Welcome to 2024, which we hope will be a prosperous year in country music. As we saw in 2023, the amount of releases coming out early in the year is a little light, but that doesn’t mean it won’t include some heavy hitters. Below you can find a list of Saving Country Music’s top recommended albums, along with a more complete list of (most) all the releases, followed by the always-fun “Rumor Mill” where hints and allegations end up.
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 as 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 about 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.
Casper McWade – Something for the Pain – January 5th
From Shawneee, Oklahoma, Casper McWade is already familiar to a lot of folks in the Cody Jinks universe. Cody covered Casper’s “Whiskey” on his 2019 album The Wanting, and the two also co-wrote the title track to Casper’s last album, 2020’s Unraveled. Cody and Casper also covered the Alice in Chains track “Don’t Follow” together.
Now McWade hopes to widen the national narrative around himself and his music with the new album Something for the Pain. Produced by Josh Thompson of Cody Jinks’ Tonedeaf Hippies band at the Sonic Ranch outside of El Paso, folks are already excited after hearing early singles “Tonight” and “Songs I Can’t Write.”
Randall King – Into The Neon – January 26th
One of mainstream country’s staunches traditionalists and greatest natural singers is back with a whopping 18-track release that was produced by himself along with Jared Conrad. Five singles have already been revealed from the album, with the full monty arriving on January 26th. As country music swings more traditional, this puts King in the catbird’s seat.
“You grow wiser with age, you grow wiser while you’re working and experiencing life, and I feel like I have a deeper understanding of what my music really is,” King says. “We’re moving into the neon era of country music. The pendulum is swinging, and you’re watching it happen… Now I just hope people get their mind blown.”
Willi Carlisle – Critterland – January 26th
Willi Carlisle has been wowing audiences over the past few years, both with his stunning live performances, as well as with his breakout album Peculiar, Missouri released in 2022. Now he’s looking to pick up where he left off with Critterland produced by Darrell Scott. The name is inspired by Carlisle’s attempt at commune living in Arkansas.
Carlisle is of this generation’s greatest storytellers and folklorists, who can take a character or an idea, and make it unfold like an epic in less than five minutes. As hilarious as he is tear jerking, a performance from Willi results in in the full range of human emotions. Listeners will have ten new opportunities to experience this come January 26th.
Brent Amaker and The Rodeo – Philaphobia – January 26th
Brent Amaker is one of the most unique and dynamic entertainers in country music who’s remained criminally underground in the Seattle syndicate for too long. It hasn’t helped that his last original album with his outfit The Rodeo was 10 years ago, but all that changes when Philahopbia hits the streets on January 26th.
A Southerner by birth that has called Seattle home since 1997, Brent Amaker is part Western cowboy, part David Bowie performance artist, creating a strange but intriguing mix of music that is unlike anything else you can experience. “When we tour Texas, they’re like, ‘What are you?’” Amaker says. “We’re cowboys, living the spirit of the West. We’re not really playing country music, but we’re playing cowboy music.”
Ellis Bullard – Honky Tonk Ain’t Noise Pollution – February 9th
Down in Austin, there is a new hot shit country band everybody in town is raving over, from the hipsters and old fogies two-stepping at The White Horse and Sagebrush, to Joe Rogan himself. His name is Ellis Bullard, and he’s already busting out on the national scene and starting to fill rooms across the country from his version of “piss-hot freightlining country music.”
That isn’t just a description of the music, that was the name of Bullard’s breakout album from 2022. Now Bullard and his band are keeping their foot on the pedal and upping the ante with a new song, and a new album, both of which are called Honky Tonk Ain’t Noise Pollution. The new song is in your ears now, and the album will be out on Feel So Good Records come February 9th, 2024. (read more)
Blackberry Smoke – Be Right Here – February 16th
“We always track live together, but this time we had all our amps and drums and everything in the same room,” says frontman, guitarist, and primary songwriter Charlie Starr. “It’s just as natural and as real as possible. The last album was very raw too, but with this one I remember different times I would say, ‘I think we should redo that,’ and Dave was like, ‘No, leave it that way. That way it’s magical.’”
If there is a theme to the upcoming album, it is to “Be right here” in the moment and live life to the fullest, because you never know when it might end. You can hear this in the debut song from the album, the funky and sludgy “Dig A Hole” co-written by Charlie Starr and keyboardist Brandon Still. “We each have a finite amount of time on this earth, so you probably want to make the most of it. Eventually for all of us, they are going to dig a hole, so make it count.” (read more)
Corb Lund – El Viejo – February 23rd
El Viejo finds Corb Lund drawing on his influences such as Kris Kristofferson, Marty Robbins, and Jerry Reed, and recording the entire album in his living room in Lethbridge, Alberta with his legendary backing band The Hurtin’ Albertans.
“It’s a lot of minor keys and gambling songs, is what it is,” Lund says. “It was just a few of us in my house. No studio. No outside producer. No adults in the room. No stress.” He continues, “There’s not a single electric instrument on the whole thing, just acoustic sounds and singing. In terms of having a vision, this is a record I’ve had in my sights for a while and it came out exactly how I’d hoped. We cut all the songs live in the same room with lots of bleed. A bunch of the songs we captured in one take, first time through.” (read more)
Shane Smith and the Saints – Norther – March 1st
Few if any outfits in country and roots music can make their music rise to the epic and weighty level that Shane Smith and the Saints achieve through launching reverberative moments that you don’t merely enjoy, but experience deeply in a way that rings in your soul well after the final note has tolled.
It’s been five years since devotees of the Austin-based band have experienced this effect in album form, though they’ve had plenty of opportunities to take in these cinematic moments in the live context, not to mention seeing them in person on the hit show Yellowstone. Beau Bedford produced the set, and even though Shane Smith and the Saints have sold out shows at prestigious places such as Red Rocks and the Ryman Auditorium, the hope is the new album will be the impetus to take the band to the next level. (read more)
Jonathan Peyton – Nothing Here’s The Same – March 1st
Jonathan Peyton has earned his place among the newest crop of earnest songwriters after touring with Zach Bryan and others. Originally from Woodstock, Georgia, he’s gained an appreciative following through his recent singles, and from appearing with Zach Bryan and Charles Wesley Godwin performing “Country Roads” at Red Rocks. Now he’s ready to release his first LP in eight years produced by Sadler Vaden of Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit.
“This album is about change,” Peyton says. “Sometimes change is a good thing and sometimes it’s not. It can be necessary and painful. It can be joyful and devastating. Sometimes the change within ourselves causes us to look at the world different. We’ve been working on this one for a while with Sadler Vaden and I can’t wait for you to hear it.“
Sawyer Brown – Desperado Troubadours – March 8th
Desperado Troubadours will be the first album from the band in 20 years on their long-time label home of Curb Records. Their first new single in many years called “Under This Ole Hat” was co-written by Cody Jinks, Tennessee Jet, as well as Mark Miller. Along with Mark Miller being credited as a producer, another big name has come on board, some guy by the name of Blake Shelton. Hopefully the results are more “Austin” and less “Boys ‘Round Here.”
“It’s the ‘90s. It’s new. It’s here. And it’s now!” says the band succinctly about the new song and album. Mark Miller is recognized as one of the most dynamic and animated front men in country music. Formed in Apopka, Florida with keyboard vocalist Gregg “Hobie” Hubbard and drummer Joe “Curly” Smith, the band originally started out as the backing band for country artist Don King before he retired.
Cody Jinks – Change The Game – March 22nd
Change The Game was produced by Ryan Hewitt, who is known for working with the Turnpike Troubadours, American Aquarium, and on Cody’s 2016 album I’m Not the Devil. Cody’s long time bass player Joshua Thompson also co-produces. This time Cody chose to forgo The Sonic Ranch recording studio in West Texas where he cut many of his recent albums, and instead recorded at the MOXE outside of Nashville.
“This is the most open and honest record I’ve ever recorded, I laid everything out,” Jinks says about the album. You hear this in his vulnerable and honest new track, “Sober Thing,” shirking the “Outlaw” country stereotype. This joins the certified banger “Mustangs and Outlaws” released in October from the album. (read more)
Sarah Shook and the Disarmers – Revelations – March 29th
Sarah Shook and the Disarmers won Saving Country Music’s 2018 Album of the Year for Years. In the years since though, the lineup of The Disarmers has 100% changed over, Sarah now goes as River, and it’s a new era for the band. What hasn’t changed is River’s ear for melody, and knack for songwriting that transitions between punk and country influences.
“A lot of artists are in this industry for fame, recognition, and money but those things don’t mean anything to me,” says River Shook. “Songwriting is it for me. It’s the only real healthy coping mechanism I’ve ever had. It’s life-saving, and all of my writing is autobiographical. I write everything based on my observations and experiences, but there was something about “Revelations” that felt more personal to me.
The 10 songs were produced by River Shook, and the album is to be released on Abeyance Records and Thirty Tigers.
OTHER ANTICIPATED/CONFIRMED RELEASES
(Jan 1st) – Daniel Allen Judy – When The Story Is Never Told
(Jan 1st) – Grant Glad – One Man’s Story
Casper McWade – Something for the Pain
Hannah Kaminer – Heavy On The Vine
Yellow Banks – Corner of First & Lonely
Jon Statham – The Struggle is Beautiful
Annie Bosko – Self-Titled EP
Cash & Carter – No Use Praying EP
Holler Choir – Songs Before They Write Themselves
Wilson Fairchild – Statler Made (sons of Don and Harold Reid)
The Steel Crows – Self-Titled (Southern rock)
Watchhouse – Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater
Aaron Ball Band – Self-Titled EP
Drayton Farley – Live AF Session EP
(Jan. 18th) Town Mountain – Dance Me Down Easy: The Woodstock Sessions EP
Brule County Bad Boys – The Truth
Houston Bernard – Ditch This Town
Duke Oursler – He Shot More Than Birds
Old Heavy Hands – Small Fires
Shawn Hess – Wild Onion
Clay Parker and Jodi James – Your Very Own Dream
Scott Sean White – Even Better on the Bad Days
Joel Thetford – Come Home 2015-2023
Eddie Berman – Signal Fire (folk)
The FBR – Ghost (Americana)
Alice Di Micele – Interpretations Vol. 1 (folk covers)
Dylan LeBlanc – Coyote (Expanded Edition)
(Jan. 22nd) John Louis – For Everyone (Especially You)
The Josh Abbott Band – Somewhere Down The Road
Randall King – Into The Neon
Sarah Jarosz – Polaroid Lovers
Willi Carlisle – Critterland
Cary Morin – Innocent Allies
Charles Esten – Ain’t Love Pretty
Conner Smith – Smoky Mountains
Chatham County Line – Hiyo
Brent Amaker and The Rodeo – Philaphobia
Malcolm MacWatt – Dark Harvest
William Elliot Whitmore – Silently, The Heart Breaks
Sister Sadie – No Fear (bluegrass)
Jim Kweskin – Never Too Late (folk)
Ismay – Desert Pavement (folk)
Wildfire: The Legend of the Cherokee Ghost Horse (film)
(Jan 27th) The Droptines – Self-Titled
(Jan 29th) Matt Mitchell – Obvious Euphoria
(Jan 30th) Daniel Antopolsky – No People Allowed (kids album)
Taylor McCall – Mellow War
Vera Sola – Peacemaker
Daniel Young – Leave It Out To Dry
Rod Picott – Starlight Tour
Luke Callen – Also Going Nowhere
Brit Taylor – Kentucky Bluegrassed (bluegrass)
Wyatt Ellis – Happy Valley (bluegrass)
Nefesh Mountain – The Cabin Sessions EP
Vera Sola – Peacemaker
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Soundtrack
The Montvales – Born Strangers (folk)
The Steel Wheels – Sideways
Ellis Bullard – Honky Tonk Ain’t Noise Pollution
Bruce Robison – In The Woods
Red Sammy – Holy Fluorescent Light
The Dead South – Chains and Snakes
Western Swing Authority – 12 to 6 Central
Andrew Jobin – The River Above Our House
Sour Bridges – Down and Out
The Castellows – A Little Goes A Long Way EP
(Feb. 10th) Phil Hamilton – Ruidoso Sessions, Vol. 1
Blackberry Smoke – Be Right Here
The High Hawks – Mother Nature’s Show
Eric Brace and Thomm Jutz – Simple Motion
Frontier Ruckus – On The Northline
El Drifte – Grabbing At Water
Drake Milligan – Jukebox Songs EP
Under The Rocks – Honest Try (bluegrass)
Spencer LaJoye – Shadow Puppets (folk)
Amigo The Devil – Yours Until The War Is Over
Corb Lund – El Viejo
Hurray for the Riff Raff – The Past Is Still Alive
Amelia White – Love I Swore
Desiree Cannon – Radio Heat
Kalsey Kulyk – Outlaw Poetry
Andrew Jobin – The River Above Our House
Stoll Vaughan – Dream In Color
Lance Cowan – So Far So Good
Hullabaloo – Live from Sun Studio (kid’s album)
(Feb 24) Lola Kirke – Country Curious EP
(2-27) – Those Poor Bastards – Back to the Primitive
Wyatt Putnam – My Kinda Country
Shane Smith and the Saints – Norther
Jonathan Peyton – Nothing Here’s The Same
Wolf van Elfmand – Don’t Call It Country
Chasen Wayne & the Honky Tonk Machine – No Stranger (To Strange Places)
Addison Johnson – Dangerous Men
The Glass Hours – Self-Titled
Bruce Sudano – Talkin’ Ugly Truth, Tellin’ Pretty Lies
Kitchen Dwellers – Seven Devils (bluegrass)
EZRA – Self-Titled (bluegrass)
Claudia Gibson – The Fields of Chazy
Shannon Vetter- Holding Pattern
Rachel Drew – Old Sky News
Stephie James – As Night Fades (Indie Americana)
Evan Ogden – Austin City Limits EP
Katie and the Honky Tonks – Two-Steppin’ in the Shower
Lori Triplett – When The Morning Comes (singer/songwriter)
Sawyer Brown – Desperado Troubadours
Alex Jordan – Queen Kerosene
Joe Pug – Sketch of a Promised Departure
The Whitlams Black Stump – Kookaburra
Luke Grimes – Self-Titled
Josh Fortenbery – No Such Thing as Forever (folk/bluegrass)
The Northern Belle – Bats in the Attic (Nordicana)
M. Dutton – Self-Titled (folk)
Taj Mahal – Swinging’ Live at The Church in Tulsa
Breezers – Hideaway (folk)
Adrian Sutherland – Precious Diamonds
Armchair Boogie – Hard Times & Deadlines
Rick Monroe and the Hitmen – Six Gun Soul
Brother Dege – Aurora
Paper Wings – Listen To The World Spin
The Black Crowes – Happiness Bastards
John Smith – The Living Kind
Wonder Women of Country – Willis, Carper, Leigh!
Andrea Von Kampen – Sister Moon (folk)
(3-19) Jesse Lynn Madera – Speed of Sound (folk)
(3-19) Conrad Fisher – Welcome to the Neighborhood
Cody Jinks – Change The Game
Waxahatchee – Tigers Blood
Sam Morrow – On The Ride Here
Ted Russell Kamp – California Son
Creekbed Carter – Self-Titled
Ted Russell Kamp – California Son
Driftwood – December Last Call
Christian Parker – Change Is Now: A Tribute to The Byrds
Ruston Kelly – Weakness, Etc. EP
Josh Langston – Tastes Like Sin
Sarah Shook and the Disarmers – Revelations
Kimmi Bitter – Old School
Sentimental Family Band – Sweethearts Only
Aaron Lewis – The Hill
The Secret Sisters – Mind, Man, Medicine
Scott H. Biram – The One and Only Scott H. Biram
Dawn Landes – The Liberated Woman’s Songbook
Sarah King – When It All Goes Down
Scott Ballew – Rio Bravo
Grackles – Self-Titled
Jon Tyler Wiley & His Virginia Choir – Pictures in the Dark (roots rock)
Kenny Chesney – Born
The HawtThorns – Zero Gravity
Zach Top – Cold Beer & Country Music
Marcus King – Mood Swings
Old 97’s – Where The Road Goes
Phillip Lammonds – Cowboy Things
The Black Keys – Ohio Players
Kyle Kimbrell – Easy Truths
Slack Key ‘Ohana – Hawaiian Cowboy
(4-6) James Dean Kindle – Trail Songs
Will Hoge – Tenderhearted Boys
Trummors – 5
Misner & Smith – All Is Song
Moonsville Collective – A Hundred Highways
Ben Fugate & The Burning Trash Band – Self-Titled EP
The Storm Windows – Blue Town EP
Sophie Gault – Baltic Street Hotel (Southern blues rock)
Various Artists – My Black Country – The Songs of Alice Randall
Elvie Shane – Damascus
Luther Black and the Cold Hard Facts – Let The Light Back In
Stephanie Lambring – Hypocrite
Andrea & Mud – Institutionalized
Griefcat – Late Stage Capitalism (humorous folk)
Various Artists – Live On Mountain Stage: Outlaws and Outliers
Various Artists – Glen Campbell – Ghost on the Canvas Sessions
Shay Martin Lovette – True As They Come
Lost Dog Street Band – Survived
Cris Jacobs – One Of These Days
The Lostines – Meet The Lostines
Mac Cornish – Never Made Much of a Lover
Tylor and the Train Robbers – Hum of the Road
Emily Nenni – Drive and Cry
Will Kimbrough – Life of Me
Pokey LaFarge – Rhumba Country
Jared Deck – Head Above Water
Kaia Kater – Strange Medicine
Cory Cross – There’s More
Lasers Lasers Birmingham – Mystery Highway
THE RUMOR MILL
American Aquarium on November 15th, “Studio album #10 is in the books.”
Joshua Ray Walker will have an acoustic album called Thank You For Listening with renditions of older songs, as well as potentially some newer songs, including the title track.
Brennen Leigh, Kelly Willis, and Melissa Carper have been touring around together intermittently, and reportedly have also now taken this collaboration into the studio for an album that will hopefully come out in 2024.
Tylor and the Train Robbers have released a new songs called “I Ain’t The Only One,” part of a new album coming in the “spring of 2024.”
Benjamin Tod and the Lost Dog Street Band are not done yet after inferring they might be in 2023. Expect a new album from the band in 2024. (read more)
The Pistol Annies have been writing together, and with others like Lukas Nelson, likely for a new album.
Ray Wylie Hubbard: “Warning: the new record is not the pretty girl singing Jolene at the national finals rodeo in Las Vegas..its the Huntsville prison rodeo when the death row clown gets gored distracting the bull away from the arsonist who got thrown.”
The Red Clay Strays have been working with producer Dave Cobb, and will be releasing an album through Thirty Tigers in 2024.
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are also working on a duets project together.
William Michael Morgan has singed with ONErpm, and is working with Keith Stegall on a new EP (read more)
A release of Luke Bell music is in the works that will include music released previously but out-of-print, as well as new stuff never heard before.
Courtney Patton was in the studio recording new album in December.
Sierra Ferrell has released a new song “The Fox Hunt,” and expect a new album from her in 2024.
Mike and the Moonpies have been in the studio working on a new album to go along with their recent live album Live from the Devil’s Backbone.
A collection of demos from country songwriter Ed Bruce is being finalized for proper release.
Josh Morningstar has a self-titled album on the way.
Canadian Gothic country artist Lindi Ortega said that she would be recording a new album in 2023.
The Mavericks have been finishing up a new album at Blackbird Studios, with new singles expected soon, and a release in late spring of 2024.
The elusive Lucky Tubb might have new music after a long hiatus between new releases.
Brad Paisley will have a new album called Son of the Mountains. The first four tracks have been released as an EP. No definitive date for the full album just yet.