabe Lee for possibly the best-written Christmas tune this season. The Lone Bellow, Langhorne Slim, and others participate as well.
And if you like your Christmas music a little wild and rambunctious, check out the selections from the San Francisco quintet the Shut-Ins and their new album Re-Gifted, or two Christmas songs from Dusty Winds – “I’ll Call You This Christmas” and “I Got High With Santa Claus.”
Other 2019 Christmas Releases:
- Oklahoma Americana duo The Imaginaries have released a 13-song Christmas album called Hometown Christmas.
- Warren Haynes – Warren Haynes Presents: The Benefit Concert Volume 16 out December 13th
- Stephanie Urbina Jones – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
- Steven James and the Jaded – “Shine”
- George Ducas – “Santa’s Got a Cadillac”
- Steve Idlett and The Briars – “Christmas in Texas”
- Mike Aiken – “Almost Christmas”
- Will Carter – “Santa Went Country”
- Sofia Talvik – “Christmas Train”
- Saw Black – Christmas in the Background
- NEW: JD McPherson has released a 7″ for this Christmas season that includes a new song, “Red Bows (For a Blue Girl).”
- NEW: Crystal Gayle has digitally re-released her 1986 Christmas album, A Crystal Christmas.
- NEW: Mamma Coal has a new Christmas song called, “Santa Done Swiped the Whiskey“
Below find a playlist of the best 2019 Holiday and Christmas songs. And if you want to suggest a new song or album, please do in the comments section below.