A new year means new music! The country and Americana music scenes have been steadily growing in recent years. More great talents keep rising up and there’s a seemingly never-ending flow of new music. As a music fan this is a great problem to have. However it can be hard to keep up with everything, even a blog like my own can have trouble. So as we begin in 2017 let’s look ahead at upcoming albums already announced, while also speculating expected releases and rumors. We’ll start first with the announced albums…
Country Perspective’s Upcoming Album Release Schedule is now live! You can go view it by clicking here. I’m going to go through what I believe to be the most anticipated of the announced. If you want to see the full list go to the schedule.
Blackie and The Rodeo Kings – Kings and Kings
The veteran Canadian roots band returns with a companion album to their 2011 release Kings and Queens. The album features guest appearances from Eric Church, Jason Isbell, Vince Gill, Raul Malo of The Mavericks, Keb Mo, Buddy Miller, Rodney Crowell, Bruce Cockburn, City and Colour, Nick Lowe and Fantastic Negrito.
January 27 March 10*
Valerie June – The Order of Time
One of the most promising up and comers in Americana returns with a new album. Country writer Ann Powers hinted on Twitter this past week that this could be one of the best in Americana all year. Stay tuned…
*Informed that this has been pushed back to March, as reflected also on Amazon pre-order page.
Whitney Rose – South Texas Suite EP
While we don’t review EPs anymore, this is one you will surely need to go check out. Rose won Country Perspective’s 2015 Female Artist of the Year award for her excellent album Heartbreaker of the Year. This EP is an ode to her new home in Texas after relocating from Canada. I wouldn’t be surprised if a full album isn’t too far away either.
Ags Connolly – Nothin’ Unexpected
Connolly released a stellar traditional debut album in 2014 titled How About Now. He’s now teamed up with At The Helm Records for his sophomore release and if you’re a fan of traditional country you won’t want to miss this record.
Nikki Lane – Highway Queen
Of all the announced albums so far, I think this one has the most potential and could very well be an album of the year contender in 2017. Lane promised gritty, twangy traditional country music on this album. Her boyfriend and fellow artist Jonathan Tyler help produce it. Be sure to mark this one on your calendar.
Rhiannon Giddens – Freedom Highway
I have yet to review any music from Giddens, but that will change with this album. She’s arguably the most talented vocalist in Americana today and I can’t wait to hear this one. Her last album and EP were already fantastic and if she steps up even more like I think she will we’re in for one hell of a record.
Brad Paisley – Love and War
I don’t know if I’m really looking forward to this one, but I am intrigued. Guest collaborators will include Mick Jagger, Demi Lovato and Timbaland. I’m not sure what to expect. This could be good or terrible.
Sunny Sweeney – Trophy
I absolutely loved her last album Provoked and I’m willing to bet this one is even better. The twangy Texas artist is always one to keep an eye on.
Expected in 2017
I expect the following to release an album in 2017 based on the time when they last released an album, rumors and announcements.
- Wade Bowen & Randy Rogers – I tweeted this out in December, but the duo said they will be going back into the studio in January to record another album together, presumably being Hold My Beer, Vol. 2. Volume 1 was one of Country Perspective’s top five albums of 2015. Randy Rogers Band is also expected to go back into the studio this year to record their follow-up to Nothing Shines Like Neon. Bowen has been dropping heavy hints that he will be releasing a new solo record in 2017 too.
- The Honeycutters – Have announced they’re going back into the studio this month and plan on releasing a new album sometime this year.
- The Mavericks – Announced late last year they will be releasing a new album of material in April 2017, but no date or name has been officially announced. Their last album Mono was released in February 2015.
- First Aid Kit – It’s been three years since their last album, so I’ll be surprised if they don’t release a new one.
- Turnpike Troubadours – Strong rumbling and rumors they will be releasing their followup to their fantastic 2015 album.
- Josh Turner – With “Hometown Girl” sticking around at radio and gaining traction, this should give the green light for the new album which has rumored to have been done for a while.
- Runaway June – “Lipstick” just entered the top 30 at radio, which means we should see this trio’s debut album sometime in 2017.
- Maddie & Tae – It’s been two years since their debut album Start Here and a new single is rumored to drop in quarter one. I imagine it’s success will dictate the new album’s release date.
- Whitey Morgan – The outlaw artist from Flint, Michigan released Country Perspective’s #2 album of 2015 and I imagine it’s followup will come this year. If it does, expect this to be in the conversation for the best albums of the year.
- Margo Price – She just released her highly praised debut album in 2016 and has already announced her sophomore album will be dropping this year. If it’s even better than her debut, she could have a Sturgill Simpson-like meteoric rise in popularity amongst music fans. It’s certainly set-up for it to happen.
- Jason Isbell – His last album Something More Than Free won Country Perspective’s 2015 Album of the Year award and it’s follow-up should come this year.
- Chris Stapleton – Country music’s biggest traditional superstar is pretty much a lock to release his sophomore album this year. I don’t think I need to explain the hype behind this one.
- Brandi Carlile – I saw her live last year (definitely recommend) and she said she was working on a new record, as well as a 10th anniversary re-release of her iconic album The Story.
- Corb Lund – Two years since his last release
- George Strait – The King of Country Music said he’s working on new music and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.
- Lindi Ortega – Two years since her last release
- Kacey Musgraves – Just like Stapleton, it’s pretty much a lock we’re getting a new album from Musgraves. She improved upon her debut album on her sophomore release Pageant Material. If she further improves on this new album we could be talking about album of the year.
- John Moreland – His last album High on Tulsa Heat blew me away in 2015 and I can’t wait to see what he has in-store next. He’s one of the best songwriters in country/Americana today.
- Chris King – He just released Animal this past year, our #2 album of 2016, but he recently tweeted he’s currently working on three different albums and plans to have new music in 2017.
- Ray Wylie Hubbard – As you can see in our comments below, Mr. Hubbard will be dropping some new music for our ears sometime this year. And that’s something you should all you keep an eye out for.
- Morgane Stapleton – There have been rumblings here and there she will be releasing her own music, but I haven’t heard a thing. I hope we start hearing things soon.
- Jamey Johnson – Johnson released two new songs and a Christmas EP out of the blue in late 2014/early 2015. Then he went back to radio silence. Will we ever get a new album from him?
- Houndmouth – Their sophomore release Little Neon Limelight really impressed me in 2015 and landed in my top ten albums of the year. In April 2016 though vocalist and keyboard player Katie Toupin left the group to pursue her own music endeavors. This is a huge blow and I’m not sure if moving forward the band will sound as great or what their future holds.
- Gary Allan – Allan has been completely left in the dust by radio and as a result his label has essentially froze him from releasing his new album, which has supposedly been done for years. This is the life of non A-list artists on a major label in country music. Who knows when we see this album, if ever.
Let me know what albums you’re looking forward to most in 2017 in the comments below! If there are any albums you want to add or want to know about please feel free to ask. I know I probably didn’t get every artist, so ask away.