Just call 2016 the year of the country Christmas album. A whole bunch of artists recently announced plans for upcoming holiday albums this year. Since it’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas, we’ve put together a list of some of the biggest ones.
A hot newcomer? Check. A bona fide megastar? Check. Elder statesmen, critical darlings, chart toppers and one of the best voices to ever grace country music? Yep, 2016’s got Christmas albums from ’em all.
Christmas albums are a country music tradition. And let’s be honest, they’re not all created equal. But with the slate of festive albums coming out in the next few months, there’s something for everybody. Who knows, you may just find your new favorite Christmas album.
The longtime host of CMA Country Christmas is a veteran in the world of holiday music. Besides giving some of the best performances during the televised special every year, Nettles also notched an excellent offering with her band Sugarland. Dolly Parton spilled the beans on Nettles’ upcoming album while also announcing she’d have one coming out in 2017.
— Jennifer Nettles (@JenniferNettles) August 20, 2016
The sultry singer promises an album that pays homage to some of his classic heroes, including Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and Bing Crosby. Expect this one to be heavy on horns, strings, swing and soul. One of the best newcomers on the country sing, Eldredge’s voice is perfectly suited for a retro Christmas offering.
McEntire announced My Kind Of Christmas in July. And who needs to wait for winter — or even Fall — to release a Christmas album? McEntire just released her third Christmas album and first since 1999 on Sept. 2. You can pick up the 11-track collection exclusively at Cracker Barrel restaurants.
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood
Fans have wanted a duets album from the husband and wife superstar duo ever since they released 1997’s “In Another’s Eyes.” Well, this may not be quite what they envisioned, but it’s still going to be one of the most talked-about Christmas albums this year. They’ve both released them independently, but no doubt two of country’s most recognizable voices will create something special together.
The chart-topping trio is enjoying their time back in the limelight after the success of 2014’s Rewind. In fact, they’ still on tour for that album (wrapping up in mid-September) but announced they still found time to record their first ever Christmas album. Expect an album full of classics done with shimmery pop production and vocal runs galore by lead singer Gary LeVox.
Celebrating back-to-back No. 1’s for the first time in his career, Chris Young announced this year would also bring another first: a Christmas album. The self-professed Christmas music fanatic said it was hard to narrow down the track list for the album. No word on of it’ll have any duets like his recent album I’m Comin’ Over, but Young promised more info soon.
This one has been high on our list ever since Musgraves revealed the project on social media. The critical darling constantly appears on nominations lists for the Grammys, CMAs and ACMs. Expect Musgraves to bring her uniquely laid back country flair to some of your Christmas favorites. And probably just a hint of sass.
Got to hear a sneak peak of @KaceyMusgraves Christmas record, & we are gonna go ahead and put our tree up now 'cause I can't stop listening.
— Shane McAnally (@shanemcanally) August 23, 2016
Oak Ridge Boys
The Oak Ridge Boys will release their — get this — seventh Christmas album this year. And on top of that, the quartet with roots back into the 1940s will also embark on the 27th annual Christmas tour, spanning 16 states and 26 cities. The whole thing kicks of Nov. 1 and goes through Dec. 22.