Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Saving Country Music’s most comprehensive guide to music in a given year, known as the Essential Albums List. Starting with the first 20 albums that are deemed the “Most Essential”—meaning they were right on the bubble of being Album of the Year nominees…
The Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist is built to keep you informed on all the best songs and albums coming out right here, right now in country and roots music. It’s available on most all streaming formats, or you can just use the song, artist, and album recommendations.
There’s a reason Williams waited five years before releasing his second record. Now a seasoned journeyman who’s paid his dues on the road and tacked some skins on the wall, Williams was ready to write, sing, and perform with the kind of conviction you need to sell your songs to the audience.
The final months of 2022 are here, and just like the first portion of the year, it is jam packed in an increasingly cluttered environment for new releases. Instead of being overwhelmed, use this guide to help you navigate through the crush of titles, with the first 20 albums listed considered some of the top releases.
Adam Hood, Ags Connolly, Alex Williams, Billy Joe Shaver, Blackberry Smoke, Brennen Leigh, Brent Cobb, Brit Taylor, Caitlin Rose, Caleb Caudle, Channing Wilson, Charley Crockett, Colter Wall, Courtney Patton, Dailey & Vincent, Dale Watson, Dierks Bentley, Dropkick Murphy's, Emily Nenni, Flatland Cavalry, Gabe Lee, Hellbound Glory, Hillgrass Bluebilly Records, Jake Worthington, James Hand, Jason Hawk Harris, John Fullbright, Johnny Cash, Johnny Falstaff, Jordan Nix, Julie Roberts, Kendell Marvel, Lainey Wilson, Marty Stuart, Miranda Lambert, Nikki Lane, Paul Cauthen, Randy Rogers Band, RL Burnside, Shooter Jennings, Slackeye Slim, Sturgill Simpson, Sunny Sweeney, Town Mountain, Trampled by Turtles, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers
From the Outlaw side of country and the True Grit talent roster, Alex Williams has announced a new album called “Waging Peace.” And don’t worry, it won’t be full of drum circle chants and nag champa seances. You’ll get all the requisite grit, muscle, and twang that you want from an Alex Williams record.
Well, if you thought you were already swimming through an upside down world where the NBA and NHL seasons have just been suspended along with pretty much every major music tour and festival to speak of at least until April, well try this development on for size: Ray Wylie Hubbard has signed with Big Machine Records.
Joining artists such as Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, Margo Price, and Cody Jinks, now Michigan native, California convert, and hard-charging traditional country artist Whitey Morgan and his backing band The 78’s have been bestowed the opportunity to play the Mother Church this summer.
There is no need to mince words here or parse expectations. Alex Williams debut record Better Than Myself is traditional country music. And if it needs any qualifiers, it would be that it leans more toward the Outlaw style. There’s no compromise, no songs getting intro’d with a drum machine beat. It is true country music in every sense.
Mainstream country is not stupid. They see the rising tide of Americana artists cresting the country albums charts on a regular basis, the big Americana names selling out large venues and headlining festivals, and doing it all without the help of Music Row or corporate radio, and continuing to encroach into their overall market share.