With 2017 a little more than half over, Rolling Stone Country took stock of the year’s best releases, revealing its 25 Best Country and Americana Albums of the year so far.
Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell all make their by now requisite appearances with their respective albums God’s Problem Child, From A Room: Volume 1 and The Nashville Sound. But there are some inclusions on the list that fall outside the critical darlings. Such as Brantley Gilbert’s The Devil Don’t Sleep, on which the Georgia native unapologetically doubles down on his bad-boy bro image. The result is some of Gilbert’s most assured and confident work to date.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Charlie Worsham’s Beginning of Things, a record that is at once poignant, quirky and timeless. Worsham is carrying the torch for heart-on-your-sleeve country music, which, in a sea of brawny vocalists and pop-country bros, can be a difficult task.
Other notable albums on the list include Colter Wall’s smoky self-titled debut, John Moreland’s Big Bad Luv, Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett’s rollicking West Coast Town, and Lady Antebellum’s Heart Break.
See the full list here.