Well damn, here we are almost to the halfway pole of 2022, and it’s time to make sure you’re informed about all the best album releases coming up. You can find a detailed list of all the confirmed album releases for the 2nd half of 2022 below, some specific albums from each release week that you should make sure to not overlook, and the always-exciting “Rumor Mill” where intelligence is gathered on potential upcoming releases.
Hint: Bookmark this page, and come back each Friday to stay up-to-date with releases. This list will be updated regularly 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 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.
49 Winchester – Fortune Favors The Bold – May 13th
49 Winchester was the little band that could from Castlewood, Virginia, until they became the little band from Castlewood, Virginia that did. Spirited forward from the strength of their third album III released in 2020, and numerous local and festival performances that had folks raving about them, they signed to New West Records in 2021.
“Everything has to be built. And very few people are going to achieve success overnight,” says frontman Isaac Gibson. “We didn’t start out as a bunch of hot shot pickers out of Nashville. We started out on the ground floor — very basic songwriting and instrumentation. But we kept working at it, always progressing in what we wanted to do and how we wanted to sound — each song better than the previous one, the show this evening better than last night.” (read more)
Lyle Lovett – 12th of June – May 13th
It was 10 years ago last month that Lyle Lovett finally emerged out from under the oppressive thumb of Curb Records who’d he’d labored under for the duration of his career. But once the swing-infused country legend from Texas was free, he didn’t jump right back into the studio, he seemed perfectly content enjoying the next phase of his career with a bit more ease.
But now he’s finally back with his 12th studio album produced by Lovett himself with Chuck Ainlay. It also appears that folks like Stuart Duncan, Sam Bush, Bryan Sutton, Luke Bulla, and Russ Kunkel were part of the recording process too. The title track already has many excited about the release. (read more)
Zach Bryan – American Heartbreak – May 20th
34 songs will end up on this highly-anticipated record from the Oklahoma native. Word is Zach Bryan has been working with a number of producers in multiple locations, trying to find the right chemistry to make sure the momentum he spurned recording his debut album in an Air BNB with a bunch of Navy buds—and later followed it up with an album recorded in a barn in the Pacific Northwest—doesn’t get stymied by a stuffy studio setting.
“I didn’t call it ‘American Heartbreak’ after a tacky love story, but because we all face trials every day and put ourselves back together every single time regardless. Whether in relationships or jobs, our families, our dreams or our let downs, I just wrote the whole thing praying someone just might relate to a story or two. I love you guys and I can’t wait for y’all to hear it.” (read more)
Wilco – Cruel Country – May 27th
Is Wilco a country band? Growing out of Uncle Tupelo, which many identify as the first alternative country band, they at least have some claim to country influences, and they look to embrace them on their upcoming album Cruel Country. Listening to some of the early singles, don’t expect a super twangy affair, but do expect it to be more folk rock than some of their most recent stuff.
“We’ve never been particularly comfortable with accepting that definition, the idea that I was making country music. But now, having been around the block a few times, we’re finding it exhilarating to free ourselves within the form, and embrace the simple limitation of calling the music we’re making country,” says Jeff Tweedy.
Steve Earle & the Dukes – Jerry Jeff – May 27th
Steve Earle was the fly on the wall for it all. And as his friends have fallen—Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and even his own son Justin Townes—Steve has stood up with his band The Dukes to pay tribute.
Jerry Jeff Walker died on October 23rd, 2020, but not before becoming a folk hero from the song “Mr. Bojangles,” and helping to set up the conditions in Austin, TX that would ultimately make it the Live Music Capital of the World, and an alternative to Nashville. And now one of his many understudies will release this tribute via New West Records. “This record completes the set, the work of my first-hand teachers,” Earle explains. (read more)
American Aquarium – Chicamacomico – June 10th
Named after a former life-saving station built in 1874 on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Chicamacomico will be the North Carolina-based band’s ninth studio record, and they promise that this one will not necessarily be the rancorous country rock affair of some of their previous records, but put the songwriting out front. This is facilitated by bringing producer Brad Cook on board, who produced BJ Barham’s stripped-down 2016 album Rockingham, as well as the band’s 2015 album Wolves.
“When you are young, you want to play everything loud and fast and I think that comes, at least in part, from uncertainty,” says BJ Barham. “I hadn’t fully found my voice back in those early days so the louder and faster the songs were the less chance someone could actually hear what I was saying.” (read more)
Michaela Anne – Oh to Be That Free – June 10th
Lots of changes have occurred in life since we last heard from Michaela Anne: becoming a mother, becoming sober, and almost losing her mother to a stroke, let alone a global pandemic. But like all great artists who know how to become a barometer for their time, so did Michaela, even though she wrote most of the songs before all of this upheaval. To be released by Yep Rock, it takes a more ethereal, and less twangy approach that has marked Michaela’s most recent output.
“It’s kind of surreal the way this record turned out to be exactly what I needed to hear when I was at my lowest,” she reflects. “These songs became healers, almost as if I’d written them as letters to my future self.”
Hank Williams Jr. – Rich White Honky Blues – June 17th
Those who know Hank Williams Jr., they know that he’s always considered the blues as the ultimate foundation to his sound, not dissimilar to his famous father, who was taught to play guitar by a local blues performer named Rufus “Tee-Tot” Payne. Well now for the first time, Hank Williams Jr. will fully immerse himself into the blues side of country in a new album called Rich White Honky Blues produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.
“The blues is where it all comes from,” says Williams. “It’s the start of everything musical in my family; everything starts with Tee-Tot and flows from there. I’ve always flirted with this stripped back blues—all the way back to the ‘80s. But I finally made an album that’s just that, and I like it.” (read more)
IV and the Strange Band – Southern Circus – June 17th
A fourth generation of the Hank Williams lineage will officially be crowned when IV and the Strange Band featuring Coleman Williams release their debut album Southern Circus. As the great grandson of Hank Williams, grandson of Hank Jr., and the son of Hank Williams III, Coleman Williams decided to get into the family business at the age of 30.
“Before I even knew who I was, people were already expecting things of me,” Coleman says. “It felt like there was zero freedom of expression for someone with the last name ‘Williams.’ Singing about a bloodline didn’t appeal to me, though. I wasn’t interested in fitting into a shadow that already existed. What did appeal to me was the underground scene in Nashville.” (read more)
Aaron Watson – Unwanted Man – June 17th
This could definitely be an interesting record from Aaron Watson, pulling no punches, and expending pent-up energy in the pandemic in songs he wrote all by himself aside for two of them, and producing the album himself as well. There’s definitely a stripped-down edge and grit to some of the earlier tracks he’s released so far.
He said recently, “When I get a little bit pissed off and competitive that’s when I do my best stuff, and I’m right there right now. It was really the first time I was like ‘there is no theme, these are my songs’ … I’m going for the jugular of mainstream country music here in the future.”
BlackHawk – Blue Highway – June 24th
If you’re caught up in the whole 90’s country craze, but are not quite sold on new artists trying to emulate that sound as opposed to the real deal, but still want to hear something you’ve never heard before, you happen to be in luck. The 90s country band BlackHawk has a new album on the way, but it’s an old one too.
The group was made up of vocalists and songwriters Henry Paul, Dave Robbins, and Van Stephenson—the latter whose death in 2001 due to Cancer resulted in the end of the original version of the group. But lo and behold, there was a sixth record—or at least the bare bones of one—that was recorded in 1992, but the songs were never finished. All twelve songs were written by the BlackHawk members. (read more)
Arlo McKinley – This Mess We’re In – July 15th
The last time Arlo McKinley released a record, the darn thing hauled off and won Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year. All the more reason to not temper excitement for his second album on John Prine’s Oh Boy Records.
“I’m private with a lot of things I go through, but in my songs, I’m honest about everything. So I started to write as a way of getting stuff out,” McKinley says. “To me, ‘This Mess We’re In’ is a growth record. I was navigating through a pretty bad time, but also there was the realization that it’s time to really change. My last album was me figuring out whether to stay or go from a very confused spot in my life. This one is trying to better myself—as a musician, as a human being, as a friend.” (read more)
Willi Carlisle – Peculiar, Missouri – July 15th
Those who’ve seen the whimsical and enthralling folk country storyteller from Arkansas named Willi Carlisle in person will swear by the natural showmanship he exudes, the enchantment of the old traditional songs and tall tales he unearths, and the magnetism of the original songs he composes.
Willi Carlisle is like few things you will experience in music. His songs are strongly literary with rich characters, and his delivery is deeply compelling. And whether he gets you to laughing, crying, feeling unsettled, or infinitely satisfied, Carlisle always leaves a lasting impression. (read more)
Tami Neilson – KINGMAKER – July 15th
At Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion in mid March, Canadian-born and New Zealand-based country soul artist Tami Neilson was set to perform early in the day. Those who knew of Tami, they knew to arrive early to catch her set. Little did we know watching Tami perform that we would get the rare treat of seeing Willie Nelson himself appear on stage to sing a duet with Neilson.
Called “Beyond The Stars,” the song was written in tribute to Tami’s father, and is the first taste of her new album KINGMAKER. If the song is any indication, the new album will be yet another excellent selection from Tami Neilson. (read more)
Something Borrowed, Something New: A Tribute to John Anderson – August 5th
Tyler Childers, Jamey Johnson, Brent Cobb, Sierra Ferrell, Sturgill Simpson, and even the late John Prine will make an appearance, as will big mainstream names like Eric Church and Luke Combs, with the selection being produced by Dan Auerbach and David Ferguson—the same duo behind John Anderson’s well-received comeback record in 2020 called Years.
“Listening to everybody do their own takes on the songs shows how the songs really come through,” says Anderson. “And I thought to myself, ‘You might have been young and foolish back then, but you sure did pick some good songs. It’s very gratifying to know that some things really do not change, and a great country song remains a great country song. Any one person on the record would be a real tribute, but all of them together? It’s a pretty big deal for me personally.” (read more)
Kelsey Waldon – No Regular Dog – August 12th
Part of both the insurgent country music movement, and the groundswell of Kentucky songwriters reshaping the modern country landscape, Kelsey Waldon from Monkey’s Eyebrow, KY is getting ready to release fourth album. Produced by Shooter Jennings, and recorded in Los Angeles, the album is said to include some of Waldon’s most personal songs to date, and believe it or not, the first love song she’s written called “Simple As Love.”
“I hope that these songs are able to live with people and help make the world a little better, because I think that’s a big part of what my job is,” says Waldon. “At the end of the day, I’m so thankful for my passion for music because it’s sustained me throughout my whole life, and now I want it to do the same for other people.” (read more)
OTHER ANTICIPATED/CONFIRMED RELEASES
Luther Black and the Cold Hard Facts – Moment of Truth
Joseph Huber – The Downtowner
49 Winchester – Fortune Favors The Bold
Abbie Gardner – DobroSinger
Steve Forbert – Moving Through America
Mama’s Broke – Narrow Line
Christopher Lockett – At The Station
Joshua Dylan Balis – We’re On Fire
John Ingraham – Self-Titled
Lyle Lovett – 12th of June
Maura Streppa – Singer and the Song
Silver Lining – Go Out Nowhere
Cody Tyler & Gypsy Convoy – Stare Your Demons Down
Wayne Willingham – Temptation Row
Delbert McClinton – Outdated Emotion
Trey Wellington – Black Banjo
D. Striker – Hullabaloo
Zach Bryan – American Heartbreak
Thomas Dollbaum – Wellswood
Laney Jones – Stories Up High
Avi Kaplan – Floating on a Dream
Shawn Williams – Wallowin’ in the Night
Nate Bergman – Metaphysical Change
Banditos – Right On
Seth Walker – I Hope I Know
Left Arm Tan – Undefeated
Heidi Talbot – Sing It For a Lifetime
Suzie Brown – Some See The Flowers
Widespread Panic – Miss Kitty’s Lounge (demos)
Nitty Gritty Dirt Bad – Dirt Does Dylan
Cristina Vane – Make Myself Me Again
Steve Earle & The Dukes – Jerry Jeff
Grant-Lee Phillips – All That You Can Dream
Cheryl Cawood – Bullet In The Cabin Wall
Secret Emchy Society – Gold Country / Country Gold
Jaelee Roberts – Something You Didn’t Count On
John Doe – Fables in a Foreign Land
Matt Moran – Heartache Kid
Wilco – Cruel Country
Corner House – How Beautiful It’s Been
Mark Jones – Scars EP
June 1st – Jack Klatt –Edge of the End EP
Michael Shaw – He Rode On
S.G. Goodman – Teeth Marks
Mary Gauthier – Dark Enough To See The Stars
The Bombadils – Dear Friend
Nicki Bluhm – Avodale Drive
Roberto Trevizan – Real Tips
Drive-By Truckers – Welcome 2 Club XIII
Blue Dogs – Big Dreamers
The Sheepdogs – Outta Sight
Andrew Bird – Inside Problems
Wes Collins – Jabberwockies
Eli Young Band – Love Talking
The Redhill Valleys – Travel Well (Disc One)
The Slocan Ramblers – Up the Hill and Through the Fog
A Little Farther West – Vaya Con Dios
Carrie Underwood – Denim and Rhinestones
American Aquarium – Chicamacomico
Mapache – Roscoe’s Dream
Rod Picott – Paper Hearts and Broken Arrows
Bill Anderson – As Far As I Can See: The Best Of
Patty Griffin – Tape (home recordings and demos)
David Newbould – Power Up!
Michaela Anne – Oh to Be That Free
Calder Allen – The Game
Haroula Rose – Catch The Light
Hank Williams Jr. – Rich White Honky Blues
Meredith Lazowski – Other Way Home
IV and The Strange Band – Southern Circus
Stacy Antonel – Always the Outsider
Daniel Sherrill – From a Heritage Tree
Aaron Watson – Unwanted Man
Drew Kennedy – Marathon
Silver Lake 66 – The Space Between Us
Brett Eldredge – Songs About You
The Damn Quails – Clouding Up Your City
Lydia Luce – Garden Songs EP
Creed Fisher – Rebel in the South
Hackensaw Boys – Self-Titled
BlackHawk – Blue Highway
Peter Rowan – Calling You From My Mountain
Luke Combs – Growin’ Up
Rusty Tinder – Alchemy Road
Raleigh Keegan – A Tale of Seven Cities
Jimmie Allen – Tulip Drive
BlackHawk – Blue Highway
CAAMP – Lavender Days
Certainly So – Dreams of Green
The Deslondes – Ways & Means
Michelle Rivers – Chasing Somewhere
Kimberly Kelly – I’ll Tell You What’s Gonna Happen
Arlo McKinley – This Mess We’re In
Willi Carlisle – Peculiar, Missouri
Tami Neilson – KINGMAKER
Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters – Heavy Denim
The Local Honeys – Self-Titled
Wade Sapp – Radio Check
John Moreland – Birds in the Ceiling
The Sadies – Colder Streams
Andrew Duhon – Emerald Blue
Whiskey Myers – Tornillo
Nick Nace – The Harder Stuff
Monica Taylor – Trains, Rivers, and Trails
John Calvin Abney – Sleepwalkers
Something Borrowed, Something New: A Tribute to John Anderson
Will Stewart – Slow Life
Kelsey Waldon – No Regular Dog
Wade Bowen – Somewhere Between The Secret and the Truth
Embla and the Karidotters – Hello, I’m Embla
Marcus King – Young Blood
Bo Armstrong – if your tired heart is aching
Dr. John – Things Happen That Way
THE RUMOR MILL
Gene Watson has a new album on the way called Outside The Box that will be out this fall. No specific release date or further details just yet.
A new album from the supergroup The Panhandlers (Josh Abbott, John Baumann, Cleto Cordero, and William Clark Green) is finished according to William Clark Green.
The Turnpike Troubadours were rumored to have supposed to have been in the studio last September recording a new album, but it might have fallen through with the producer and not come to pass. New rumors had them in FAME studios in Muscle Shoals in February of this year, with a few fuzzy unverified photos placing them there, with some now linking Shooter Jennings to the project. Don’t get your hopes up though, because nothing has been confirmed, and word is it could be 2023 before we get a new album. Evan Felker did play a new song in Houston on May 7th called “Cat In The Rain,” so perhaps a single could be released before the end of the year.
Gabe Lee should be announcing a new album soon.
Eric Strickland has a new album on the way called Testimony. He’s already released a six song EP called Prelude as part of the album, and recently, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was caught in a video listening to one of Strickland’s songs.
During his recent Healing Appalachia fundraiser, Tyler Childers debuted a new song called “Rustin’ in the Rain,” but of course Childers has all kinds of unreleased songs floating out there. Whether he’ll compile them into an album anytime soon remains uncertain, with the recent announcement of a baby on the way having Childers confirm he’ll only be doing limited engagements for the next year or so.
Kevin Galloway of Uncle Lucius is rumored to have a second solo album on the way.
The Tender Things will have a new album soon called That Texas Touch produced by Gordy Quist.
Along with a 34-song album, Zach Bryan says he has a couple of EPs on the way, one called Summertime Blues, and another to be called Armed Forces Medley “for all the men and women serving this country.”
Jake Worthington has signed to Big Loud. New album in the works.
Sunny Sweeney has finished a new record. Expect more information soon.
Dalton Domino has a new album on the way from Lightning Rod Records called Arizona. No release date yet, but the first song “Wannabe” is out now, and the full thing is expected sometime this summer.
Brit Taylor has a new album on the way produced by Sturgill Simpson.
Channing Wilson has a new album on the way he recorded with Dave Cobb.
Daniel Miller & The High Life will have a new album in 2022.
Jason Hawk Harris, who was a refugee after Bloodshot Records went defunct, recently ran a crowdfunding campaign on Twitter, and promises he’ll be finishing up a new album soon.
Pecos and the Rooftops have an album coming out in the fall called Cabin Fever.
Wade Sapp appears to have a new album in the works, with a debut single “Keep On Truckin'” out now.