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Superstar September: 13 New Must-Hear Country Albums

September is full of big-name releases, including LPs by Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum and more

Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney perform in Las Vegas

Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney perform in Las Vegas

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Black Friday can wait. In country music (at least this year), September is the new November. Next month will see Kenny Chesney's career "revival," George Strait's final concert immortalized and a husband-wife duo of 33 years finally recording a full album together, among many other big-name projects. Here are 13 country albums coming out in September 2014 that deserve a listen. – By Stephen L. Betts, Beville Dunkerley, Adam Gold & Andrew Leahey

Big & Rich perform in Louisiana

Big & Rich perform at Bayou Country Superfest

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Big & Rich, ‘Gravity’

Release Date: September 23rd
Big Kenny and John Rich have admitted to some knock-down, drag-out fights over the years, and Gravity — the duo's fifth studio album — seems to be their makeup sex. The two singer-songwriters are better together, whether they like it or not, as both musical collaborators and now business partners, as this LP is the first product of their newly-formed Big & Rich Records. "It allows us to be true to ourselves and be the trailblazers we've always risked being," says Big Kenny of the independent release, which finds the two taking their lyrical prowess and signature harmonies to new levels. While the first single, "Look at You," stalled at Number 25 on Billboard's country singles chart, expect the album's stellar "Lovin' Lately" (featuring Tim McGraw) to defy gravity a little better.

Tim McGraw performs at CMA Music Festival

Tim McGraw performs for ABC's 2014 'CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock'

Eric Gebhart/ABC Television Group

Tim McGraw, ‘Sundown Heaven Town’

Release Date: September 16th
If Taylor Swift's lucky number is any kind of omen for her favorite country singer, Tim McGraw's 13th studio album, Sundown Heaven Town will reinforce McGraw's brand as a relevant superstar, not a nostalgia act. On the heels of 2013's transitional mixed bag, Two Lanes of Freedom, Sundown standouts like the top-shelf Tim-and-Faith duet "Meanwhile Back at Mama's" and infectious, banjo-boasting, album-opening stomper "Overrated" see the singer settling back into his Clinton-era country zone, where he does his best work. Kid Rock appears on the deluxe version of the LP, collaborating with his old friend on an earworm called "Lincoln Continentals and Cadillacs."

Randy Owen of Alabama performs in Nashville

Randy Owen of Alabama performs in Nashville

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Alabama, ‘Angels Among Us: Hymns & Gospel Favorites’

Release Date: September 2nd
An influential progenitor of hard-driving country music, Alabama nevertheless delivered one of their most impactful performances with the 1993 Christmas single, "Angels Among Us." Since its release, fans have written to the group by the thousands to share their thoughts on the tune that serves as the title for a 15-track deluxe edition of inspirational songs recorded by the supergroup and being released by Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. Included on the collection are such iconic gospel tunes as "I Saw the Light," "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," "The Old Rugged Cross" and "I'll Fly Away." This version of the album contains three songs that will not be included on the standard edition, set for release later in September.

Terri Clark performs at the Grand Ole Opry

Terri Clark performs at the Grand Ole Opry

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Terri Clark, ‘Some Songs’

Release Date: September 2nd
Terri Clark has always had one of the most loyal fan bases in country music, and her followers have stepped up to help the Canadian singer-songwriter release her latest collection. A PledgeMusic campaign has kept fans heavily involved throughout the recording process, with invites to the studio and an evening with the singer at the Grand Ole Opry among the perks. In terms of the new music, the collection, led by the breezy title track as its first single, was produced by Michael Knox (best known for his work with Jason Aldean). Five of the album's 10 tracks were co-written by Clark, and there are two contributions from red-hot songwriter Brandy Clark (no relation).