2017 Country Music Preview: Most Anticipated Albums, Tours and Festivals

From new albums by Chris Stapleton, Shania Twain and Sam Hunt to massive country gatherings like Stagecoach and CMA Music Festival

Sunny Sweeney
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Sunny Sweeney

Album: Trophy
Release Date: March 10th
One of the greatest gifts Texas-born Sunny Sweeney has (and there are many) is an uncanny knack for keeping listeners on their toes. Whiskey-laced ballads mingle with extraordinarily honest confessionals, delivered in a soul-piercing voice that alternates between cynically tough and heart-achingly tender. Where 2014's brilliant Provoked, which chronicled the disintegration of one marriage and the early days of another, felt like a game-changing career-builder, Trophy tops it in myriad unexpected ways. That's especially true for "Bottle by My Bed," which isn't about an empty fifth of whiskey, but a baby bottle that remains painfully out of reach. Four terrific songs penned with her "spirit animal," Lori McKenna, and guest shots from Trisha Yearwood, Ray Benson and Jack Ingram are nice touches, but Sweeney's soul-baring remains the ultimate prize.

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