Well ladies and gentlemen, all the down time of the quarantine is catching up with us with an extra busy final portion of 2021 when it comes to the release of new albums. So to help you stay on top of it all, find this handy dandy guide to the albums you should be on top of, including a few highlighted that you should make sure you don’t miss, and then a more comprehensive list below that.
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.
RC and the Ambers – Big Country – September 10th
Sorry, I can’t reveal new music from the Turnpike Troubadours at this turn, but Turnpike bass player, songwriter, and beating heart RC “Rooster” Edwards has been working a side hustle for some years now called RC and the Ambers with singer and long-time Turnpike friend Amber Watson, and they have a new album on the way.
Big Country features nine songs written or co-written by RC Edwards, another written by Turnpike Troubadours steel guitar/accordion player Hammerin’ Hank Early, and a cover of Hank Jr.’s “The Blues Man.” Also appearing on the album will be Turnpike fiddle player Kyle Nix and Turnpike drummer Gabriel Pearson. Hank Early produced the record, and plays multiple instruments on it as well. “I can promise you, it sounds nothing like a Turnpike record,” Hank Early says. (read more)
Dori Freeman – Ten Thousand Roses – September 10th
From Galax, Virginia, Appalachian darling Dori Freeman burrowed deep in all of our hearts with her debut album in 2016, and hasn’t let up since, taking her modern notions of traditional mountain folks tunes and making them into something that is undeniably Dori. Over time her music has evolved from the ultra-sparse and a capella songs to more Americana sounds, and her new album Ten Thousand Roses promises to continue this journey.
Where her first three records were produced by Teddy Thompson, for this one, her drummer and husband Nicholas Falk steps into that position. They’re joined by Steve Martin Prize-winning banjoist Victor Furtado, Eli Wildman on acoustic guitar and mandolin, Sam Fribush on piano and keys, and others.
Charley Crockett – Music City USA – September 17th
Charley Crockett might be a worthy candidate for the most interesting man in country music. Not only is the dude wildly talented and entertaining, while he tours constantly and finds the time to make cinematic quality videos, he also keeps up a hare’s pace in the studio. Earlier this year he released the 3rd installment in his “Lil’ G.L.” series paying homage to the past greats by recording ten songs in tribute to James “Slim” Hand. And even with releasing two records in 2020 as well, you knew Crockett wasn’t done with releasing new music in 2021.
Charley Crockett will release his latest album called Music City USA on September 17th via his own Son of Davy record label, distributed by Thirty Tigers. Though it might be titled after the nickname of Nashville, the album was recorded at Soil of the South Productions in Valdosta, GA and produced by Mark Neill, who also produced 2020’s Welcome to Hard Times. The new album includes a whopping sixteen tracks, including a cover of the iconic country song “Skip A Rope.” (read more)
Carly Pearce – 29: Written in Stone – September 17th
Carly Pearce just continues to prove that she’s a bright spot in the mainstream of country, and is making us proud once again. The only problem with the EP she released earlier this year entitled 29 was just that: it was only an EP. The seven songs seemed to denote a new direction for Carly back to her country roots that are strong and true and have just been waiting for the right opportunity to poke out through the surface.
Well now after the initial success she’s doubling down on that approach by releasing a proper full-length album called 29: Written in Stone, due out on September 17th. “I realized, as much as ’29’ captured a moment, I wasn’t done with the story,” Carly Pearce says, and though the new album will include the seven songs we already heard on the EP, it will also include eight new ones. (read more)
Billy Strings – Renewal – September 24th
What’s for certain is that we’re living in the era of Billy Strings. What this young man and his band are doing right now when they step up to the microphones in municipalities all across the country is other-worldly.
“After winning the Grammy, I went into the studio with newfound confidence. More than ever before, I trusted myself to experiment and push myself musically … I’ve learned, you’ve just got to let the song do its thing. So that’s what I try to do—write songs and let them come out however they do.”
Billy Strings has a writing credit on 13 of Renewal’s 16 songs, and he worked with his road band ion banjoist Billy Failing, bassist Royal Masat, and Jarrod Walker on mandolin. He also brought in guests John Mailander on fiddle, and Spencer Cullum Jr. on pedal steel. Though the foundation will still be bluegrass, folks who’ve followed Billy Strings for a while know elements of rock, heavy metal, and psychedelic music will work their way into the mix. (read more)
Randy Travis – Storms of Life (35th Anniversary Edition) – September 24th
Along with remastering the original 10 tracks of the now Triple Platinum-selling record, the new edition would also come with three previously-unreleased tracks. Recorded in 1985 around the time of the rest of the Storms of Life album, the three unreleased songs slide perfectly into the original track list.
“These three unreleased, never before heard Randy Travis recordings are like rambling around in your basement and stumbling on an old photo album,” says Kyle Lehning. “An album full of pictures of old friends and family. Some still with us and some long gone. Upon opening the album, the memories rush back full force. The smells, the feel and the sounds all awakened and new again.” (read more)
Johnny Cash – At The Carousel Ballroom – September 24th
This is not your average archive release. On April 24th, 1968, Johnny Cash, new wife June Carter, and the Tennessee Three showed up in the heart and at the height of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury for a performance at The Carousel Ballroom operated by none other than The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. On site at the time was the reclusive and highly-regarded recording engineer Owsley “Bear” Stanley to capture the 28-song set.
Owsley Stanley is the guy responsible for many of The Grateful Dead’s most legendary live recordings. He also was the chemist that supplied LSD to The Grateful Dead, Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, The Beatles, and others, and financed the Dead through his LSD business. Jerry Garcia may have been known as “Captain Trips,” but Stanley was known as “The King of Acid.” He also was the Dead’s sound engineer for years, and orchestrated their legendary “Wall of Sound” that made them such a massive concert draw for decades. (read more)
Joshua Ray Walker – See You Next Time – October 8th
Saving Country Music’s reigning Song of the Year winner (“Voices”) is releasing what he’s now revealing is the third installment in an album trilogy that the Dallas, TX native has used to launch his career. “The whole idea with the trilogy was to use the honky-tonk as a setting where all these different characters could interact with each other,” says Walker. “In my mind, this album’s taking place on the night before the bar closes forever—the songs are just me taking snapshots of that world, and all the moments that happen in it.”
Like the previous two albums, See You Next Time was recorded at Audio Dallas Recording Studio with producer John Pedigo, along with musicians such as pedal-steel player Adam “Ditch” Kurtz, and rhythm guitarist Nathan Mongol Wells of Walker’s country punk side project, Ottoman Turks.
Side Pony – Lucky Break – October 8th
Alice Wallace is the singing and yodeling songwriter from the West Coast that has captured many in a trance with her solo career, and Caitlin Cannon caught us all off guard with the pluck and attitude of her last album The TrashCannon Album that earned the rare 9.5 rating here at Saving Country Music. Who saw them conjoining in Nashville and starting a super duo? That’s what we have with Side Pony, and we’re here for it.
Recorded at the East Nashville studio of producer/guitarist Doug Lancio known for working with Patty Griffin and John Hiatt, Side Pony features accompaniment from Chris Autry (Josh Turner) on bass, Bryan Owings (Emmylou Harris) on drums, and other notables.
Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers – Cockadoodledeux – October 8th
UPDATE: Moved to November 5th
Over a decade ago when Saving Country Music was running down the top country albums of the aughts, the 2003 album Cockadoodledon’t from Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers released by Bloodshot Records came in at an enterprising #3. That’s how powerful, important, and timeless that title was. Now frontman Col. JD Wilkes has partnered with Jello Biafra of Alternative Tentacles and Dead Kennedys fame to release a sequel 18 years in the making, and to mark the 25th Anniversary of the band called Cockadoodledeux.
JD Wilkes says the record will include the same spirit of the first installment, but perhaps not as much wild variety as the original, which included punk, blues, and a bunch of other influences. But with this one, JD says it’s gonna be country. (read more)
Emily Scott Robinson – American Siren – October 29th
It’s been a long time coming for singer and songwriter Emily Scott Robinson, who won Saving Country Music’s Song of the Year in 2019 for “The Dress,” and was nominated for Album of the Year in 2019 as well, and for Song of the Year again in 2020 for the standalone single “The Time for Flowers.” Very highly regarded among the audience that knows her, hopefully that audience will be expanding dramatically after it was announced she has signed with Oh Boy Records originally founded by John Prine to release this new record.
“I think that the thread running through the album is those things that call to us, and how we can’t resist that call,” says Robinson. “It’s about the siren songs that come up through our lives. It is bigger and riskier and more expansive than my last collection. It feels like I wrote some songs that I’m going to grow into as I continue to perform them. They’re excavating some deeper stuff than I’ve touched on before, I think they will have a healing quality for people who listen.” (read more)
Hayes Carll – You Get It All – October 29th
Songwriter and native Texan Hayes Carll has always been one of those cats who’s sat right on the periphery of country music in that mutable, undefinable “Americana” space as someone similar to Townes Van Zant or Guy Clark who always put the songwriting first and worried about genre second. But Carll’s coming out and saying with his upcoming record called You Get It All on Dualtone that his country roots rise to the surface.
“I like to tug at heartstrings, find commonality with others, reflect on my own life, and sometimes I do it in a lighthearted way,” says Carll. “A lot of musical styles found their way onto this record, but my first and most formative influences came from country music. This is a country singer-songwriter record. It’s just unapologetically me.” (read more)
Cody Jinks – Mercy -November 12th
The 12-track album was culled down from 30 songs Jinks recorded in May with his backing band the Tonedeaf Hippies at the Sonic Ranch recording enclave in West Texas. As part of the release, Jinks has formed his own label called Late August Records with his longtime manager Arthur Penhallow Jr. at True Grit Management, as well as Malia Barrett. The completely independent label will not only facilitate Cody’s new releases, but the entire Cody Jinks catalog has been brought under the Late August Records umbrella.
As an independent artist, Cody Jinks has amassed massive numbers, including over 2 billion song streams, including a Certified Gold single in “Hippies and Cowboy,” and a Platinum single in “Loud & Heavy.” (read more)
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Raise The Roof – November 19th
The 2007 album pairing up Led Zepplin frontman Robert Plant with singer and bluegrass maestro Alison Krauss called Raising Sand also pulled off the improbable, landing all sorts of accolades, including the all-genre Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 2009, and six Grammy trophies overall.
Ever since the success of Raising Sand, there’s been talk of a follow up, and apparently they tried to record one at some point with producer Daniel Lanois that never fully materialized. But apparently Robert and Alison’s mutual love for the song “Quattro (World Drifts In)” by Calexico inspired new sessions, with a new album is on the way. To be called Raise the Roof, the new album was produced by T-Bone Burnett, and features songs by Merle Haggard, Allen Toussaint, the Everly Brothers, and an original tune from the duo called “High and Lonesome.” (read more)
OTHER CONFIRMED RELEASES
September 1 – Jon Wolfe – Dos Corazones
Sean Devine – Here For It All
Megan and Shane – Daughter of Country
David Ferguson – Nashville No More
The Burner Band – Signs and Wonders
Robert Jon and the Wreck – Shine a Light On Me Brother
Lauren Alaina – Sitting Pretty on Top of the World
Kashena Sampson – Time Machine
Kacey Musgraves – Star-Crossed
Dori Freeman – Ten Thousand Roses
Michael Monroe Goodman – When The Rain Came
RC and the Ambers – Big Country
Riddy Arman – Self-Titled
Herrick – Sunderland Road
Jonathan Paull Gertler – No Fear
Heartless Bastards – A Beautiful Life
Jon Randall – Jon Randall
Joe Stamm Band – Midwest Town
Borderline Music Co. – Precious Souls
Home in This World: Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Ballads (Various Artists)
Foy Vance – Signs of Life
Matthew Fowler – The Grief We Gave Our Mother
Banty Holler – Journeyman Songs
September 16th – H. Self- Broken Lives On
Ray Scott – Cover The Earth
Barney Bentall and Geoffrey Kelly – RanchWriters (Instrumental)
Gregory Ackerman – Still Waiting Still
D.D. Verni and the Cadillac Band – Let’s Rattle
Carly Pearce – 29: Written in Stone
Caitlin Jemma – True Meaning
CJ Garton – Tales from the West
Kirby Brown – Break Into Blossom
Evan Bartels – Lonesome
John McCutcheon – Bucket List
Caleb Lee Hutchinson – Slot Machine Syndrome EP
Anna Egge – Between Us
Charley Crockett – Music City USA
Various Artists – Country Faith Bluegrass
Bren Holmes- Everything You Never Wanted
Teea Goans – All Over The Map
Alexa Rose – Headwaters
Scotty McCreery – Same Truck
Gordie MacKeeman – Folk for Little Folk
The Delevantes – A Thousand Turns
A Tale of Two – Self-Titled
The Northern Belle – The Woman In Me
Swamptooth – B-Flat Earth
Bruce T. Carroll – First Bird To Sing
Jackson Melnick – Abilene
Billy Strings – Renewal
Mickey Guyton – Remember Her Name
Tony Kamel (Wood & Wire) – Back Down Home
Leigh Nash – The Tide Vol. 1
Taylor McCall – Black Powder Soul
Johnny Cash – At The Carousel Ballroom
Larry Fleet – Stack of Records
Chris Roberts – Lost & Found EP
Maya Francis – A Pink Soft Mess
September 28 – James Carothers – Whatcha Got Left
September 29 – Electric Blue Yonder – Mourning Sounds
Misty River – Promises
Asleep At The Wheel – Half A Hundred Years
Dar Williams – I’ll Meet You Here
Brandi Carlile – In These Silent Days
Kyle McKearney – Down-Home
The Accidentals – Vessel
Jeremy Pinnell – Goodbye LA
Miko Marks – Race Records
Caitlin Rose – Own Side Now (10th Anniversary Reissue)
The Wild Feathers – Alvarado
Natalie Hemby – Pins and Needles
Joshua Ray Walker – See You Next Time
Thomas Csorba – From The Jordan EP
Lauren Premo – Golden Loam
Kim Cheshire – Looks Like Heaven
Noah Gundersen – A Pillar of Salt
Nathan Evans Fox – Wasted Love
Katie Frank – Small Town Minds
Reba McEntire – Revived, Remixed, Revisited
Noel McKay – Blue, Blue, Blue
Ray Stevens – Ain’t Nothin’ Funny Anymore
Side Pony (Alice Wallace and Caitlin Cannon) – Lucky Break
Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows Vol. 2 (John Prine Tribute)
Cody Johnson – Human: The Double Album
TK & The Holy Know-Nothings – The Incredible Heat Machine
Abby Bryant and the Echoes – Not You Little Girl
Tommy Womack – I Thought It Was Fine
Ryan Hurd – Pelago
Erin Enderlin – Barroom Mirrors
The Royal Hounds – A Whole Lot of Nothin’
Toby Keith – Peso in My Pocket
Pokey LaFarge – In The Blossom of Their Shade
Zac Brown Band – The Comeback
Lilly Hiatt – Lately
Tom O’Connor – Night Owl
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit – Georgia Blue (Covers Album)
Allie Dunn – Good As Gone EP
Bellamy Brothers – Covers From The Brothers
Sarah McQuaid – The St Buryan Sessions
Cara – Grounded
Si Kahn – Been A Long Time (Reissue)
Jackson + Sellers (Jade Jackson and Aubrie Sellers) – Breaking Point
Braison Cyrus – Javalina
Moot Davis – Seven Cities of Gold
Sam Turner and the Cactus Cats – Rodeo Hound
Reed Southall Band – For The Birds
Creed Fisher – Whiskey and the Dog
My Morning Jacket – Self-Titled
Ian Jones – Evergreens
Pistol Annies – Hell of a Holiday
Red Sammy – Vultures
Hank Erwin – The Copper Album
The Kentucky Headhunters – That’s a Fact Jack!
Norman Blake – Day By Day
Dillon Carmichael – Son of A
Rigby Summer – Geography
Phil Gammage – From Nowhere to Somewhere
Read Southall Band – For The Birds
Emily Scott Robinson – American Siren
Brandy Zdan – Falcon
Handsome Jack – Get Humble
Southbound 75 – Tales from the Black Swamp
Hayes Carll – You Get It All
Mick Mullin – Mullin’ It Over
Susto – Time in the Sun
Travis Feutz – Country Music Forever
Natalie Jane Hill – Solely
Eddie Montgomery – Ain’t Closing Me Down
Will Carter – How Ya Know
October 30th – Bobby Allison and Gerry Spehar – Delta Man
October 31st – Midnight Backhand – Fortune Teller
November 2nd – Nicholas Edward Williams – Folk Songs for Old Times’ Sake
Margo Cilker – Pohorylle
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats – The Future
STASH – Walk The Walk
Mose Wilson – Self-Titled
Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers – Cockadoodledeux (Moved from October 8th)
Deana Carter – Did I Shave My Legs For This? 25th Anniversary Edition
Charles Wesley Godwin – How The Mighty Fall
Steve Goodman – The Best of Steve Goodman
Zachary Lucky – Songs For Hard Times
Houndmouth – Good For You
The Steel Wheels – Everyone A Song Vol. 2
Tim Kelly – Ride Through The Rain
Matt Ward – If I Was in Dallas Tonight
David Nail – Bootheel 2021
T. Buckley – Frame By Frame
Cody Jinks – Mercy
Caned By Nod (Cody Jinks Metal Project) – None The Wiser
Jr. Gone Wild – Still Got The Jacket
Josh Grider – Long Way From Las Cruces
Sam Outlaw – Popular Mechanics
Kiely Connell – Camulet Queen
Taylor Hungerford – Western Symphony
Sharna Burcher – Backwards Town
November 12 – The Haze and Dacey Collective – Letters from Gilead
November 13th – Robert Eskridge – Heroes At Home
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Raise The Roof
Single Girl, Married Girl – Three Generations of Leaving
Abe Partridge – Live in the UK
Adam Hattaway & The Haunters – Rooster
Wade Bowen – Where Phones Don’t Work EP
Sam Tio – 1897
November 25th – Hez Goode – Humansville
Santa Poco – Cowboy Songs
Malcolm MacWatt – Settler
The Mother Hips – Glowing Lantern
firekid – Muscle Shoals Metaphysical
Loney Hutchins – Buried Loot, Demos from the House of Cash and Outlaw Era, ‘73-‘78
Oliver Myles Mashburn – Jaws of Oblivion
Ben Guihan – Mise-en-scène
Those Poor Bastards – Old Time Suffering
Joe Vickers – Waiting on a Muse
Barry Waldrep and Friends Celebrate Tony Rice
THE RUMOR MILL
Sarah Shook and the Disarmers have signed to Thirty Tigers. New album expected in early 2022 (read more).
49 Winchester has signed with New West Records, and will also have new music on the way (read more).
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 soon (read more).
Charles Wesley Godwin seemed to hint on social media that he finished recording a new album on October 8th, 2020. Don’t be surprised if we finally hear something about it very soon.
Muscadine Bloodline has released a new song “Dyin’ for a Livin’,” and don’t be surprised if we don’t hear about a new album coming soon.
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.
William Clark Green on 3/9: “Back to the studio this weekend. Time to get you all some new music.”
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.
Jessi Colter has a new album on the way produced by Margo Price. They were in the studio together in May 2019.