It’s that time of year, folks.
2023 was a great year filled with fantastic albums, and now it’s time to rank them.
The Raised Rowdy staff each put together their own lists of their favorites throughout 2023. Keep in mind that these are all personal opinions, and we quite simply don’t care about stats and numbers. If we like it, we rank it.
Without further ado – Raised Rowdy’s top albums of 2023:
Nicky T’s Picks:
1. Teenage Dixie – Muscadine Bloodline
1. Lost in the Valley of Hate & Love Vol. 1 – Them Dirty Roses
Them Dirty Roses takes the cake as my number one pick. This record, at least in my opinion, is massively underrated and flew under the radar all year. It’s a fresh new sound coming from these boys with a fuller, produced element to it that creates soulful, bluesy Southern Rock that they’ve become masters at creating. Some killer tracks on the album include Good Life and You Can’t. The whole album has no skips, so give it a listen if you haven’t already!
2. Can’t Find The Brakes – Dirty Honey
I was excited ever since Dirty Honey announced their new record to finally be able to hear it, and it did not disappoint. Their discography even before Can’t Find The Brakes was simply elite, and the newest addition just adds to it. Songs like Don’t Put Out The Fire, Roam and Get A Little High are very strong, as are the most popular releases on the record – Won’t Take Me Alive and the title track. Dirty Honey is a group that is a juggernaut in the modern rock scene, and they are definitely ones to keep your eye on.
3. Southall – Southall
Read Southall Band changed their name to Southall this year to symbolize the tightness, chemistry, and shared talent of the group. That is very apparent after their newest self-titled release. I wouldn’t call it a rebrand, but the direction the band went for this record shows off their range and ability to make some of the best “rural rock” (shoutout Jeremee Knipp for the term) you’ll ever hear. Scared Money is not only the best track on the album, but one of the best tunes I’ve heard in a long time. Other killer songs on the record include By Surprise, When You’re Around and By Surprise. Go bless your ears with this release!
Hackney Diamonds – The Rolling Stones
Have A Nice Day – Treaty Oak Revival
Family Ties – Charles Wesley Godwin
Rustin’ In The Rain – Tyler Childers
But Here We Are – Foo Fighters
1. Leather – Cody Johnson
This should be a #1 for everyone across the board. CoJo proves why he is the current king of country music and should be viewed as such. The record features the song Dirt Cheap, which in my opinion is one of the best country songs I have ever heard. With features from Jelly Roll and Brooks & Dunn, there’s not a single bad or boring song on the record. Cody Johnson just might end up being the greatest of all time.
2. Tuesday Nights at Scoreboard – Old Hickory
The brand new trio freshly signed to River House Artists released their debut album this year. This is real country music. The three-part harmonies and the lyrical creativity in songs such as Speed Limit 35, Listen to Hank, and She’s Gonna Roll. Old Hickory is now part of the movement to bring real country music back to Nashville, Tennessee.
3. Blacktop – Corey Kent
Coming in at number three for my top three albums of the year, we have Corey Kent’s debut project, Blacktop. Corey’s hits speak for themselves as most people know Wild As Her and Something’s Gonna Kill Me. However, this record includes some of his best songs like BiC Flame, which is a lyrical masterpiece. This ten-song record is essentially perfect and a great start to Corey’s rapidly growing career. In great company with Cody Johnson and Old Hickory, these three are bound to change country music forever.
Muddy Water Rockstar – Austin Snell
Lucky – Megan Moroney
We’re Young, Alright – Aidan Canfield
1. Southern Star – Brent Cobb
The South Georgia songsmith never disappoints. Brent Cobb dropped Southern Star on September 22nd and again proved the wide reach of his homegrown sound. From soulful, gospel-tinged anthems (’On’t Know When, Livin’ the
Dream) to downtempo acoustic ballads (Kick the Can, Shade Tree), the Grammy nominee pulled out all the stops for his sixth studio effort. Featuring ten new songs, including his fan-favorite title track, Southern Star’s stylistic twists
and turns never feel out of place; like cruising down Georgia on I-75 and taking in the evolving countryside. As always, small town stories abound in Cobb’s latest album, each told through vivid lyrics that stick in the mind long after they’re
2. Family Ties – Charles Wesley Godwin
Charles Wesley Godwin is one of the leading voices in a new crop of young headliners forging a mainstream path for country-folk (others include Zach Bryan, Noah Kahan, Colby Acuff). Since dropping his debut LP, Seneca, in 2019, he has
swiftly made a name for himself as one of the genre’s most authentic and articulate storytellers. His latest album, Family Ties, which also arrived on September 22nd, already contains some of his best-loved songs to date. Listening to its 19 tracks from start to finish is an immersive experience, like
witnessing the recording live in studio. His transcendent performance skills are captured perfectly, showcasing his unpolished voice over humble instrumentation for one of the strongest releases of the year for any genre.
3. Peace Mountain – Nicholas Jamerson
Nicholas Jamerson is a genre pioneer who deserves more credit for thinking outside the box. His songs, always grounded in country music, have an unmistakable sound
— sometimes it’s a unique rhythm or drumbeat; sometimes it’s sound effects mixed with acoustic instrumentation; sometimes it’s just the way he is singing. His latest
album, Peace Mountain, is one of the truest examples of his one-of-a-kind style. Its 14 songs (not including two interludes) each evoke a different universe. Lexington is part upbeat love story and part ode to Southern festivities; I Love Blue is an RnB-leaning confessional and duet with Magnolia Boulevard. Throughout it all, Jamerson’s thoughtful lyrics and drawly vocals connect the dots.