29 Albums From 2018 That Are Worth Checking Out

We’re only half way through the year, and there are already 29 albums that we’re digging!  This list is comprised of albums and EP’s released from 1/1/18-6/30/18 and categorized by current monthly listeners on Spotify.

(50K+ Monthly Listeners on Spotify or More)


Wade Bowen – Solid Ground 

“Solid Ground” was my most anticipated album and I loved digging into it! Wade Bowen takes his story-telling to new levels with haunting tales of heartache, love, and loss that left me craving for more. From the creative musical elements to the vulnerability that pours out in Bowen’s lyrics, this album is the definition of what it means to keep music original. “Anchor” is a chilling track…such a “Wade Bowen” kind of sad song that stays with you.

Pick of the album: Anchor

Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/7I6Wh6V7Nt9wFuzfPLf3gH?si=_7TpQgsrTuml95H6FN7L-A



Various Artists – Dancehall Dreamin’ (Pat Green Tribute Album)

Wow this one sent me back.  Pat Green has played such a big part in creating the modern day “scene” and it was so great to have a nostalgic trip back through some of his best songs. The artists covering the tunes, did such a good job and I really dug getting to hear the different artist’s take on PG’s catalog.

Pick of the album:  William Clark Green – Wrapped

Spofiy Link: https://open.spotify.com/album/0X2Km0BXKTdJ7rVGCOBH1g?si=kuV71ExKRj2mHkPMCV-4zQ



American Aquarium – Things Change 

AA takes us through a poignant, yet straightforward perspective on life and aims to make some sense of the complex political and social climate.  Barham isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind and is unapologetic for his honesty. It’s amazing how his songwriting continues to sharpen and the subject matter continues to widen.  

Pick of the album: Work Conquers All

Spotify Link:  https://open.spotify.com/album/4XcGk3FP9uisjuYgZHcdVH?si=hFmdOx_dRLeHbqDY225_0Q  



Shotgun Rider – Palo Duro 

It’s no surprise Shotgun Rider’s “Palo Duro” is a fan favorite. With its release in time for summer, the album provides that nostalgic two-steppin’ kind of beat for night dances and long car rides. Both peaceful yet lonely, “Palo Duro” synthesizes neo-traditional country with a new Texas Country sound. It’s exactly the kind of album that gets you ready to go out into the world with purpose.

Pick of the Album: Steady As She Goes



Josh Ward – More Than I Deserve 

This record is one I turn on and listen to ALL the way through! From tunes that’ll make you want to tear up the dance floor to heartfelt songs that dig deep. This variety combined with Ward’s consistent honky-tonk sound make for one fine record. Definitely one of our favorites of the year so far! One More Shot of Whiskey is a track I can’t listen to just once!

Pick of the album: One More Shot of Whiskey

Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/2XrHcmCIIWWU9sBFvNOIgv?si=ybn-w6JnSDWmQq29deUSqA



Josh Grider – Good People 

Great songwriters don’t just tell stories; they dive into the nooks and crannies of life and explore.  They get the big picture across through the small details, and Josh Grider does just that in his album, “Good People”. The whole project comes off warm, soothing, and subtlety profound.  It’s like getting in to your freshly made bed, a warm shower on a cold day, or down-home cooking after a hard-day’s work. It’s an album you listen to from start to finish. One you pop in on a long solo road trip, and then find yourself one with the music and the world.

Our pick of the album: Less and Less

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/album/1BIbMwh3Sw1rD7UJ985WlR



Mike and the Moonpies – Steak Night at the Prairie Rose  

Steak Night at the Prairie Rose from Mike and the Moonpies is the perfect balance of contemporary, traditional, and honky-tonk.  With toe-tappers, tear-jerkers, drinking songs, and ones suited for boots and sawdust, this is a must-listen for any country music enthusiast.  We love the complete instrumentation, the nostalgia of 80’s country undertones in the production, and the infectious energy.

Pick of the album: Steak Night at the Prairie Rose


Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/album/3Hp2CAaRYKpjQ2dgdNMKrG?si=objEsGFTSea-476Ewt64kQ

– Chris


Red Shahan – Culberson County 

Shahan took us to church with this album. “Culberson County” includes outlaw country, rough edge gospel, and Americana moments. When I heard this album, I was actually furious at myself for not listening sooner. Laced with steel guitar, heavy hitting lyrics and the kind of harmonies that get your blood pumping, “Culberson County” is not only one of our favorite albums but also riled up support from various musicians in our scene.  

Pick of the Album: Someone Someday

Spotify Link:  https://open.spotify.com/album/56jLIq8MLoaDgJWQqFEusS?si=SO2f-e_xTx-RhQO6kT3yAA



Kyle Park – Don’t Forget Where You Come From 

Kyle Park’s “Don’t Forget Where You Come From” is easily one of his best.  Stand out songs “God Made a Farmer” and “Rio” are two of my favorite songs that he’s ever released.  While there’s a lot that can enjoyed on the surface, there’s also some that take a few listens to reveal themselves.

Pick of the album:  God Made a Farmer

Spotify Link:  https://open.spotify.com/album/57L4MhqfDun3uimhVBXX0Z?si=ifDSPulYSxCd1_hUP29EWA


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Author: Chris Fox

Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I'am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.

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