Over the last few years, the amount of Holiday offerings in the country and roots realm has been steadily increasing. But nothing could have prepared us for the crush of Christmas releases in 2020. Blame quarantined performers finally looking to make good on those promises to fans to release a Christmas song or album all coming due at the same time, but this season it’s a brimming smorgasbord of seasonal songs.
Though it may be daunting to navigate with so many releases, Saving Country Music is here for you, and with so many releases, 2020 is also the first year you can compile a full-fledged Christmas playlist entirely of newly-released songs from the country world, whether it’s some spectacular covers by excellent up-and-coming artists like Randall King’s version of “Run Run Rudolph,” or Sierra Ferrell’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” or a host of great original Christmas tunes such as “Dim Down (The Christmas Lights)” by Norway’s The Northern Belle, to Dallas Moore’s “Honky Tonk Hollidaze” co-written by Ted Russell Kamp, to an amazing Western Swing song from Dani Taylor called “Does It Snow in Nashville?”
There have also been numerous Christmas country records released. Though 2020 doesn’t feel like we’ll have one of those instant classic albums like we had with JD McPherson’s 2018 record Socks, or A Very Kacey Christmas by Kacey Musgraves in 2016, there have been a few quality records, including Murder By Death surprising with Lonesome Holiday, Andrew Bird turning in a quite eclectic, but still compelling work called Hark!, and with the way the bluegrass family The Peterserns have a knack of taking classic tunes and making them their own, Christmas with the Petersons is worth checking out. Also, though not a new title, A Merry Hee-Haw Christmas by Buck Owens has finally been re-released.
The best way to navigate through all of this is the Saving Country Music Christmas 2020 Playlist, available on Spotify, YouTube, Amazon Music. You can also find embedded players below for many of the streaming services. The playlist includes top Holiday songs from the country and roots realm, and song, artist, and album information if the song is from a bigger release.
Below the embedded players is also a list of all the songs if you don’t use the streaming services. Then below the playlist, you can also find further lists of Christmas songs and albums from the greater country and roots world, with the worst selections from folks like Dan + Shay and Florida Georgia Line omitted to keep the spirit bright.
This playlist was painstakingly researched and curated, and was also a blast to put together with so many excellent country Christmas songs being released this year. It’s country, it’s cool, it’s campy in spots, funny in others, and sentimental at the right moments. The 2020 Christmas season in country music will be one for the ages, so sit back and enjoy.
- Randall King – “Run Run Rudolph”
- Dallas Moore – “Honky Tonk Holidaze”
- Dani Taylor – “Does It Snow in Nashville”
- Bobby Cool – Christmas Tree EP – “Jingle Bells”
- Dolly Parton with Willie Nelson – A Holly Dolly Christmas – “Pretty Paper”
- The Shootouts – “Look Out The Window”
- Tyller Gummersall – “Christmas For Cowboys”
- Sierra Ferrell – “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” (also released”Jingle Bell Rock”)
- Dustin Herring – “Keystone Christmas”
- Nick Lowe w/ Los Straitjackets – “Let It Snow” (also released “Winter Wonderland”)
- The Petersens – Christmas with the Petersens – “Santa Train / Sleigh Ride”
- Frank Solivan – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
- Alex Maxwell, Dawson Edwards and Bryan Frazier – “White Trash Christmas”
- Ana Cristina Cash – “Mele Kalikamaka”
- Chandler Holt w/ Lauren Stovall (fmr. Chatham County Line) – “Winter’s Night Waltz”
- Andrew Bird – Hark! – “O Holy Night”
- Murder By Death – Lonesome Holiday – “Holiday Road”
- Scarlett Burke, Hailey Whitters – “Howdy Christmas”
- Cory Marks- “Jingle My Bells” (The Tractors cover)
- The Northern Belle – “Dim Down (The Christmas Lights)”
- Tommy Emmanuel – Live! Christmas Time – “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”
- Buck Owens – A Merry Hee-Haw Christmas (Reissue) – “Good Old Fashioned Country Christmas”
- Victoria Bailey – “Christmas Must Be Tonight”
- Ben Danaher w/ Ashley Ray – “Just Like Christmas”
- Chevel Shepherd – A Good Ol’ Country Christmas – “Country Christmas”
- Bobby Cool – Christmas Tree EP – “O Come All Ye Faithful”
- Tami Neilson – “Pretty Paper”
- Kinny Hubby – “Covid Christmas”
- Lauren Calve – “Christmas Is Where The Heart Is”
- Ingrid Andress – “Christmas Always Finds Me”
- Grant-Lee Phillips – Yuletide EP – “Auld Lang Syne”
Other Christmas Releases To Check Out
All-Star Cajun/Creole Artists – Joyeux Noël, Bon Chrismeusse (Available on Bandcamp) with: Chas Justus, Trey Boudreaux, Chris Stafford, Matt Meyer, Joel Savoy, Tim McFatter, Paul Anastasio, Blake Miller, Amelia Biere, Megan Constantin, Kelli Jones, Courtney Granger, and MORE!
Alan Jackson – ‘Tis The Season EP
Terri Clark – It’s Christmas … Cheers!
Larry Stewart (Restless Heart) – Everyday Is Christmas
Maddie & Tae – We Need Christmas
Carrie Underwood – My Gift
Nicki Bluhm – Buon Natale
Janie Fricke – A Cowgirl Country Christmas (Not Available on Some Streaming Sites)
David Frizzell has released a CD and storybook called Barnyard Christmas telling the Christmas story from the perspective of the animals in the manger. It is available on his website.
T. G. Sheppard & Kelly Lang – “Christmas in Mexico”
Ronnie Milsap – “Merry, Merry Christmas Baby”
Cadie Calhoun – “Snow White Christmas Down in Tennessee”
Eric Brace & Last Train Home – “By The Lights on the Tree”
Sweetlove and Wes Hutchinson – “Christmas Without You”
Lee Brice – “Go Tell It On The Mountain”
Ron Pope – “Christmas Where I Come From”
Matt Woods – “Wake Me on Christmas”
Robynn Shayne – “I Wish It Was Christmas”
Terry Klein – “The Last Great Christmas”
Carolina Story – “Christmas Time Is Here” and “New Year’s Eve”
Mary Sarah has an acoustic cover of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” she just released.