2017 Master Lists: The Albums!

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, we’ve officially entered everyone’s favorite time of the year: List-making season. Rejoice!

As we prepare for our year-end rodeo, we’ve attempted to compile master lists of the albums, singles, and reissues that are eligible for consideration on our individual ballots. For ease of compiling lists, we’ve set our eligibility year from December 9, 2016 through December 8, 2017. That means Chris Stapleton’s From a Room, Volume 2 just made the cut-off for consideration.

As physical media has become increasingly obsolete and even the impact of downloadable digital media like iTunes and Amazon have become less relevant, it’s harder each year to keep track of everything that gets released.

That’s where you, loyal Country Universe readers, come in! Let us know in the comments– politely, thanks, since we’re all doing our very best here– if there’s something that was released during the 12/9/16 – 12/8/17 window that isn’t listed. As ever, we take a “big tent” approach to the Universe of Country, so don’t hesitate to chime in with albums that have ties to the country genre!

We’ll kick things off with the albums list, then move on to singles and reissues.

Artist Title
Aaron Watson Vaquero
Alabama American Christmas
Alex Williams Better Than Myself
Alison Krauss Windy City
Allison Pierce Year of the Rabbit
Amilia K Spicer Wow and Flutter
Andrew Combs Canyons of My Mind
Angaleena Presley Wrangled
Band of Heathens Duende
Banditos Visionland
Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn Echo in the Valley
Big & Rich Did It for the Party
Billy Bragg Bridges Not Walls
Billy Burnette Crazy Like Me
Billy Ray Cyrus Set the Record Straight
Blake Shelton Texoma Shore
Bobby Bare Things Change
Bobby Junior Warm Winds
BoDeans Thirteen
Boney James Honestly
Brad Paisley Love and War
Brantley Gilbert The Devil Don’t Sleep
Brett Eldredge Brett Eldredge
Brett Young Brett Young
Brian Dunne Bug Fixes & Performance Improvements
Brigitte DeMeyer & Will Kimbrough Mockingbird Soul
Cadillac Three Legacy
Carly Pearce Every Little Thing
Charley Pride Music in My Heart
Charlie Parr I Ain’t Dead Yet
Charlie Worsham Beginning of Things
Chase Rice Lions & Lambs
Chris Hillman Bidin’ My Time
Chris Janson Everybody
Chris Robinson Brotherhood Barefoot in the Head
Chris Stapleton From a Room, Volume 1
Chris Stapleton From a Room, Volume 2
Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau
Chris Young Losing Sleep
Chuck Prophet Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins
Contenders Laughing With the Reckless
Cory Branan Adios
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile Lotta Sea Lice
Dailey & Vincent Patriots & Poets
Dale Ann Bradley Dale Ann Bradley
Dale Watson & Ray Benson Dale & Ray
Danielle Bradbery I Don’t Believe We’ve Met
Darius Rucker When Was the Last Time
David Luning Restless
David Rawlings Poor David’s Almanac
Delbert McClinton & The Self-Made Men Prick of the Litter
Deryl Dodd Long Hard Ride
Dixie Chicks DCX MMXVI: In Concert
Dolly Parton I Believe in You
Dori Freeman Letters Never Read
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Life is a Story
Dustbowl Revival Dustbowl Revival
Dustin Lynch Current Mood
Eddy Raven with Carolina Road All Grassed Up
Eli Young Band Fingerprints
Eliot Bronson James
Elles Bailey Wildfire
Elliot BROOD Ghost Gardens
Gibson Brothers In the Ground
Glen Campbell Adios
Good Graces Set Your Sights
Granger Smith When the Good Guys Win
Grascals Before Breakfast
Gregg Allman Southern Blood
Gretchen Wilson Ready to Get Rowdy
Hard Working Americans We’re All in This Together
Henry Jamison The Wilds
Humming House Companion
Infamous Stringdusters Laws of Gravity
Infamous Stringdusters Laws of Gravity Live
Jackie Greene Modern Lives Vol 1
Jaime Wyatt Felony Blues
Jarrod Dickenson Ready the Horses
Jason Eady Jason Eady
Jason Heath & The Greedy Souls But There’s Nowhere to Go
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit The Nashville Sound
JD McPherson Undivided Heart & Soul
Jeannie Seely Written in Song
Jeff Tweedy Together at Last
Jerrod Niemann This Ride
Jerry Douglas Band What If
Jesca Hoop Memories Are Now
Jessi Colter The Psalms
Jessica Lea Mayfield Sorry is Gone
Jessie James Decker Southern Girl City Lights
Jim Lauderdale London Southern
Jim Lauderdale London Southern
Joe Henry Thrum
Joe Nichols Never Gets Old
John Mellencamp & Carlene Carter Sad Clowns & Hillbillies
John Moreland Big Bad Luv
Jon Langford Four Lost Souls
Jonny Lang Signs
Josh Abbott Band Until My Voice Goes Out
Josh Ritter Gathering
Josh Turner Deep South
Justin Townes Earle Kids in the Street
K Phillips The Dirty Wonder
Kacy & Clayton The Siren’s Song
Kasey Chambers Dragonfly
Kelsea Ballerini Unapologetically
Kenny Chesney Live in No Shoes Nation
Kid Rock Sweet Southern Sugar
Kim Churchill Weight Falls
Kim Robins Raining in Baltimore
Lady Antebellum Heart Break
Langhorne Slim Lost at Last Vol. 1
Lari White Old Friends
Lauren Alaina Road Less Travelled
LeAnn Rimes Remnants
Lee Ann Womack The Lonesome, The Lonely, & The Gone
Lee Brice Lee Brice
Lee Roy Parnell Midnight Believer
Leeroy Stagger Love Versus
Lillie Mae Forever and Then Some
Lilly Hiatt Trinity Lane
Lindsay Ell The Project
Little Big Town The Breaker
Little Feather Little Feather
Lone Bellow Walk Into a Storm
Lonesome River Band Mayhayley’s House
Lorrie Morgan & Pam Tillis Come See Me & Come Lonely
Lucinda Williams This Sweet Old World
Luke Combs This One’s for You
Margo Price All American Made
Mark Olson Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun
Marty Stuart & The Fabulous Superlatives Way Out West
Mavericks Brand New Day
Melissa Plett Ghost Town
Midland On the Rocks
Natalie Hemby Puxico
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Live at Red Rocks
Nikki Lane Highway Queen
Noam Pikelny Universal Favorite
Old 97s Graveyard Whistling
Old Crow Medicine Show 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde
Old Dominion Happy Endings
Parmalee 27861
Pokey LaFarge Manic Revelations
Rails Other People
Randall Bramblett Juke Joint at the Edge of the World
Rascal Flatts Back to Us
Ray Cardwell Tennessee Moon
Ray Davies Americana
Ray Wylie Hubbard Tell the Devil I’m Gettin’ There As Fast As I Can
Reba McEntire Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope
Rhiannon Giddens Freedom Highway
Rhonda Vincent & Daryle Singletary American Granstand
Richard Thompson Acoustic Rarities
Rising Appalachia Alive
Rob Williams An Hour Before Daylight
Robert Francis Indian Summer
Robert Plant Carry Fire
Rodney Crowell Close Ties
Ronnie Fauss Last of the True
Rusty Young Waitin’ for the Sun
Ryan Adams Prisoner
Sam Outlaw Tenderheart
Sara Evans Words
Sarah Jaffe Bad Baby
Scott H Biram The Bad Testament
Secret Sisters You Don’t Own Me Anymore
Shania Twain NOW
Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer Not Dark Yet
Shooter Jennings Live at Billy Bob’s Texas
Son Volt Notes of Blue
Sons of the Palomino Sons of the Palomino
Steve Earle & The Dukes So You Wanna Be an Outlaw
Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers The Long Awaited Album
Sunny Sweeney Trophy
Suzanne Santo Ruby Red
The Builders & The Butchers The Spark
The Sadies Northern Passage
Thomas Rhett Life Changes
Tift Merritt Stitch of the World
Tim McGraw & Faith Hill The Rest of Our Lives
Toby Keith The Bus Songs
Trace Adkins Something’s Going On
Tracy Lawrence Good Ole Days
Turnpike Troubadours A Long Way from Your Heart
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown
Tyler Childers Purgatory
Tyminski Southern Gothic
Valerie June The Order of Time
Various Artists Bloodshot Records: 13 Days of XMas
Various Artists The Life & Songs of Kris Kristofferson
Various Artists Cover Stories: Brandi Carlile Celebrates…
Various Artists Outlaw: Celebrating the Music of Waylon Jennings
Wheeler Bryson Wheeler Original Soundtrack
Wheeler Walker Jr Ol’ Wheeler
Whiskey Gentry Dead Ringer
White Buffalo Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights
Whitney Rose South Texas Suite
Whitney Rose Rule 62
Wild Reeds The World We Built
Wilie Nelson God’s Problem Child
Will Hoge Anchors
Willie Nelson w Lukas & Micah Nelson Willie & The Boys: Willie’s Stash Vol 2
Yonder Mountain String Band Love, Ain’t Love
Zac Brown Band Welcome Home


Check back tomorrow for the next list! And Kevin is cooking up a pretty amazing new feature, too.



  1. I’d also add the following:

    Rod Melancon – ‘Southern Gothic’
    Joey McGee – ‘Terlingua Taproot’
    Yawpers – ‘Boy In A Well’
    The Steel Woods – ‘Straw In The Wind’
    Ned LeDoux – ‘Sagebrush’
    Lukas Nelson and the Promise Of The Real s/t
    Christian Lopez – ‘Red Arrow’
    Steelism – ‘Ism’

    With that said though, this is certainly a great list. I applaud y’all putting it together.

  2. I’m curious of what mainstream albums will make the cut.

    The only great mainstream albums this year imo were Lauren Alaina, Chris Stapleton, Lee Brice, Little Big Town, Brad Paisley, Carly Pearce and Joe Nichols. It really felt like the mainstream lacked this year for good albums, but that’s just me. It’s not that they were bad album but a lot of mainstream albums this year were so boring.

  3. Not a great year for albums from my perspective. Love Alison Krauss’s “Windy City” & Delbert McClinton’s “Prick of the Litter”. While I’ve bought a few individual songs from some of the other albums on this list, the only other albums I purchased were not country – a Mills Brothers album off i-tunes (12 songs from the 1940’s and early 50’s) and “Plum”, an album of jazz influenced songs from Georgia Middleman.

    When I saw the name Joe Henry on this list I immediately thought of the Joe Henry who wrote lyrics for quite a few John Denver songs, most notably for JD’s Windsong album (1975) to which he contributed “Windsong”, “Shipmates and Cheyenne”, “Love Is Everywhere” and “Spirit”. For the album “Spirit” (1976), he co-wrote “Come and Let Me Look in Your Eyes”, “Pegasus” and “The Wings That Fly Us Home”. Joe and Gary Burr co-wrote all the songs on Gary Burr’s 1996 “Lime Creek” album. Among Joe’s other writing credits is “Belleau Wood” with Garth Brooks, a song about a Christmas truce during WWI which appeared on Garth’s “Sevens” album. He also co-wrote “Skin” for Rascal Flatts with Douglas Johnson.

  4. I couldn’t agree more with the inclusions of Tift Merritt and Margo Price on this list. The womenfolk, especially those of the Americana stripe, seem to come up big with great albums each year, even if they can’t get arrested on mainstream country radio.

    I would add to this long list another female entry: [I]Echo Canyon[/I], by Orange County, California-based alt-country/Americana singer/songwriter Alice Wallace. It is very much a slice of California and Southwestern C&W and rock, with a spaghetti western-themed title track and an almost old-school approach, much like that of what Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris were doing in the mid-1970s.

  5. Thanks, everyone! We’ll be adding these recommendations to the master list and check out the albums! So far, this is fewer albums we missed than I expected.

    Doesn’t appear to be the same Joe Henry; this one is another accomplished singer-songwriter and three-time Grammy nominee, but about a generation later than the one you mentioned!

  6. You might want to add Sarah Darling’s Dream Country. She’s gone independent with this one! For singles: Where Cowboys Ride, Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want, Halley’s Comet

  7. My Top 10
    1. Nashville Sound (Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit)
    2. From a Room: Volume I (Chris Stapleton)
    3. All American Made (Margo Price)
    4. Vaquero (Aaron Watson)
    5. Graveyard Whistling (Old 97’s)
    6. Trophy (Sunny Sweeney)
    7. Jason Eady (Jason Eady)
    8. Brand New Day (The Mavericks)
    9. Prisoner (Ryan Adams)
    10. The Rest of our Life (Tim McGraw & Faith Hill)

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