Just as it went with 2018, the beginning of next year is front loaded with (potentially) stellar projects. The following is a list for the biggest upcoming releases in the country music universe you can look forward to hearing. Follow along with the full list throughout the year here.
Please keep in mind this is not a complete list of upcoming releases in country and Americana. These are just the releases I’m aware will be released. There could be plenty more, which is why it’s great that there’s a handy-dandy comment section below to leave those suggestions.
Randy Houser, Magnolia (Jan. 11)
After a delayed release, Magnolia will be in our hands by Jan. 11 and looks to be a return to form for Randy Houser. The bluesy, soulful lead single, “What Whiskey Does” is already a departure from Houser’s slicker sounding material as of late. Houser told Taste Of Country back in October that his past two studio albums were not his best effort. “I feel like in a lot of ways those two albums were made while I was at summer camp or something … now I’m back home.”
Cody Johnson, Ain’t Nothin’ To It (Jan. 18)
Ain’t Nothin’ To It will be Cody Johnson’s first major label release on his new home, Warner Music Nashville (while partnered with his own CoJo Music). Johnson has already seen mainstream chart success before, as 2014’s Cowboy Like Me reached No. 7 on the Billboard Country Albums chart while 2016’s Gotta Be Me reached No. 2 on the same chart. If lead single, “On My Way To You” is any indication, fans won’t need to worry about Johnson compromising his sound to cater to anyone’s needs.
The Steel Woods, Old News (Jan. 18)
Southern-rock fans can rejoice, as the Steel Woods will release their sophomore effort, Old News this January. Along with new original tracks, the 15-song record includes a serious selection of covers that the band releases in tribute to some of the artists who directly influenced their sound. This includes Gregg Allman’s “Whipping Post,” Tom Petty’s “Southern Accents,” Merle Haggard’s “Are The Good Times Really Over,” Townes Van Zandt’s “The Catfish Song,” Black Sabbath’s “Changes,” and “One of These Days” by slain country music artist Wayne Mills, who was a close friend of Jason “Rowdy” Cope.
Flatland Cavalry, Homeland Insecurity (Jan. 18)
After three long years, Flatland Cavlary will finally release their new album, Homeland Insecurity this January. The album will reportedly center around the insecurities of adulthood, according to Saving Country Music. Several pre-release tracks have already been released, including “Honeywine” and “Living By Moonlight.”
Dee White, Southern Gentleman (Jan. 25)
While Dee White already released the first half of this project last August, the January release of Southern Gentleman will carry the full package. By all accounts, it looks to be great. White is an Alabama native signed to Dan Auerbach’s label, Easy Eye Sound and Warner Music Nashville. He’s been out on tour with Alan Jackson as well as Ashley McBryde (who will appear on White’s debut album) and Alison Krauss (who provides backing vocals on the album). In addition, Harold Shedd, the music mogul responsible for signing Alabama, discovering Shania Twain and producing Reba McEntire’s first gold record, is the person who encouraged White to pursue music.
Robert Ellis, Texas Piano Man (Feb. 14)
It’s hard to know exactly what Robert Ellis has up his sleeve with his upcoming album, Texas Piano Man. Thus far, he hasn’t made the same album twice, and that looks to be the case here. Ellis is reportedly channeling his inner Elton John to craft an album about what it means to be a musician residing in Texas according to Rolling Stone. If anything, it’s certainly going to be one of the more interesting albums of the year, and Ellis will certainly keep us on our toes. The album will be released on Valentine’s Day.
Hayes Carll, What It Is (Feb. 15)
Like many artists featured here, it’s been a long time since we heard new music from Hayes Carll. The album’s topics, according to American Songwriter, include “love, loss, the ever changing state of relationships and the tense atmosphere surrounding our nation’s political system.” The album features collaborations from Matraca Berg, Adam Landry, Lolo, Charlie Mars and Allison Moorer. The lead single, “None’ya” is out now.
Ryan Bingham, American Love Song (Feb. 15)
While not much information is known about Ryan Bingham’s newest studio album, it will be his first piece of new music in four years (since 2015’s Fear and Saturday Night). The pre-release track, “Wolves” is the first offering from the album which will center around themes both cultural and personal. The album will be his sixth studio album and was produced by Charlie Sexton. More information can be found through Glide Magazine.
Our Native Daughters, Songs Of Our Native Daughters (Feb. 22)
Rhiannon Giddens hasn’t been afraid to address our complicated history with her work, and her upcoming collaboration also looks to pull no punches. Our Native Daughters is a group comprised of Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla and Allison Russell (Birds of Chicago). The album, according to Rolling Stone, “is a collection of original material inspired by New World slave narratives and composed by the four songwriters.”
Yola Carter, Walk Through Fire (Feb. 22)
British soul singer Yola has already captured the attention of critics, so Walk Through Fire looks to be an interesting release. Featuring collaborations with Molly Tuttle and Vince Gill, the album will be released through Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound. The lead single, “Ride Out In The Country” is out now. More information can be found at Go See Live Music.
The Cactus Blossoms, Easy Way (March 1)
Easy Way looks to be quite a different album for the Cactus Blossoms. The sound is apparently going to be fuller, but not at the expense of the brothers’ harmonies. This will also be the first time the brothers have produced an album themselves. The first pre-release track, “Please Don’t Call Me Crazy” is out now and features a decidedly more upbeat, rocking sound from them.
It’s also worth noting that Aaron Watson will release his new album, Red Bandana on June 21. While very little information is known at this time, the lead single, “Kiss That Girl Goodbye” will impact radio on Feb. 4.
What else is coming out that I missed? Leave your comments down below.