Since it is June 25th and we are half way to Christmas…and I love Christmas music, especially Country Christmas music, I’ve created a list of my 12 favorite Country Christmas albums to share. It’s really hard to pick just 12 favorites. There are so many great Christmas albums to choose from. Hopefully, this will help you choose what you might want to add to your holiday collection this year and get in the holiday spirit, even if it’s 6 months away.
- Sara Evans, At Christmas
Sara’sfirst full length holiday album, the 10-track album includes some of the most well-known and celebrated holiday songs including “Silent Night,” “Oh Holy Night,” and “Winter Wonderland,” as well as a very special rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” that features vocals from two of her daughters, Olivia and Audrey. The title track “At Christmas” is an upbeat original song written by Shane Stevens and Toby Lightman that you are certain to fall in love with.
- Blake Shelton, Cheers It’s Christmas
Also Blake’s first Christmas album, the album features several duet performances including fellow “The Voice” advisor Michael Bublé, long-time friend, Reba and a very special duet with his mother, Dorothy Shackleford. You will also hear songs Blake recorded with wife and Grammy Award winner, Miranda Lambert, Grammy Award winning Kelly Clarkson, “The Voice” semi-finalist Xenia and The Pistol Annies. The album includes classic Christmas songs that have touched Blake over the years.
- Lady Antebellum, On This Winter’s Night
“On This Winter’s Night,” features 11 holiday staples…as well as a title track that’s a Lady A original and expands upon their 2010 EP “A Merry Little Christmas.” Haywood stated in a press statement, “We recorded this album in two sections, but both times were in the summertime”. “It is always weird to be in the studio working on Christmas music in June and July, so we decorated the entire studio, we really did. We brought out lights, fake trees and decorated the place to get in the Christmas spirit. You’d leave the studio, and it’d be 100 degrees out in Nashville, but nonetheless, a great experience.”
- Darius Rucker, Home For The Holidays
The twelve track album includes holiday classics as well as two of Rucker’s originals, “Candy Cane Christmas” and “What God Wants For Christmas.” Also, special guest Sheryl Crow joins Darius on the holiday standard “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” This is also a first as far as Christmas albums go for Rucker. “I am so excited to finally make a Christmas album,” Darius states. “This has been a lifelong dream and I hope my fans enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed making it.”
- The Nashville Cast, Christmas With Nashville
Produced by Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus, the album is a musical companion piece to ABC’s drama Nashville features cast members Hayden Panettiere, Clare Bowen, Sam Palladio and more putting their own Music City spin on the Yuletide. Charles Esten, who has played Buddy Holly in London’s West End theatre, does his best Elvis rendition on “Blue Christmas.”
- George Strait, Classic Christmas
This is George Strait’s third holiday album, he has released one every decade for the most part. The album concentrates on the basics, something that’s evident just from the title of ‘Classic Christmas.’ There’s not a new tune or insignificance among the album’s ten songs, as Strait relies greatly on carols like “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” adding a couple relatively newer tunes like “Jingle Bells” and “Up on the Housetop” to balance it out. ‘Classic Christmas’ is quite warm and easygoing with a relaxed collection of gentle acoustic numbers and subdued Western swing (“Jingle Bells” and “Upon on the Housetop” benefit quite a bit from the others) that feels as true to Strait’s signature sound as it does to the spirit of the season.
- Jason Michael Carol, Christmas On The Farm
Another holiday album first for Jason Michael Carol… The singer’s buddy and frequent co-writer Patrick Davis produced the five song CD, which mixes classics with original songs for the holidays. “I have always wanted to do a Christmas album and as you can image having four children at home we do spend a lot of time singing around tree,” Jason Michael stated. “When I heard ‘Christmas on the Farm’ I knew that was the song and one I thought radio would love to play. My kids have always wanted me to do a Christmas album, so with that song as the lead and my childrens’ favorite ‘Joy to The World,’ I knew we had to do it.”
- Hear Something Country: Christmas
An exciting Christmas collection featuring 15 songs from today’s biggest hitmakers in country music…it includes 6 new recordings from the women of country, Carrie Underwood, Sara Evans, Kellie Pickler, Terri Clark and more. There are also plenty of guys featured on the album including Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Blaine Larsen, Keith Anderson, Montgomery Gentry, Phil Vassar, Brooks & Dunn, and even a vintage Johnny Cash recording of “Silent Night” from 1972.
- Leann Rimes, One Christmas-Chapter 1
“I made a Christmas record a long time ago, and this time, I decided I wanted to spread it out over three years so I didn’t have to stop making Christmas music. We had so much fun making this first EP. I tried to play around with it as far as things you don’t typically hear me do. A lot of the vocals sound very live, and it’s just really a cool piece of music. It’s very eclectic. It has a lot of soul, and it sounds really organic.”– LeAnn Rimes
- The Henningsens, Our Family Christmas
A medley of “Carol of the Bells” is mesmerizing, and “Auld Lang Syne” is nostalgia at its melancholy finest, but it’s the randy duet between Clara Henningsen and Jerrod Niemann, “Christmas Kissin'”. I’ve heard a lot of Christmas music, but to be honest I love the way the Henningsens combine their amazing harmonies with the classic Christmas songs. It takes me to church and really gets me into the holiday season…I would recommend this album for Christmas Morning!
- Kenny Chesney, All I Want for Christmas is a Real Good Tan
This album is not just for anyone who is looking for the tried and true traditional Christmas songs. In true Kenny fashion, some of the music is island-inspired, and some is inspired by his East Tennessee upbringing. With that being said, if you are a fan of Kenny’s recent music, you will definitely enjoy this Christmas collection.
12. Martina McBride, White Christmas
This album has been released three times, the latest edition released in 2007, with a few new songs added. Even though it is listed at number 12, it is still at the top of my list every time I put a list together of my favorite Christmas albums. Martina McBride has a timeless voice, and her rendition holiday music is something that can be enjoyed by everyone. Nothing out of the ordinary, just great holiday music.
I know Christmas is still 6 months away but it will be here before you know it…and hopefully these albums will help get you in the holiday spirit. Enjoy!