The Best Country & Roots Albums of 2021 So Far
As we near the halfway pole in the musical year, it’s time to suss out the best albums that have been released in 2021 so far. There’s already some very strong contenders for Album of the Year, and the first albums highlighted should be considered early candidates for Album of the Year at Saving Country Music. Everything else highlighted should be considered coming highly recommended. But of course over time, estimations can change. Some albums may rise or fall in the next six months.
PLEASE NOTE: This only includes albums that have been reviewed by Saving Country Music so far. Just because an album is not included here doesn’t mean it’s not good, or won’t be reviewed in the future.
Recommendations and opinions on albums is encouraged, including leaving your own list of favorite albums in the comments sections below. But nothing has been “forgotten,” and no list is illegitimate just because one particular album is left off, or a certain album is included. The point of this exercise is to expand the awareness of great music. Saving Country Music reviews a very large amount of material, but no critic or outlet can review every single project released.
The albums are presented in no particular order.
Charlie Marie – Ramble On
Be still your heart, bend your ears, open your mind, but no need to temper your expectations for this highly-anticipated debut album from one of today’s preeminent country singers, the one and only Charlie Marie. Let the waves of classic country goodness wash over you, and extol their virtues upon your very soul, and put you at ease about the future of country music.
One of the reasons it was such a tragedy when we lost Patsy Cline in 1963 is we never got to experience what Cline could have continued to blossom into and contribute later in life. Though it would never be fair to either Patsy or Charlie Marie to compare the two directly beyond the similar virtues of their respective voices and the style of which they’ve chosen to express it, Charlie Marie’s new album Ramble On certainly helps to answer what Patsy Cline could have sounded like if her career and life had continued. (read review)
Blackberry Smoke – You Hear Georgia
Damn if there’s not much better than cracking open a new Blackberry Smoke record and losing yourself in waves of Southern-fried rock guitar to make you feel like you’re 17 again. This isn’t music to sit back and stroke your chin to. This is music to hyperextend your elbow to while banging on the air drums.
On their new album You Hear Georgia, Blackberry Smoke embrace their role as Southern music revivalists and preservationists with now over 20 years of service to the subgenre, and they take that responsibility more serious than ever, expanding their sound, adding a chorus of soul backup singers, and making sure all influences and subsets of Southern music are represented.
20 years in, Blackberry Smoke isn’t showing their rust. They’re hitting their stride, understanding their species is slowly becoming endangered, taking that prognosis personally, and doing what they can to keep the torch burning, and the memories of the sounds of the South alive. (read full review)
Cole Chaney – Mercy
Where many have dipped their toes into the Kentucky experience with their music, Cole Chaney wades in up to the neck, hollering and wailing about coal mines, flooding catastrophes, dreams cauterized in their infancy due to fleeting opportunities, and other conflagrations that the captivating and hearty characters of the region regularly experience, and that makes such compelling art and stories in the form of country music.
With a poetic disposition and an acoustic guitar, the 20-year-old former welder stirs a lot of emotion and has drawn a sizable crowd with an economy of instrumentation on his debut album Mercy, often only accompanied by fiddle, a bit of bass, and some mandolin, and sometimes by nothing but the natural acoustics of the room. It’s the nakedness of the effort that exposes the sincerity of the writing, and the brilliance of the composition, even if it requires an intent audience dedicated to listening for story as opposed to simple commuters scanning the commercial airwaves for a fetching melody. (read full review)
Melissa Carper – Daddy’s Country Gold
Finding perfection in music is such a formidable task with the endless menu of options and choices songwriters, performers, musicians, and producers are asked to select from when trying to take a nascent idea for a musical expression, and present it to the public fully formed. You start with blank pages and clean slates, and then have to craft words, melody, and musical accompaniment to somehow do the inspiration, and the raw emotion or story behind a song idea justice. Often that effort fails, and even when you do end up with something favorable, it still falls short of the aspirational ideal.
But this new album, entitled Daddy’s Country Gold, is not just the blossoming of a songwriter, singer, and entertainer, it’s one of those few and fleeting moments where everything comes together to present music in its perfect, most ideal form. Unlike most all of the other music you interface with—and with only a few exceptions—it all comes together and snaps in place smartly here. And even if perhaps the speed or flavor just isn’t your style, you can’t help but to slow clap at what has been accomplished. (read full review)
Mac Leaphart – Music City Joke
Like a more countrified version of John Prine, or a more compositionally-minded version of Jerry Jeff Walker during his gonzo era, Mac Leaphart immediately earns your ear and devotion with this handful of incredibly well-written songwriter songs and rousing boot scooters that are just about perfectly produced and ripe for repeat listening. It’s rare these days you run into one of those albums that immediately gives you that tingly feeling like you know you’ll still be listening to it years from now, but this is one of them. Music City Joke ain’t no laughing matter.
This isn’t a debut album from this South Carolina-native, but it sure feels like one. He’s been around for years, but you’ve probably never heard of him. That’s not entirely your fault though. First moving to Nashville in 2012, Mac Leaphart fell into the hustle of trying to write songs for others, and found only marginal success in that pursuit, especially on the commercial side. So instead of continuing to attempt to push that stone up the hill, he decided to center his focus on his own songs, and the results speak for themselves. (read full review)
The Steel Woods – All of Your Stones
Now that The Steel Woods had our rapt attention, were renown in the industry, and had proven their musical concept to be resonant, it was time for the ultimate vision for The Steel Woods that Jason “Rowdy” Cope had dreamed of to be fully realized in their third album, and what they consider to be their opus. Then after putting the finishing touches on the record—and only weeks away from revealing it to the public—the unthinkable news came down. Jason “Rowdy” Cope had been found unresponsive in his home in Nashville.
You can’t listen to All of Your Stones without considering Jason Cope’s passing at the age of 42. It may sound like a cliche to say contextualizing the songs within this tragic news results in an entirely different experience that eerily speaks to a prescient awareness of Rowdy’s impending passing, but that’s exactly what happens in one turn after another on this album, and in a way that will shake you to your very core. (read full review)
Pony Bradshaw – Calico Jim
Calico Jim is not a record to tap your toe and hum along to, though you very well may find yourself doing so at certain times. Instead, this is a record with messages to unravel, secrets to decode, and stories to tell. Pony Bradshaw’s voice and approach remind you much of the enigmatic Texas songwriter Willis Alan Ramsey, who only took one album to mint his legacy, and left you shivering, almost haunted after songs like “Ballad of Spider John.” Calico Jim does that too, delivering you into an altered mood after being in its audience.
But Pony Bradshaw gets what many others miss about the American “hillbilly,” which is the vividness of character that expresses itself in the people of the hills and hollers, and depressed landscapes of America’s rural regions that have been forlorn and forgotten, and how these characters possess their own value and wisdom, and speak to something deeper about human nature and meaning, with lessons that can’t be discovered elsewhere but in the richness of this human resource. (read full review)
Brock Gonyea – Where My Heart Is EP
From the unlikely enclave of small town New York State, and the even more unlikely origination point of Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records, here comes this surprise EP from upstart country artist Brock Gonyea that will deliver you and your country-loving heart smack dab into 1950’s country music bliss, warming your cockles about the prospects for the future of the country genre.
Push all of your presuppositions aside, this dude’s got it, and in spades, from the natural warble to his voice, to knowing how to write to his style and strengths, to the unflappable resolve to make country music his way no matter who is in his ear. Sure, it’s a small sample size at this point, but it’s surely enough to get you to stop down and pay attention.
It’s still early into this thing and much is still to be determined. But Brock Gonyea definitely has it, and classic country fans have another young performer to follow and root for. (read full review)
Bobby Dove – Hopeless Romantic
Get ready to rearrange the hierarchy of your Canadian country music depth charts. Hell, get ready shake it up in the lower 48 and everywhere else as well, because Bobby Dove has just released a record that will have you crying and moaning along with some of the best classic country music composed in new original songs that’s come down the pike in quite a while.
I’m not sure if Hank Williams or Hank Snow kept a mistress in Montreal or Manitoba maybe we didn’t hear about and passed some genes down, or what has possessed Bobby Dove to become like a vessel or channeler for all the great classic country music influences we so sorely miss. But this is some of the most authentically-rendered and true-to-inspiration country music you can root out, while still holding onto enough originality to hit your ears with a welcomed freshness.
You can talk about how it’s the simplicity of country music that lends to its beauty, or you can illustrate it like Bobby Dove has done with Hopeless Romantic. (read review)
Bo DePeña – It’s About to Get Western
Exploring the Western side of country music is what the now third record from Texas native and current Colorado resident Bo DePeña is all about. His previous, self-titled record found this young man originally from Laredo looking for himself both sonically and personally in the expanses of country music and North America. On It’s About To Get Western, he’s found where he wants to be, at least for now. And that’s in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, making music inspired by the rugged landscapes and people found there.
It’s About To Get Western gets better with each listen, and features really excellent instrumentation and arrangement that’s fit smartly to the songs and vision Bo DePeña had for this work. Like Colter Wall, Corb Lund and others, Bo DePeña’s looking to keep the traditions of Western music alive, not just by singing them, but by living them out, so he can sing them with truth and authenticity. (read full review)
Alan Jackson – Where Have You Gone
Releasing his new album thirty years to the day of releasing his landmark album Don’t Rock the Jukebox, and after the longest pause between studio albums of his career allowing the heart to only grow fonder, and after having his name officially enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame, let’s face it, Alan Jackson has reached that topmost stratosphere in a musical legacy where it doesn’t really matter what he releases.
Just the sound of his voice, just the image he displays, just the shadow that he casts is enough to stir something deep inside of us that’s warm and favorable from all the memories made that Alan Jackson has been a part of. He has reached that level reserved for only a select few artists of any genre—Willie, Dolly, Loretta, Strait. A legend.
It’s the legacies guys and gals like Alan Jackson have contributed to country music that have created the foundation from which everything else is built from. And on Where Have You Gone, Alan Jackson has added a few more stones to that foundation, while also trying to repair some of the cracks that have formed from the neglect and misuse in recent years. (read full review)
Other Highly Recommended Albums
Shannon McNally – The Waylon Sessions (read review)
Hailey Whitters – Living The Dream (Deluxe) (read review)
Rob Leines – Blood, Sweat, and Beers (read review)
Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram, Jon Randall – The Marfa Tapes (read review)
Charley Crockett – 10 For Slim (read review)
Loretta Lynn – Still Woman Enough (read review)
Nick Shoulders – Home On the Rage (read review)
The Divorcees – Drop of Blood (read review)
The Shootouts – Bullseye (read review)
Morgan Wade – Reckless (read review)
Triston Marez – Self-Titled (read review)
The Barlow – Horseshoe Lounge (read review)
Katie Jo – Pawn Shop Queen (read review)
Lucero – When You Found Me (read review)
Red Shahan – Javelina (read review)
Conrad Fisher – Homemade (read review)
John Schneider – Truck On (read review)
Hope Dunbar – Sweetheartland (read review)
Travis Tritt – Set In Stone (read review)
American Aquarium – Slappers, Bangers, and Certified Twangers (read review)
Uncle Ben’s Remedy – Easy Ways to Here (read review)
Carly Pearce – 29 (read review)
Casey Chesnutt – Down Mexico Way EP (read review)
Carrie Underwood – My Savior (read review)
Lainey Wilson – Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ (read review)
Jeremy Parsons – Things To Come (read review)
Eric Church – Heart & Soul (read review)
Addison Johnson – Dark Side of the Mountain (read review)
Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno – Self-Titled (read review)
Silas J. Dirge – The Poor Devil (read review)
Canaan Smith – High Country Sound (read review)
Michigan Rattlers – That Kind of Life (read review)
Other Albums Receiving Positive Reviews
Midland – The Sonic Ranch (read review)
Aaron Watson – American Soul (read review)
June 15, 2021 @ 9:14 am
I need to check out more of that Pony Bradshaw album. I liked the couple of songs I’ve heard from it.
He lives in GA now, but he’s from the Northeast Texas town of Redwater, not far from where I grew up.
July 2, 2021 @ 5:16 am
Do also check out his previous works, they’re also fantastic.
June 15, 2021 @ 9:20 am
Morgan Wade’s “Restless” and Rob Leines “Blood Sweat, and Beers” are currently at the top of my list for the year.
I had kind of forgotten that Jeremy Parsons album was a 2021 release. That was a great little time capsule. Might go listen to that again today.
Not sure it really counts as a full release, but Kat Hasty’s Drowning in Dreams Pt. 3 is worth a mention.
June 15, 2021 @ 9:48 am
I’ve really liked Riley Downing’s Album, Start It Over. Got a few gems on there for sure, especially with its Exile on Main/Stones cut blues swagger at times.
Colby Acuff’s, If I Were the Devil, album. Also great. Very impressive live.
June 15, 2021 @ 9:53 am
My favorites have been Bo DePena, Charlie Marie, and Blackberry Smoke.
For me, none have been as complete a great album as Hill Country’s album from last year, but I like Bo’s style, Charlie’s voice, and getting back to Southern Rock with Blackberry Smoke.
Still, lots of great Country music coming iut which is wonderful!
One of my favorites is by 18 yr old Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road called “ Roots” a more bluegrass sound. Saw him perform at the Station Inn last month and he is a very talented artist!
June 15, 2021 @ 11:26 am
That Hill Country/Wilder Blue record is so good.
June 15, 2021 @ 12:07 pm
May be getting some new music from The Wilder Blue soon.
June 15, 2021 @ 10:41 am
I’d wager Vincent Neil Emerson’s self titled 2nd album due out June 25th is bound to be among the best of 2021 as well.
June 15, 2021 @ 11:03 am
Lots of good ones here. I’d add Olivia Ellen Lloyd’s album to the list, “Loose Cannon.”
June 15, 2021 @ 11:08 am
Well certainly the one two album punch of The Steel Woods and Blackberry Smoke are about as good of Southern Rock we could ever dream of, both in heavy rotation around here.
I know I kinda bagged on Jay Joyce’s production of Lainey Wilson’s Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ but the songs are so good and now I’m hearing things/nuances that I’m sure he’s responsible for. Just love this album now.
Rob Leines’ Blood, Sweat, and Beers continues to rock the roof off the Jeep when I crank it. Katie Jo, Charlie Marie, Bo DePeña, and Brock Gonyea are played often. Everyone can hate on Morgan Wallen, I know it’s easy to do but I still play the songs I like off Dangerous occasionally although it’s dwindled with all the new releases.
Honorable mention to Craig Gerdes’ album Tough As Nails that came out last year but I didn’t find it until Trigger put his new song You’re Not in the Picture Anymore in his playlist. Nails is in my top 3 right now.
June 15, 2021 @ 11:59 am
I think Ben Jarrell is coming out with a new album, at least based off the single and the songs they played Friday
June 15, 2021 @ 1:13 pm
New Ben Jarrell album out next month. First single out already- Chevrolets And Angels.
June 15, 2021 @ 1:52 pm
Oh yeah I had a great time Friday night, finally got to hear Black Helicopter with the full band and a bunch of new tunes. I’d been listening to Chevrolets And Angels for a couple of weeks. Whitey and the 78’s tore it up as usual, felt damn close to a pre pandemic evening. A lot of hootin’, hollerin’ and drinkin’!!! Might even be a song title there….lol
June 16, 2021 @ 1:14 pm
I saw them in Mobile Alabama last month. They were killer. Lots of new Ben Jarrrel music. However, no new Whitey….. getting time for a new one.
June 17, 2021 @ 7:24 pm
Hell yeah JB. Craig Gerdes is great. He plays at the Law Office in Yorkville every now and again.
June 17, 2021 @ 8:00 pm
Yeah I didn’t know, because you don’t know what you don’t know….lol unless someone (Trigger or someone else on here) says “hey, listen to this ______ this is fuckin’ good you’re missing out” and I don’t like to miss out on great music. Especially when he’s in my area…..well a couple hundred miles etc……. I didn’t know he played the Law Office or I would’ve been there. He’s a great old school/outlaw songwriter period. Heck of nice guy too, as is his band. Total pro’s. Many on here are missing out on him because they would love it!!!
mouths of babes
June 15, 2021 @ 11:15 am
I think Cole Chaney’s Mercy is head and shoulders above the rest of the list. For a 20 year old’s debut, the kid’s got IT.
June 16, 2021 @ 2:00 pm
I didn’t LOVE mercy, but I liked it quite a bit. Finding out that he’s only 20 actually recontextualizes the record for me. If he’s only 20, I can’t wait to see him grow as an artist and songwriter, because, damn that dude is already incredibly talented.
June 15, 2021 @ 11:19 am
The ones I have listened to the most by far are Charlie Marie, American Aquarium, Blackberry Smoke and Mac Leaphart. Steelwoods and Brock Gonyea probably are next. Unlike many (most?) readers of this site, I only knew three songs on AA’s Slappers, Bangers as I was not a 90’s country fan. So, without much to compare them to, I love these versions and jam to them a lot.
Will have to make time for many more of these releases. As always, thank you for reviewing and exposing me to some great music.
June 15, 2021 @ 11:47 am
I feel like there’s not many upcoming album releases, especially in the mainstream front.
Chris Young has his long waited album coming out in August.. that’s all I’m aware of (besides Gary Allen in 2 weeks)
June 15, 2021 @ 12:35 pm
Flatlanders have one coming soon! Looks like covers of classics, definitely going to be great!
June 15, 2021 @ 1:54 pm
The Pink Stones “Introducing…” and Charley Crockett “10 For Slim”.
June 15, 2021 @ 1:59 pm
We had a lot of great albums since the beginning of this year. This list is impressive. I would also add the brilliant album of Nate Fredrick, “Different Shade Of Blue” one of my great favorites among those I listened to this 2021, and the new album of Jamie Richards, “The Real Deal”. And there’s still a lot of awesome albums to be released… real country music is alive !
June 16, 2021 @ 6:18 am
You’re right ,the Nate Fredrick’s album is really good! I didn’t know him before but..man…
June 16, 2021 @ 12:07 pm
Hey, you’re right, I’m liking this A LOT.
June 15, 2021 @ 3:46 pm
My biggest takeaway so far this year is The Steel Woods. I didn’t know that I needed them so much. The first time I listened to All of Your Stones on my proper home stereo, I find myself punching my fist in the air in spots. Love their heavier that the heavy side of Lynyrd Skynyrd groove, the quality songwriting, and the tone and power of Wes Bayliss’s singing. Definitely don’t feel cheated when that dude is singing. Bought the first two albums, too. More great stuff.
June 15, 2021 @ 4:39 pm
I’m not sure anything can knock Morgan Wade off the perch for me but Steel Woods, Blackberry Smoke and Red Shahan are in my year end list.
June 15, 2021 @ 4:39 pm
My favorites so far in the country world is Thr Steel Woods, Cole Chaney, and The Marta Tapes. I bet Cody Jinks will be high on my list by end of year and if we’re lucky Sundy Best will be putting a new one out and it will be very high as well
June 15, 2021 @ 6:15 pm
June 15, 2021 @ 5:10 pm
Shannon McNally – The Waylon Sessions, easily my fave on that list. Loretta Lynn – Still Woman Enough is also pretty good. Carrie Underwood? No thanks!
June 15, 2021 @ 6:30 pm
Carrie Underwood’s Gospel project isn’t going to be for everyone, but it’s a good one. One of the bright spots from the mainstream, and I try to highlight those when I can.
June 15, 2021 @ 6:08 pm
Coming out of the pandemic, who knew what the music industry would look or sound like. Would it go the way of the restaurant industry and minimum wage jobs or be inspired to new creative heights. Sick and tired of COVID projects and hearing rumblings of artists never putting out full length albums again, I’m thrilled by the releases at the halfway mark!
My Favorites So Far:
Dark Side of the Mountain – Addison Johnson
You Hear Georgia – Blackberry Smoke (AOY – guilt-free Southern Rock without all the racist imagery)
Mercy – Cole Chaney
Music City Joke – Mac Leaphart
Blood, Water, Coal – Matt Heckler
Blood Swear and Beers – Rob Leines (I’ll scratch out Di Harris’ eyes)
All Of Your Stones – The Steel Woods
Delta Kream – Black Keys
Hardware – Billy F. Gibbons
June 15, 2021 @ 6:41 pm
Why, i Love Rob Leines, and last year i was seriously thinking of driving for hours & hours to bring you a puppy with a bow around it’s neck, after your Maggie died.
June 15, 2021 @ 6:52 pm
I’ve read your comments about Leines. He’s easy on the eyes. I’d cat fight you over him. It was joke.
June 15, 2021 @ 7:10 pm
You’d lose …
Or just MAYBE, it would be a draw.
But it would be fun to have a go & get down in the Texas dirt.
I’d jab you in the throat & when you could catch your breath, somebody could buy us some top shelf tequila. You know, for the free entertainment
June 16, 2021 @ 4:11 am
I’m up for a red dirt tour!
June 16, 2021 @ 5:53 am
I’d be up for one sometime mid-October thru end of November.
Heck, might even buy you a tequila without whooping your butt.
We could buy Trig a beer.
Then i need to head to Denton and Amarillo to see friends. Been 4 years
June 16, 2021 @ 5:54 am
Let’s see where Rob Leines is going to be this Fall …
June 15, 2021 @ 6:32 pm
Pony Bradshaw and Zach Schmidt
June 15, 2021 @ 11:33 pm
My top 5 so far 1/ Alan Jackson – where have you gone
2/ Eric Church – Heart
3/ Hailey Whitters – Living the dream deluxe
4/ Carly Pearce – 29
5/ Tracy Lawrence – Hindsight 2020,vol 1, stairway to heaven,highway to hell.
June 16, 2021 @ 5:25 am
I’ve listened to none of them more than Charlie Marie. Love this album. Steel Woods and Morgan Wade are not far behind. Getting excited for the new Ben Jerrell.
June 16, 2021 @ 6:38 am
Jeremy Pinnell will come out in october with a new album and there’s something about that guy i really love
June 16, 2021 @ 6:39 am
I guess it is fair to say that “Country music is dead” is a ridiculous statement…
My top 5 so far is:
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys “Way Out West – The Lost Transcriptions For Tiffany Music Volume 2”
Loretta Lynn “Still Woman Enough”
Melissa Carper “Daddy’s Country Gold”
Alan Jackson “Where Have You Gone” (apperently nowhere).
Travis Tritt “Set In Stone”
June 18, 2021 @ 10:08 am
Country music is dead was not a rediculous statement. If you really have to search for it, it’s basically dead.
June 16, 2021 @ 6:51 am
For those who enjoy both traditional and progressive bluegrass, Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band is releasing “A Miner’s Life” album on June 25. The title track was No. 1 on the Roots Music Report chart for five weeks.
June 16, 2021 @ 11:36 am
some great music again this year and we are only half way with more to come. I think Blackberry Smoke’s is their best so far. Loved the Steelwoods album. Great to have new albums form Eric Church, Travis Tritt, Alan Jackson and John Schneider and others.
June 16, 2021 @ 1:40 pm
I hope a new Jeremy Pinnell album is coming out, he just released a new single. If you have not listened do yourself a favor and check him out. Outstanding artist from KY
June 16, 2021 @ 3:19 pm
Pony Bradshaw – Calico Jim: This year’s Arlo McKinley.
Esther Rose – How Many Times: For my money, Esther Rose is an outstanding example of creatively and playfully engaging with the tradition (Old-Timey Music in her case), rather than just passively reproducing it in a retro or conservationist manner.
Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno – Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno: Leva’s voice and delivery have that wistful tinge that I find irresistible. Plus ace songwriting, lovely harmonies… I ask for nothing more.
Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram, Jon Randall – The Marfa Tapes: Love the tunes and the vibe.
The Ghost Of...
June 17, 2021 @ 3:54 am
Best Australian Album (so far) / Best Overall AotY (so far):
Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham – The Song Club
Amber Joy Poulton – Pretty Pennies
Andrew Swift – The Art Of Letting Go
Troy Cassar-Daley – The World Today
Lynchburg (Allan Caswell – Lindsay Waddington) – How Country Do You Want It?
June 17, 2021 @ 6:01 am
I will recommend checking out Tony Justice’s 18 Gears to Life released in March. This is his 5th CD to be released and is available at http://www.tonyjusticemusic.com and at TA Petro Travel Stores. Real country is far from over.
June 17, 2021 @ 6:41 pm
If you enjoy classic country with a sly sense of humour, a la Roger Miller/Shel Silverstein, check out Scott MacKay’s Stupid Cupid — https://scottmackay.bandcamp.com/album/stupid-cupid
June 18, 2021 @ 5:11 am
A few other roots music good’uns not listed above:
They’re Calling Me Home – Rhiannon Giddens
The Moon and the Stars… – Valerie June
These 13 – Jimbo Mathus/Andrew Bird
Leftover Feelings – John Hiatt and the Jerry Douglas Band
Our Native Daughters member Amethyst Kiah’s album Wary and Strange drops today. Should get my CD copy today. And based on a Facebook post I saw, perhaps we haven’t heard the last of Our Native Daughters (Our Native Daughters > The Highwomen, IMO).
June 18, 2021 @ 10:04 am
Alan Jackson easily has my vote for best album this year but to be honest I don’t listen to any of these others. Every once in a while I’ll read someone say check this out, it’s real country. I do but generally end up disappointed.
June 18, 2021 @ 2:07 pm
When is that John R. Miller record coming out? The 4 tracks he has released are probably my fave release of the year. Right up there at least.
June 18, 2021 @ 2:14 pm
July 2, 2021 @ 5:35 am
Well, the top spot has to be Charley Crockett’s 10 for Slim. Because….it has to be. My favorite modern country artist and my all-time fav? Yup. Top spot. Solidified.
Melissa Carper’s album is probably second. She’s a bit of a master.
Olivia Ellen Lloyd’s Loose Cannon is a grower and a shower. This keeps running up my favorite albums of the year. It may pass Melissa.
Pony Bradshaw’s has garnered lots of listens. My second favorite modern “country” artist.
Tony Joe White’s resurrected album is a bluesy winner that Im consistently coming back to.
The Brother Brothers’ latest album is probably my favorite album of theirs yet.
Other artists whose new albums I’ve really enjoyed:
Bobby Dove, Pearl Charles, Ashley Monroe, Amigo the Devil, Morgan Wade
July 11, 2021 @ 10:59 am
I’m going to have to shout out a local boy Oakland from the west coast, Aaron Burnham & Strawberry Moon.
I don’t think I’ve heard a more straight up fun “party record” this side of Melissa Carper. It sounds 1950s it’s sound Roy Rogers & Bob Wills & Hank Snow. You want a record loaded with twang, no fuss fiddle, and toe-taping two-steppers? Well Strawberry Moon is so damn country I’ll my non-existent hat if you don’t like it.
July 11, 2021 @ 11:02 am
I also have to add being a west coast boy he doesn’t fake the southern and do cowboy face either in voice or lyrics, it is a CA voice on a pure country sound.