A 2014 Country Christmas Music Primer

Enter to win a copy of Guy Penrod (pictured)'s great Christmas album and find out all the other releases this year.

This year the top contenders for best-selling Christmas album include Darius Rucker’s Home For The Holidays, Sara Evans At Christmas and The Christmas With Nashville compilation album. Each of these records could take home the place which has been contested by Duck Dynasty’s The Robertson Family, Scotty McCreery, Blake Shelton and Lady Antebellum in the past couple of years. We’ve rounded up a list of Christmas Music that’s hit our radar (so far) and included those albums in our 2014 Country Christmas Music Primer which we curated just for you.

Guy Penrod - Christmas (Servant Records)

The Southern Gospel star delivers his first Christmas project and it’s a delight within strong voice delivering an album that could transcend genres and become a timeless collection for any fan. Standouts include “Tenessee Christmas” (with Amy Grant and Vince Gill), “Angels We Have Heard On High,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “The Christmas Song” and “Away in A Mager.  (Note: We’re giving away three copies of this album and you can enter the contest by clicking here!).

Darius Rucker - Home For The Holidays (Capitol Nashville)

For his first Yuletide album, Darius recorded two brand new tracks (well One really since "Candy Cane Christmas" was released in 2009) and 10 classic Christmas songs. A longtime pet project for the Grand Ole Opry star, he brings his children into the fold for "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and duets with Sheryl Crow on "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Darius Rucker's vocal tone is second to none so his take on these and other classic songs like "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" and "White Christmas" is a wecome addition to the yearly Christmas playlists.

CNashville Cast - Christmas With Nashville (LionsGate/Big Machine Records)

The cast of Nashville delivers their first collection of Christmas songs and it’s entirely classic songs like Clare Bowen’s “Santa Baby,” Hayden Pannetiere’s “White Christmas,” Will Chase’s “O Little Town Of Bethlehem” and Charles Esten’s “Blue Christmas.” “River,” from Sam Palladio is a big highlight as is the whole cast’s version of “Celebrate Me Home,” Aubrey Peebles “Merry Christmas Baby” and Lennon & Maisy’s “Christmas Coming Home,” a song their parents (The Stellas) wrote.

Sara Evans - At Christmas (RCA Nashville)

The family-centric and powerful vocalist brings a collection of mostly traditional Christmas songs that bring the traditions of the season home. Songs like “Run Run Rudolph” and “Go Tell It On The Mountain” are fun while “O Holy Night,” “Silent Night,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” are chances for Sara to showcase her voice. It could become a timeless addition to any family’s yearly Christmas music collection.

LeAnn Rimes - One Christmas:Chapter One EP (Iconic Entertainment)

The first album released by LeAnn Rimes since she left her longtime label Curb Records, LeAnn Rimes’ One Christmas features stunning renditions of six Christmas tunes including “Hard Candy Christmas,” “Carol Of The Bells,” “Silent Night” and “Blue Christmas.”

The Claire Lynch Band - Holiday! (Thrill Hill Records)

A talented bluegrass and traditional music band, fronted by vocalist Claire Lynch showcases the band with fun songs like “Snow Day,” “Scarlet Ribbons” (which features Claire’s daughter Christy), “In The Window,” an instrumental “We Three Kings” and “Home For The Holidays.” There’s also the new tune “Heaven’s Light,” a nice addition to the yuletide canon. 

Note: We will add additional albums/singles into this primer as they become available in the coming weeks. Happy Holidays!