After a rather light Q4 of 2020 and Q1 of 2021 in the release department at least by volume, we’re about to get absolutely barraged with top notch releases in country and roots music in the coming months. So to help you navitagte your way through the upcoming onslaught, here is a detailed list of the albums you should be looking out for, a more complete list of all of the albums being released in country and roots, and the always-fun rumor mill about what might be coming up soon.
Hint: Bookmark this page, and come back on Fridays to make sure you don’t miss anything important. This list will be updated periodically under the “confirmed releases” heading when new albums are announced, though older albums won’t be removed from the list so people can look back at what they might have missed.
PLEASE NOTE: No artist or album was overlooked, snubbed, or disregarded here. If you know of an album that is going to be released that you believe is of interest to country and roots music, please feel free to share the information below in the comments section for the benefit of everyone.
Charlie Marie – Ramble On – May 7
Ever since honky tonk sweetheart Charlie Marie from the unexpected origin point of Providence, Rhode Island sent hearts swooning with her self-titled five-song EP in 2019, we’ve been we’ve been waiting for something new, and for the moment that hopefully might be her big country music breakout. Well ladies and gentlemen, this could be it.
Charlie Marie will be releasing her full-length debut album called Ramble On via Soundly Music. Recorded in Nashville with some of the folks who’ve worked with Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Margo Price and others in the past, this is Charlie Marie’s big push to become part of the resurgent country music community looking to return country music to its roots. (read more)
Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram and Jon Randall – The Marfa Tapes – May 7
No, don’t expect this to be a proper studio release from Lam Lam with radio singles and the like, or a replacement for Miranda’s other performing troika The Pistol Annies. The point of this project is to pull strings and scribble lyrics, and strip it all back to the heart of the songwriting process. Consider it Lambert’s contribution to pandemic-era records.
“They’re raw,” Lambert says about the album’s 15 songs. “You can hear the wind blowing, the cows mooing… We wanted you to feel like you were right there with us, sitting around the campfire, escaping the world, disappearing into the music.” (read more)
Travis Tritt – Set In Stone – May 7th
A new original studio album is on the way from Travis Tritt, finally. His first original album in over 13 years, the 90’s country legend who’s sold more than 30 million records worldwide signed with the Los Angeles-based record label Big Noise earlier this year, and will be releasing a Dave Cobb-produced record sometime in 2021. The album was originally promised in 2020, and Tritt released the first single “Ghost Town Nation” on September 25th. But no solid release date for the album has been set.
“I’m very excited about recording the new album with Dave Cobb,” Travis Tritt says. “I’m also glad to be partnering with the Big Noise team and I’m looking forward to promoting this album with them in my corner.”
Cody Jinks – Unplugged & Behind the Music: Adobe Sessions – May 7
After the enthusiasm for Cody’s Unplugged & Behind the Music: Adobe Sessions live stream on September 12th, 2020, he will be finally be releasing the audio from the session in album form on May 7th. Fans who purchased tickets to the live stream already received the album, but now it will be available to the wide public.
Featuring acoustic renditions of the songs from the album many consider to be his magnum opus. The album is expected to be Certified Gold any day now, while the song “Loud & Heavy” from the record has already been Certified Platinum.
Alan Jackson – Where Have You Gone – May 14
The long wait for new music from Alan Jackson will soon be over. After nearly six years since his last release Angels & Alcohol in July of 2015, Alan Jackson has unveiled a new project called Where Have You Gone, and with 21 songs, he’s more than making up for lost time.
Where Have You Gone will include numerous personal songs. Jackson has three daughters: Mattie Denise, Alexandra “Ali” Jane, and Dani Grace. Two songs were specifically written for the weddings of his daughters in “You’ll Always Be My Baby” and “I Do.” Alan Jackson’s mother also died since he last released music. Ruth Musick “Mama Ruth” Jackson passed away in 2017 at the age of 86, and Alan tributes her in the song “Where Her Heart Has Always Been” written for her funeral. Alan Jackson also tributes the late great Merle Haggard with a rendition of “That’s The Way Love Goes,” recorded by The Hag in 1983 as a title track to his album.
The Steel Woods – All of Your Stones – May 14
The death of guitar player, songwriter, and founding member of The Steel Woods Jason “Rowdy” Cope on January 16th sent shock waves throughout the independent country and Southern rock world. The 42-year-old was a much beloved member of the community. It also threw the future of one of the fastest-rising bands in independent country into uncertainty.
At the time of Rowdy’s death, The Steel Woods were in the midst of preparing to release what they believe to be their magnum opus, written and recorded with Rowdy called All Of Your Stones. To honor Jason “Rowdy” Cope and to bring his final work to life, and after much soul searching, the remaining members of The Steel Woods have decided to soldier on. Lead singer Wes Bayliss, bassist Johnny Stanton, and drummer Isaac Senty will continue forward with the blessing of Rowdy’s family and with what they believe would be Rowdy’s wishes. (read more)
Blackberry Smoke – You Hear Georgia – May 28
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the band and re-establish their Southern roots, Georgia-based Southern rock badasses Blackberry Smoke will be releasing their latest record called You Hear Georgia. Produced by fellow Georgia native Dave Cobb, the album is all about their deep appreciation for the Peach State, especially the title track.
With new music also comes a couple of new members to the group who you may notice in the promo photos for the band. Joining the band now both in the studio and on the road is well-known Atlanta percussionist Preston Holcomb, as well as guitarist Benji Shanks who has worked with The Black Crowes and others in the past. Preston Holcomb and Benji Shanks are now considered full-time touring members of the band, and help the band stretch out their extended jams. (read more)
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real – A Few Stars Apart – June 11
The 11 tracks produced by Dave Cobb were recorded at Studio ‘A’ in Nashville, and cut to 8-track tape to given them a warm, organic feel. “What we loved about working with Dave was that his approach to recording us was exactly how we wanted it. Which is, we want to have it on tape, in a physical place, not just in a digital realm but also in an analog realm. And we wanted to have it more or less live. We sat in the studio just like they did back in RCA in the day, with an eight-track tape machine.”
The songs for the new album came from Lukas quarantining with his famous father, along with the rest of his immediate family during the pandemic. “I’m from what one might say is the ultimate road family—I’ve been on the road my entire life. I’ve never been anywhere longer than three months, and suddenly here we are, the four of us together. And thank god we were together. I can’t remember the last time we had that much time together as a family. And I have to say, as terrible as the pandemic has been in so many ways, for my inner peace, I was able to take a lot of good from this time. I was able to pause and reflect.”
Vincent Neil Emerson – Self-Titled – June 25
Quickly emerging Texas singer/songwriter Vincent Neil Emerson will be releasing his new, self-titled album produced by Rodney Crowell via La Honda Records. It’s the same label home of Colter Wall distributed by Thirty Tigers. The new title looks to pick up where Vincent’s debut record Fried Chicken & Evil Women left off, which was introducing Emerson as one of the premier storytellers in the emerging class of performers.
“If he grows on the public the way he’s grown on me, it’s possible young Vincent will plant the flag of his [songwriting] forebears firmly in the consciousness of a whole new generation,” Rodney Crowell says. Pretty resounding praise for sure. (read more)
J.P. Hariss’ Dreadful Wind & Rain – Don’t You Marry No Railroad Man – June 25
Honky-tonker, songwriter, and master carpenter J.P. Harris has been at or near the top of the heap of cool independent country guys for years, and now he’s decided to delve deep into his roots of traditional Appalachian mountain music for his next album entitled Don’t You Marry No Railroad Man, and teamed up with none other than Chance McCoy previously of Old Crow Medicine Show in a collaborative project he calls, J.P. Harris’ Dreadful Wind & Rain.
To be released on Free Dirt Records, J.P. Harris says about it, “For many years prior to my country career, I built and played fretless old time banjos, finding community in the somewhat-forgotten world of Appalachian stringband music. One of the enduring friendships from those days is with my dear friend Chance McCoy, who engineered, produced, and fiddled on this album.” (read more)
Willie Nelson – Letters To America (Book) – June 29
As prolific as Willie Nelson has been in the studio now well into his 80’s, he’s also been busy as an author and contributor, doing what he can to capture his wisdom in the written word, and share it with the rest of us. His latest installment will be called Letters To America, and was written with Texas Monthly contributor Turk Pipkin—the same collaborator Willie worked with for his 2006 book, The Tao of Willie. The book is set to be released via Harper Horizon.
From the opening letter “Dear America,” to the ending “Dear Willie” epilogue, Willie is said to dig deep into his heart and soul to lift us up in difficult times, and to remind us of the endless promise and continuous obligations of all Americans—to both themselves, to one another, and to the nation. The book adopts a subtle, but patriotic theme. (read more)
Tylor & The Train Robbers – Non-Typical Find – July 9
Tylor & The Train Robbers are Idaho’s contingent for independent country roots that garnered national and international appeal for their last album Best of the Worst Kind. Now for the first time they’re working with an outside producer, and it’s one with Idaho ties himself, Cody Braun of Reckless Kelly.
“It’s also the first time we’ve recorded an album of brand new songs that we had not already been playing live for months (or years) before recording,” says Tylor Ketchum. “Lyrically all the songs were finished before we went in to record, but one of the things that Cody encouraged us to do was to let the arrangements come together in real time in the studio. We wanted to allow the songs to evolve during the recording process and leave room for creative collaboration with all the musicians who played on the album.”
OTHER CONFIRMED RELEASES
Tejon Street Corner Thieves – Stolen Goods – May 7
The Sweet Lillies – Common Ground – May 7
Graham Sharp – Truer Picture – May 7
Ted Russell Kamp – Solitaire – May 7
Graham Sharp – Truer Picture – May 7
Tony Joe White – Smoke From The Chimney – May 7
Grace Pettis – Working Woman – May 7
Blue Cactus – Strangers Again – May 7
Leftover Salmon – Brand New Good Old Days – May 7
Grace Pettis – Working Woman – May 7
Christina Aldean & Alex Patterson – Hunter – May 7
Sarah Jarosz – Blue Heron Suite – May 7
Jesse Keith Whitley – Breakin’ Ground – May 9
Soo Line Loons – Self-Titled – May 14
The Deep Dark Woods – Changing Faces – May 14
Steven Gellman – Cold Harbor – May 14
Sam Robbins – Finally Feeling Young – May 14
Dillon Carmichael – Hot Beer EP – May 14
Jesse Terry – May We Wander – May 14
Lucas Ebert – Nobody EP – May 14
Riley Dowling – Start It Over– May 14
Lindsey Ellyn – Queen of Nothing – May 14
Shay Martin Lovette – Scatter & Gather – May 14
Chris Madden – Dive Bar/Dead Town – May 14
Steve Goodman – It Sure Looked Good On Paper: The Steve Goodman Demos – May 14
Full Cord – Hindsight – May 15
Ashleigh Flynn & The Riveters – Live From The Blue Moon – May 18
Michigan Rattlers – That Kind of Life – May 19
Desert Hollow – Thirsty – May 21
Ida Red – Harmony Grits – May 21
John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band – Leftover Feelings – May 21
Robert Finley – Sharecropper’s Son – May 21
Paul Handyside – Loveless Town – May 21
Trapper Schoepp – May Day – May 21
Bill and the Belles – Happy Again – May 21
Oliver Wood (Wood Brothers) – Always Smilin’ – May 21
Graber Gryass – Spaceman’s Wonderbox – May 21
Paula Cole – American Quilt – May 21
Korby Lenker – Man in the Maroon – May 21
David Allan Coe – Live from the Iron Horse (Reissue) – May 21
Rod Picott with Slaid Cleaves – Wood, Steel, Dust & Dreams – May 21
Allison Russell – Outside Child – May 21
Henhouse Prowlers – Short Branch Saloon – May 21
Chestnut Grove – The Album – May 21
Star Thistle – The Best of Star Thistle – May 24
Shannon McNally – The Waylon Sessions – May 28
Toler Gibson – The Days Before – May 28
Ashley McBryde – Never Will: Live from a Distance – May 28
Everett Parker – Outbound Travelin’ Crazies – May 28
Rider & Rolling Thunder – On The Banks of the Tennessee – May 28
Beth Whitney – Into the Ground – May 28
Genesis Fermin – Self-Titled – May 28
River Kittens – Soaking Wet – May 28
Rhonda Vincent – Music Is What I See – May 28
Clint Anglin – Bottle, Guitar, and Me – May 28
Asleep at the Wheel – Better Times EP – May 28
Jamestown Revival – Fireside With Louis L’Amour EP – May 28
Bo DePeña – It’s About to Get Western – May 28
The Contraptionists – Working Man’s Dread – May 29
Mark Rubin – The Triumph of Assimilation – June 1
Sam Filiatreau – Self-Titled – June 1
Gorky – Sitgreaves County – June 2
Turner Cody – Friends in High Places – June 4
Annie Keating – Bristol County Tides – June 4
Swift Silver – Self-Titled – June 4
Angela Autumn – Frontiers Woman – June 4
Satsang – All. Right. Now. – June 4
Red Shahan – Javelina – June 4
Colt McCannon – Self-Titled – June 4
Louien – No Tomorrow EP – June 4
Chief Ghoul – These Lycanthropic Blues – June 4
Mark Collie – Book of My Blues – June 4
Tristen – Aquatic Flowers – June 4
Gord Bamford – Diamonds in a Whiskey Glass – June 4
Arthur Stulien – Road More Known – June 4
Hellbound Glory, Lowdown Drifters, Dalton Domino, Taylor Hunnicutt, Seryn, TimLightyear – With A Little Help From My Friends EP – June 4
The Oak Ridge Boys – Front Porch Singin’ – June 11
Nefresh Mountain – Songs for the Sparrows – June 11
Sammy Sadler – 1989 – June 11
Jenny Don’t and the Spurs – Fire on the Ridge – June 11
Rachel Baiman – Cycles – June 11
Hannah Juanita – Hardliner – June 11
Jeremy James Meyer – Alive & OK – June 11
Cory Grider & The Playboy Scouts – Honky Tonkin’ Beauty Supreme – June 11
Buck T. Edwards – Don’t Give Me a Heartbreak – June 11
Garrett Wieland – What Keeps The Heart Afloat – June 11
Ida Mae – Click Click Domino – July 16th
Tyller Gummersall – Lucky Guy – June 17
Amy Helm – What The Flood Leaves Behind – June 18
Amythyst Kiah – Wary + Strange – June 18
K.C. Jones – The Queen of the In Between – June 18
Keeton Coffman – Hard Times – June 18
Jonathan Edwards – Right Here Where I Am – June 18
Azure Ray – Remedy – June 18
Rory Feek – Gentle Man – June 18
Michelle and Jason Hannan – Cheater’s Waltz – June 18
Ashley Riley – Set You Free – June 18
Brent Cobb – Little Stuff (Kid’s Book) – June 20
Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones – Here To Tell The Tale – June 25
Pilgrim – No Offense, Nevermind – June 25
Lake & Lyndale – In The Nude Vol. 1 EP – June 25
Hiss Golden Messenger – Quietly Blowing It – June 25
Dana Sipos – The Astral Plane – June 25
Anne Freeman – Keep It Close – June 25
Grant Maloy Smith – Appalachia: American Stories – June 25
Kyle LaLone – Looking for the Good – June 25
A Sweet Relief Tribute to Joey Spampinato (NRBQ) – June 25
Gary Allan – Ruthless – June 25
Jack Grace Band – What a Way To Spend a Night – June 25
Andy Velo – Way Out – June 25
Beyond the Lamplight (Ian & Andrew from Larry & His Flask) – Self-Titled EP – July 2
Petrella – Songs of Many Colors – July 1
Andrew Browning and the Nine Pound Hammers – Blood on the Door – July 2
Emily Duff – Razor Blade Smile – June 3
Mary Gauthier – Saved By A Song (Book) – July 6
Luke LeBlanc – Only Human – July 9
Brit Taylor – Real Me Deluxe – July 9
Ben Reddell Band – La Baby! – July 9
Murray McLauchlan – Hourglass – July 9
Chase Bryant – Upbringing – July 16
Charlie Worsham – Sugarcane EP – July 16
Jon Byrd – Me & Paul EP – July 16
John R. Miller – Depreciated – July 16
Kiss My Ass Goodbye – John Prine Tribute – July 17
Matt Prater – Ain’t Life a Trip – July 19
Dallas Burrow – Self-Titled – July 23
Ava Earl – The Roses – July 23
David Crosby – For Free – July 23
The Wandering Hearts – Self-Titled – July 30
Clay Walker – Texas to Tennessee – July 30
Los Lobos – Native Sons – July 30
Jim Lauderdale – Hope – July 30
Yola – Stand For Myself – July 30
The Wandering Hearts – Wild Silence – July 30
Charlie Parr – Last of the Better Day Ahead – July 30
Leah Shaw – Play Beautifully – July 30
Son Volt – Electro Melodier – July 30
Ric Robertson – Carolina Child – July 30
Nobody’s Girl – Self-Titled – July 31
Sean McConnell – A Horrible Beautiful Dream – August 6
Paul Thorn – It’s Never Too Late to Call – August 6
Them Coulee Boys – Namesake – August 6
Ro Myra – Nowhere, Nebraska – August 6
Suzie Ungerleider – My Name is Suzie Ungerleider – August 13
Jade Bird – Different Kinds of Light – August 13
Watchhouse (fmr. Mandolin Orange) – Self-Titled – August 13
Bendigo Fletcher – Fits of Laughter – August 13th
F. Scott and the Nighthawks – Hold Onto Your Heart – August 13
Willie Nile – The Day The Earth Stood Still – August 13
Anderson East – Maybe We Never Die – August 20
Malcom Holcombe – Tricks of the Trade – August 20
Billy Law – Alone Somewhere – August 20
Jason Eady – The The Passage of Time – August 27
Suzanne Santo – Yard Sale – August 27
Seth James – Different Hat – August 27
Sean Devine – Here For It All – September 3
Kanesha Sampson – Time Machine – September 10
Michael Monroe Goodman – When The Rain Came – September 10
Ray Scott – Cover The Earth – September 17
Jeremy Pinnell – Goodbye LA – October 1
Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows Vol. 2 (John Prine Tribute) – October 8
THE RUMOR MILL
Sturgill Simpson: “I’m already pretty much done writing my next record now. I’m gonna take my sweet-ass time on this one because I’m pretty sure I’m about to make my opus and then bow out and vaporize like Houdini.” (read more)
William Clark Green on 3/9: “Back to the studio this weekend. Time to get you all some new music.”
John R. Miller has signed to Rounder Records and released a couple of new songs. Expect an announcement on a new album very soon.
IV and the Strange Band (Hank3’s son) were supposed to release an EP on April 20th, but have delayed due to “new opportunities’ coming up. Be on the lookout for something from him later this year. (read more)
The Pistol Annies have been dropping multiple hints that something new might be on the way, perhaps a tour, or perhaps a new album.
The Wreckers (Michelle Branch, Jessica Harp) have been hinting they have a new record on the way.
Sierra Ferrell has signed to Rounder Records, and if and when she announces a new album, it will immediately rocket to the top of the “most anticipated” heap. But we continue to wait on a release date. (read more)
Don’t be surprised if American Aquarium have something new coming up soon…
“Work work work workin’ on new tunes for album number three” – Kristina Murray on March 6th.
Jeff Crosby has an EP called unAmerican coming.
Cody Jinks is currently in the studio (May). Word is Jinks has upwards of 50 separate tracks he’s been working on. Not all of them may make it on a record, but he’ll have plenty to choose from. And apparently he also has a Lefty Frizzell record ready to go. Stay tuned.
Jason Eady has released a new song “Back To Normal,” and he says he has a new album coming “later this year.”
Sunny Sweeney says she’s got a new original studio album coming in 2021.
Joe Nichols has been saying he’s got a new traditional country record on the way. He recently released a new single called “Home Run.” It’s not exactly traditional country.
Parker McCollum has a new album coming in July.
RC Edwards of the Turnpike Troubadours will release an album called Big Country with his side project RC and the Ambers. No word on a release date at the moment.
Jessi Colter has a new album on the way produced by Margo Price. They were in the studio together in May 2019.
Sarah Shook said on October 23rd, 2018 via social media, “Let it be known we are officially rehearsing for the next rekkid and we def gonna blow some minds bbs…” Perhaps drama at Bloodshot Records has slowed her release plans, but there may be some movement on it in 2021. Stay tuned.
Moot Davis, new album coming.
Charles Wesley Godwin seemed to hint on social media that he finished recording a new album on October 8th, 2020. Stay tuned for more details.
Sam Williams (Hank Jr.’s son) will have a new album Glasshouse Children out “this summer.”
Mandolin Orange is now named Watchhouse.
James McMurtry has signed to New West Records. New record coming.