Toby Keith Leads New Album Releases

Thomas Rhett, Kelly Clarkson Also Offer New Music

Toby Keith lines up a round of Drinks After Work on Tuesday (Oct. 29), leading a list of new albums that also includes music from Thomas Rhett and Kelly Clarkson.

Keith serves as his own producer on his 17th studio album. He co-wrote all but one track — the album’s namesake which was penned by Natalie Hemby, Barry Dean and Luke Laird.

“This one is just like second nature now,” Keith says about the song, which is his current single. “But the first time I heard it, it was a really cool song, I just didn’t know if it sounded like me or if I could even pull it off.

“And if I go in with something I didn’t write, I usually know we’re going to have big success with it, but this one, I didn’t,” he continued. “We just wanted to cut it and see what happens.”

A deluxe edition of the album features three extra songs, including “Margaritaville” with former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar. Also, a limited edition ‘ZinePak will come with a 64-page fan magazine and two drink coasters.

Rhett’s It Goes Like This is the 23-year-old Valdosta, Ga., native’s debut album. His father Rhett Akins found success in the 1990s as a recording artist (“That Ain’t My Truck,” “Don’t Get Me Started”), meaning the easygoing youngster has grown up around the country music industry.

Rhett’s first two singles, “Something to Do With My Hands” and “Beer With Jesus,” cracked the Top 20 before he hit No. 1 with the gold-certified “It Goes Like This” (co-written by his dad).

Clarkson’s Wrapped in Red is the singer’s first-ever holiday album, featuring classics like “White Christmas” and “Run Run Rudolph” as well as “Underneath the Tree,” the album’s first single which was written by Clarkson and Greg Kurstin. Ronnie Dunn, Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood also appear on the album.

Holiday album releases are starting to pick up, and joining Clarkson this week are Trace Adkins with the Celtic-infused The King’s Gift, Restless Heart‘s A Restless Heart Christmas and Mindy Smith‘s Snowed In, a five-song EP.

New independent country releases include Good Wine and Bad Decisions from Julie Roberts, 4340 by traditionalist George Ducas and a single-disc reissue of two albums from Tompall & the Glaser Brothers: 1981′s Lovin’ Her Was Easier and 1982′s After All These Years.

Roots-rockers Blackie & the Rodeo Kings offer South, punk-influenced trio the Devil Makes Three deliver I’m a Stranger Here and Austin-based folk duo Loves It step up with All We Are.

Meanwhile, jazzy songstress Miss Tess & the Talkbacks release The Love I Have for You and Sam Riggs & the Night People make their lyrically-satisfying debut with Outrun the Sun.

Chris lives in Nashville and has written for CMT.com and CMT Edge since 2007. The devil made him do it the first time, the second time he done it on his own.