Best of 2011?

End-of-year lists abound, and we still have another on the way. But what about the best albums of 2011?

We’re in that super cool period of anticipation, where we wonder what the albums we know about will sound like, and hope that the albums that we don’t know about will be from artists who we can’t get enough of.

Right now, the announced albums that I’m most pumped for are the 2-CD live album from Todd Snider and the new studio album from Alison Krauss, both scheduled for release in early 2011.

Among the unannounced, I’m pining for new studio albums from Dwight Yoakam and Shania Twain. Feels like a lifetime since either had a proper album of new material.

If we’re getting into pipe dreams, I’ll add a new Dixie Chicks set into the mix.

What albums are you hoping for in 2011?


  1. Pretty much all of my favorite artists had albums come out this past year. Excited about Alison’s new album. Would like to see some fresh Vince Gill material. I think I heard Sarah Jarosz was working on something, which would be awesome. Gregg Allman has a new blues album coming out in January. Obviously not actually country but it still has me excited.

  2. 100% agree with the Dixie Chicks pipe dream, Kevin! I’ve recently rediscovered the brillance of these ladies, and cannot wait for new music.

    Carrie Underwood fans are speculating her new album will be released in 2011; I’m not a huge fan of “Play On,” and I’m curious to see how marriage will affect her new music.

    On the pop side, I can’t wait for Lady Gaga’s new album.

  3. Word on the street is that Vince Gill will be releasing an album next spring. I’m having trouble imagining that he’ll top his 2006 box set and I haven’t loved the new songs that he’s been slowly introducing (with the exception of “Billy Paul”), but I’m looking forward to the finished product nonetheless.

    Bill and I were just talking about how it’s time for Dwight to give us something new.

    I’m curious about the upcoming Hayes Carll and Gurf Morlix albums and looking forward to the reported Alison Krauss album.

    I’d like Sara Watkins to release something new soon. Like K, I’d also like Trisha Yearwood to release something, but I’m not expecting anything significant from Garth just yet. I’m pretty sure that I recently read that Garth projected that the next thing either of them recorded might be a duet album together though. I’m mixed about this prospect, because while I’m a big fan of both of them, I haven’t loved any of their collaborations with the exception of “Squeeze Me In.”

  4. Hoping for the new SHeDAISY set to see the light of day.

    Among my others:

    + Carrie Underwood? (with her release schedule, it seems 2011 is the next year, unless she’s taking some time off from releasing one yet)

    + Sara Evans: Her new set is supposed to see release in 2011.

    + None others come to mind at the moment.

    On the topic of Pipe Dreams:

    Trisha Yearwood, Shania Twain, & SHeDAISY rank high on my list.

  5. I’d love something new from Vince Gill and/or Dwight Yoakam too.

    Blaine Larsen’s had a new album that has yet to be released yet and I’m looking forward to it. Luke Bryan and Rodney Atkins will probably release albums that I’m likely to get, even if the latter’s latest work has, well, lame.

    And I’m definitely looking forward to Brad Paisley’s new album.

    If Carrie Underwood releases a new album next year I hope it sounds a bit more country. I didn’t care much for Play On.

    And George Strait has released 4 singles off Twang so far, so perhaps he’ll release something new soon too.

  6. I’m very excited to hear Sara Evans’ new album. In the unannounced, but hoping they release a new album category: Shania Twain, Dixie Chicks, Trisha Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack. And yes, a new album from Carrie would also be nice.

  7. I know it will never happen, but I hope SheDaisy either signs with a label, or goes at it alone and finally releases A Story to Tell. How many years has this album been on the shelf?

    It’s unfortunate they’ve become a bit irrelavent in the country music industry because they are talented, and when it comes to country, I think I’m leaning towards the more harmonic tones in what I see from artists, like the Little Big Towns and SheDaisys of the genre.

    And if the Chicks do get back together and release a new album, that would be cool too.

  8. One that comes to mind immediately is LeAnn Rimes – her album’s essentially been ready for months, and keeps getting put back. I’m really looking forward to it.

  9. …julie roberts and ashton shepherd albums would be among the ones near the top of my wish list. a good, coheisive album from carrie underwood or tim mcgraw might interest me. i look forward to brad paisley’s new release in spring. easton corbin’s sophomore album should be ready later in the year. a brand new studio album from dwight or lee ann womack? – don’t get me started.

  10. I share the Dixie Chicks pipedreaming as well but I think a second CYH album is more likely. I loved the 1st CYH album so i’m looking forward to that one to.
    There’s talk about tourdates for the Chicks in 2011 so maybe a EP would be nice * dreaming..*

    I look forward also for the upcoming album of Alison Krauss. I hope Miranda lambert makes another one to and a countrier album from Carrie

  11. I’d also love to see new Trisha & Chicks albums. I will be buying the Suzy Bogguss American folk songs album that will be available at Cracker Barrel restaurants in the spring. (I generally like the food at CB but the coffee is awful.) Suzy sang “Oh, Shenandoah” last week at her Christmas show.

  12. Gator –
    You literally took my post out of my head! I’m really looking forward to an actual Ashley Monroe cd in my hands. Also very much looking forward to new Sara Evans and Ashton Shepherd records.

  13. Alison Krauss, definitely. She has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard, and her material rarely disappoints. Agreeing on Dixie Chicks pipe dreams. I didn’t know Trisha was slated to release an album either.

    On the pop side, I’m excited for Adele’s “21,” Colbie Caillat’s new album, and hopefully we get a new xx album.

  14. I guess she counts as more of a “fellow traveler” than anything else, but Lucinda Williams’ new one Blessed hits the shelves on March 1st.

    I’d kind of also like to see Trisha, the Chicks, and Linda Ronstadt release new albums as well. But those may have to count as “pipe dreams.”

  15. Sophomore albums from The Band Perry, Sunny Sweeney, Easton Corbin, Emily West and Ashton Shepherd. Something more adventurous but still country sounding from Chris Young. However, the thing I want most of all, a return from Brad Paisley that realizes the creative, interesting lyrics and the sonically pleasing sound created in the albums Who needs Pictures, Part II, Mud on the Tires and Time Well Wasted! Let’s go Brad!

  16. Suprised Pam Tillis wasn’t mentioned in the intro. Will add Faith Hill because nobody else did and fingers crossed for a new Tim McGraw greatest hits.

  17. Dixie Chicks for sure :) But at this point I’m starting to think if we ever see another album by them again it won’t be until Natalie’s kids have graduated college. Or hopefully when they’re teens. So, I’m going out on a limb and saying 7 years, since her youngest is only 6.

    Shania too! But I just read an interview where she said she lost her confidence to perform and sing b/c of the pressures of being a star :( But we do have a tv show coming out (not that I think I get the channel) so here’s hoping for a new cd in 2012?

    I don’t know of anyone definitely releasing cds in 2011 that I’m particularly looking forward too. But I don’t usually know about any releases till like the month before.

  18. Early in July, a 17 song CD called American Folk Songbook from the wonderful Suzy Bogguss will be available through Cracker Barrel Stores.

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