14 Country Albums for Fall 2014

Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney and More

Brand-spanking new albums from Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw and more are all set for the coming months, so here at CMT.com, we thought we’d help keep it straight with a handy guide. Listed in chronological order, here are 14 country albums — or would that be 13? — arriving soon.

Brad Paisley, Moonshine in the Trunk
Paisley’s flair for the dramatic surfaced when he ignored his record label’s concerns and purposely leaked portions of his upcoming album anyway. Called Moonshine in the Trunk, Paisley’s ninth studio album is full of the typically clever and forward-thinking country music fans have come to love, including the first single, “River Bank.” It arrives Monday (Aug. 25).

Lee Brice, I Don’t Dance
Doubling down on the success of his sensitive smash “I Drive Your Truck,” Brice penned a heartwarming song for his wife to use on their wedding day, then proceeded to name his new album after it. I Don’t Dance, Brice’s third album, shoulders the emotional weight of its title track but rebounds easily with lighter fare like “Drinkin’ Class” and “Girls in Bikinis.” Look for it on Sept. 9.

Brothers Osborne , Brothers Osborne
Brothers Osborne are making a strong impression with country fans on their intoxicating backyard jam, “Rum.” Now they’ll open up a little further with a five-song self-titled EP, due on Sept. 9. Natives of the Chesapeake Bay community of Deale, Maryland, the Brothers feature their soggy hometown in their video for “Rum,” standing up for the often-overlooked rednecks of the Atlantic Seaboard in the process.

Dustin Lynch, Where It’s At
For Lynch’s sophomore offering, the “Cowboys and Angels” hitmaker faces some lofty expectations. His self-titled debut made it all the way to No. 1 on Billboard’s country albums chart, and on Sept. 9, he’ll try to repeat that feat with Where It’s At. If fans’ enthusiasm over his title track’s “Yep, yep, that’s where it’s at” hook is any indication, he’s got a good shot. It stands at No. 7 on this week’s Billboard country airplay chart.

Tim McGraw, Sundown Heaven Town
Arriving Sept. 16, McGraw’s new album Sundown Heaven Town is the superstar’s 13th studio set. Enjoying a greater level of creative control over his new music, McGraw’s songs range from the modern (“Lookin’ for That Girl” ) to the traditionally-inspired (“Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” featuring Faith Hill). And in peak physical form, he’s already debuted most of them at concerts throughout the nation.

George Strait, The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium
Strait may have finished his touring career, but on Sept. 16, grieving fans can hold on to his final concert with the 20-track live album The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium. Featuring guest appearances by artists like Jason Aldean, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson and Miranda Lambert, the show, which drew almost 105,000 fans, was a fitting sendoff for the king of country. In addition, a two-hour concert special titled George Strait: The Cowboy Rides Away will air Aug. 29 on CMT.

Kenny Chesney, The Big Revival
For Chesney’s 15th album, the longtime star was determined to up his musical ante. He took the year off from touring and completely focused on The Big Revival. Arriving Sept. 23 and including the single “American Kids,” Chesney looked to avoid country clichés. “There’s so much more to country than trucks, creek beds and cutoffs,” he says. “That stuff is fun, but when you look at how people really dig in and work … you wanna show ’em that you know there’s more to ’em than people might think.”

Big & Rich, Gravity
It’s hard to believe, but Big & Rich’s groundbreaking debut came out a full 10 years ago. After pursuing solo careers, the odd couple return for their fifth album together, Gravity. “As artists, we are now at the place where we can finally gain complete creative control,” says Big Kenny. “That’s huge. It allows us to be true to ourselves and be the trailblazers we’ve always risked being. We want to be important to country music.” Gravity, including the single “Look at You,” comes out Sept. 23.

Lady Antebellum, 747
On Sept. 30, Lady A will release 747, their fifth studio effort. Despite the glut of aviation puns sure to follow, Hillary Scott says the album’s title was a no-brainer. “We unanimously knew that our album title had to be 747,” she says. “The track itself has this pushing, driving spirit about it that sums up our attitude right now.” The album’s first single, “Bartender,” is currently at cruising altitude at No. 3 on Billboard’s country airplay chart.

Blake Shelton, Bringing Back the Sunshine
As a judge on The Voice and a favorite guest on Chelsea Lately and Good Morning America, Shelton has become country music’s witty, goofy, proud ambassador. Incredibly, his last 12 singles in a row have reached No. 1 at country radio, too. On Sept. 30, he’ll release Bringing Back the Sunshine which will feature “Neon Light,” his brand new single. “’Neon Light’ is a song that I fell in love with more each time I heard it,” he says. “It finds a way to blend this new sound with a very traditional chorus, making it unique.”

Florida Georgia Line, Anything Goes
Coming off their double-platinum debut, Florida Georgia Line have set Anything Goes for Oct. 14. Like the title suggests, the red-hot duo are looking to shake up country yet again, especially with more hip-hop flavor. “We just pushed really hard — little melody changes, adding little things here, an 808 drop there, a breakdown here, a different guitar lick there, whatever it may be, we really spent a lot of time on the little details,” said Brian Kelley. (By the way, “808” refers to heavy bass.) The first single, “Dirt,” is already storming the country airwaves.

Little Big Town, Pain Killer
Following a platinum album and hits like “Pontoon” and “Tornado” must be a tough task, but Little Big Town rose to the challenge with Pain Killer. “Sometimes you don’t know what’s going to happen in the studio. You just have to dive in headfirst and work hard to do something unique,” says the group’s Karen Fairchild. “We’re always striving and pushing ourselves to go somewhere new. Pain Killer is a new place for sure.” Featuring the single “Day Drinking,” it arrives on Oct. 21.

Sam Hunt, Montevallo
Newcomer Sam Hunt is so excited about his major label debut, Montevallo, he can’t even wait until its Oct. 27 release. The Georgia native released a digital four-track preview called X2C earlier this month. It includes the pop-friendly single “Leave the Night On,” which, along with all the other songs on the album, Hunt co-wrote. A former college football quarterback who made his Grand Ole Opry debut this week, he’s used his fresh perspective as one of the writers behind Kenny Chesney’s “Come Over,” Keith Urban’s “Cop Car” and Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight.” Look for Hunt on the road with Kip Moore as part of the 2014 CMT on Tour .

Taylor Swift, 1989
After breaking the news that her new album, 1989, will officially be categorized as pop, we’re not exactly sure what to expect from Taylor Swift on Oct. 27. “I woke up every single day that I was recording this record not wanting — but needing — to make a new style of music than I had ever made before,” she said during her announcement. Swift spent two years on the project and says it’s her favorite album she’s ever made. The first single from her fifth album is an empowering dance track called “Shake It Off.”

Writer/producer for CMT.com and CMT Edge. He's been to Georgia on a fast train. He wasn't born no yesterday.