It’s been a pretty good year in country music. Kacey Musgraves and Jason Isbell have impressed critics, Zac Brown Band and Brett Eldredge have kept their fans happy with solid releases and legacy artists like Reba McEntire and Alabama returned to the mix.
The year isn’t over yet, though. From Texas country favorites to megastars, here are some of the most anticipated country albums coming out for the rest of the year.
Don Henley — Cass County (Sep. 25)
A founding member of the Eagles, Don Henley knows his way around a strong melody. Cass County is his first solo country album, and he’s bringing all of his friends. Artists lending their talents to the record include Merle Haggard and Miranda Lambert. Check out the video for the first tune from the album, “Take A Picture Of This”.
Bart Crow — The Parade (Oct. 2)
Crow’s previous album Dandelion was an alt.-country gem. Justin Pollard returns to produce the follow-up, and it will be released via Thirty Tigers — the company responsible for marketing and distributing some of the best independent acts around, including Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson.
Jana Kramer — 31 (Oct. 9)
Kramer decided to pull an Adele and name her new record after her age. She says her sophomore record is the album she’s always wanted to write. If lead single “I Got The Boy” is any indication, Kramer wanted to write a really good album.
Jason Boland & The Stragglers — Squelch (Oct. 9)
Jason Boland has always been an ambassador for old-school country music. Boland promises not to hold back on his eighth studio release, particularly with his lyrics.
George Strait — Cold Beer Conversation (Oct. 16 tentatively)
Most online stores are listing King George’s new record for an October 16th release. While Strait may not be touring regularly any more, he’s promised to continue releasing music. Cold Beer Conversation is his first since finishing the epic “Cowboy Rides Away” tour.
Carrie Underwood — Storyteller (Oct. 23)
Any time the huge-voiced superstar releases an album, it’s a big deal. Her last effort Blown Away was a humongous success, selling more than 2 million copies in an age when getting to 500,000 is a huge deal. Lead single “Smoke Break” earned critical acclaim and shattered records for the most radio station adds when it debuted.
Josh Abbott Band — Front Row Seat (Nov. 6)
Josh Abbott has been on a whirlwind ride since his twitter breakdown detailing his infidelity and alcohol problems. The following 18 months led the band on a roller coaster of successes and failures, ultimately culminating in one of the most anticipated Texas country albums in years.
Tim McGraw — Damn Country Music (Nov. 6)
Speaking of roller coaster rides, Tim McGraw just announced he has to cancel his remaining tour dates for doctor-ordered vocal rest. But at least fans have the brand new album Damn Country Music to look forward to. His previous release Sundown Heaven Town was a bright spot among mainstream male country artists.