As we near the end of 2016, it's only fitting that One Country shares a few of those classic, end of the year lists. Like you, we are kind of bored with the typical end of the year lists, so we're putting our own spin on a few!

This year for One Country's Best Country Albums of the Year list, we combined the picks from our two biggest country music connoisseurs. There were a few crossovers, but most notably-- this was a standout year for the ladies of country music. Any album released in 2016 was considered.

1. Midwest Farmer's Daughter // Margo Price (JS)
With a songwriting pen as strong as Loretta Lynn's and Dolly Parton's, Price shattered the glass ceiling with her debut album. Her voice is unmistakable and easily identified with the honky-tonk era of country music--just take a listen to such gems as "Hurtin' on the Bottle," "About to Find Out" and "Desperate and Depressed." There is a quaking wit and boldness not many have today, and she's not afraid to call it like she sees it. "This Town Gets Around" is an especially delightful moment, as she takes direct aim at the music business and how hard it is to break through the clutter. When she pulls back the reigns, as she does with "World's Greatest Loser," she demonstrates the power in the haunting quiet.

Highlights: "Hands of Time," "Hurtin' on the Bottle," "Tennessee Song," "This Town Gets Around," "How the Mighty Have Fallen"

2. The Bird & The Rifle // Lori McKenna (LC)
McKenna's 10th album was produced by the fantastic Dave Cobb and is up for Best Americana Album at the 2017 GRAMMYs. I think it will be strongly considered for CMA Album of the Year during the 51st annual show too. McKenna's stories and lyrics are raw and truthful. She also carries a profoundness in every note she sings. The Bird & The Rifle makes you hurt in the way that only really good music can.

Highlights: "Wreck You," "The Bird & The Rifle," "Old Men Young Women"

3. Big Day in a Small Town // Brandy Clark (JS)
The Grammy-nominated disc is a concept album about one particularly fanciful day in middle America. There is plenty of gossip ("Soap Opera," "Big Day in a Small Town"), reflections on aging ("Homecoming Queen") and "Drinkin' Smokin' Cheatin'" to be larger-than-life but rooted in reality. Her most impressive moments are when she is at her most vulnerable, as she is on "Three Kids No Husband" (about a woman struggling as a single parent) and "Since You've Gone to Heaven," in which she remembers a long lost soul gone from this earth.

Highlights: "Soap Opera," "Homecoming Queen," "Three Kids No Husband," "Since You've Gone to Heaven"

4. The Weight of These Wings // Miranda Lambert (JS)
Lambert bares her soul on her risky double-album. Anchored by the introspective and potent lead single "Vice," the 24-track collection is heavy on the balladry and devoted to peeling back the layers of heartache and misery. As the apt follow-up to 2014's more polished Platinum record, Lambert goes all in on this straight-chaser Americana album. Music Row wanted more mainstream friendly material, and she didn't care. She is far less concerned about radio hits these days--even though "We Should Be Friends" is one of the album's most accessible tracks--and far more interested in her craft, in telling real stories about real people and staying true to herself. Split into two halves, "The Nerve" and "The Heart," Wings barrels through self-loathing, addictive hookups and booze as a way to cope and heal. Ultimately, she does but not without collecting a few more scars along the way.

Highlights: "Use My Heart," "Tin Man," "To Learn Her," "Pushin' Time"

5. Pawn Shop // Brothers Osborne (LC)
With the help of Nashville heavyweights (Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman, Craig Wiseman) and their close friends and songwriting community (Maren Morris, Ryan Hurd) the Brothers co-wrote each song on the album which propelled them to a CMA Vocal Duo of the Year win. Pawn Shop is some swampy, funky goodness that manages to capture a new side of American country music fans. To date, two songs off the debut project have garnered GRAMMY nominations to along with their widely loved and accepted grins in Nashville.

Highlights: "Stay A Little Longer," "Greener Pastures," "American Crazy," "21 Summer"

6. A Sailor's Guide to Earth // Sturgill Simpson (JS)

Simpson's third album is not your typical Simpson album. His 2014 landmark release Metamodern Sounds in Country Music put him on the map, and instead of continuing along that musical strain of honky-tonk branded music, he ventures into the sea of jazz, funk, rock and soul music on the follow-up. Rich in brassy horns and sweeping orchestral arrangements, A Sailor's Guide to Earth is a well-plotted concept album into all matters of the heart. Seafaring sounds are peppered throughout the project, to remind the listener of his personal voyage. Even covering Nirvana's "In Bloom" is a refreshing surprise, as he was made for that style of music.

Highlights: "Breakers Roar," "Brace for Impact (Live a Little)," "Oh Sarah"

7. Hero // Maren Morris (LC)
Morris' debut album was nominated for CMA Album of the Year and Best Country Album at the GRAMMYs. Each and every track on the album is full of Morris' soulful, country-fied vibe and her unprecedented use of the word "shit" throughout was done so productively and effectively, I'm convinced there are no other words she could have even use in its place. Without a doubt, this album will go down as one of the greatest country music debuts of all-time and likely a record that will be noted on timelines for years to come.

Highlights: "Rich," "My Church," "I Wish I Was," "Drunk Girls Don't Cry"

And the others:

Ripcord // Keith Urban
The more I listened to Ripcord the more I figured out the cohesiveness of it all. It was easily the most progressive album of the year.

Black // Dierks Bentley
Bentley does concept albums better than most, whether he calls them that or not. Black is full of fun, sing-along anthems and sexy grown-up country music too. Bentley is truly at his best right now, but he has been for a while.

Pure & Simple // Dolly Parton
Parton's 43rd studio album was as good as any she's released. The traditionalism seeped through her breathy vocals like she's still in her prime-- which she is.


Brett Eldredge's Video With Sadie Robertson for "The Long Way" is Finally Here

Once you get past the age difference, Brett Eldredge and Sadie Robertson seem to make quite the couple in the new video for Brett's "The Long Way." Brett shared that the up-and-coming reality TV star turned motivational speaker and actress would be his love interest in a cute Instagram post a few weeks ago. He said it was gonna be "magic" and he isn't that far off.

The tune is all about digging into someone's past and where they came from to learn more about who they are now. Brett is a hopeless romantic, so the song isn't about anyone specific, which makes it even more timeless.

Brett and Sadie take a lap around town and a farm hand-in-hand, as he serenades her throughout the video, via the long way.

Brett did not meet anyone from "Duck Dynasty."

"The Long Way" is the second single off Brett's third album, which is self-titled.

the long way itunes


Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly's Wedding Photos Are the Happiest, Prettiest Wedding Photos EVER

Kacey Musgraves has been saying for months, that when you know you know. And she totally knew when she met Ruston Kelly that he was the love of her life. Kacey described meeting Ruston at the Bluebird Cafe like only a songwriter could, "...Didn't know that I would hear his songs and be meeting the love of my life. Never saw him coming but sometimes life has you under its wing and you don't even realize it."

The two were married on Saturday, October 14 in a picturesque outdoor ceremony near Franklin, Tennessee.

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Dierks Bentley Rocks Neighborhood Block Party With Hit "Somewhere On A Beach"

Dierks Bentley hit the stage early this morning (Oct. 17) on"Good Morning America" to perform his hits "Black" and "Somewhere on the Beach" for a neighborhood block party in Austin, Texas.

The Texas neighborhood has hosted the block party for twelve years and received a visit from Dierks as a result of winning a "GMA" contest. This year they wanted to honor those affected by Hurricane Harvey. So they invited first responders who helped the state during the destruction from Hurricane Harvey.

As Dierks was speaking with meteorologist Ginger Zee, she asked him what it meant to see those faces in the crowd. "I've been around so many first responders this week, I've been promoting a movie, it's coming out, called 'Only The Brave,'" he began.

"These people that rush towards danger when the rest of us are running away from it. Just being around these guys and these women, I have more respect for them now than ever. In country music we really elevate our military, and rightly so. But we need to make sure we're taking care of really recognizing these hometown heroes that we have amongst us"

Dierks co-wrote the song "Hold the Light" for the film "Only The Brave," the first song he wrote and recorded for a film. The movie centers around an elite crew of firemen—The Granite Mountain Hotshots— from Prescott, Arizona who battled a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona in 2013, that claimed the lives of 19 of their members. The film stars Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly.

The singer took to Instagram to share his performance of "Black" saying, "early morning block party from austin on @goodmorningamerica."


A Horse Trainer Proved Super 8 Has A Very Friendly Pet Policy

Lindsey Partridge, also known as the Canadian horse whisperer, was checking into a Kentucky motel when she heard the woman in front of her ask about a pet policy. It was normal for small pets to share a room in the Super 8, but Partridge wanted to see how far the policy would go. When she asked if the policy would cover her horse, the woman behind the desk said, "Aw, I wouldn't mind. You could do that." So Partridge went to her trailer and brought her retired thoroughbred racing horse Blizz into the lobby.

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If This Video Doesn't Get You Excited About the 51st Annual CMA Awards, Nothing Will

I know I'm not the only person that treats the CMA Awards like Christmas morning, right? Right. The 51st Annual CMA Awards will be hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and broadcast live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 8 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network and it's time to start getting excited.

To get you pumped up, the CMA recently released a new Heart of Country video featuring Keith Urban, Garth Brooks and Kelsea Ballerini discussing how country music moves through them. And with the opening guitar chords of Brooks' "Thunder Rolls" playing in the background-- you'll probably watch on repeat.

Urban and Brooks are both up for CMA Entertainer of the Year, with Underwood and Ballerini vying for Female Vocalist of the Year.


[Listen] Scotty McCreery's Deep Vocals Are on Display During Singing of National Anthem

As the Denver Broncos took on the New York Giants Sunday, Oct. 15 at Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Scotty McCreery was on hand to perform a stirring rendition of the national anthem.

Scotty, a lifelong New England Patriots fans, put his favoritism aside to belt out "The Star Spangled Banner" in front of 76,000 fans, who were in attendance. Unfortunately, even Scotty couldn't help the Broncos who were defeated by the previously winless Giants, 23-10, giving New York their first win of the season.

Another big milestone in the singers life occurred recently when Scotty proposed to his longtime girlfriend Gabi Dugal. The 23-year-old popped the question at their favorite spot— the mountains of North Carolina near Grandfather Mountain. McCreery asked Dugal to go on a hike and when he found the perfect spot at the top of the mountain, the "American Idol" winner got down on one knee, presented the ring he had helped design specifically for her, and asked Dugal to be his wife.

"I've been planning this moment for so long that it feels surreal for it to have finally happened," said McCreery of the big moment. They plan to marry in 2018.

Scotty's current single, "Five More Minutes," from his upcoming album, is on the rise at No. 31 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart.


Shania Twain Takes On Role Of Guest Judge on "Dancing With The Stars"

Shania Twain is heading to the dance floor on "Dancing with the Stars." No, not to dance, but to be a guest judge on the reality series competition.

The theme of the show will be "Movie Night," where the remaining contestants will honor iconic dances in film history. Shania will be pulling double duty—not only taking on the role as judge, but also performing her song "Soldier," from her current album, Now, according to PEOPLE.

"Soldier" is featured in the new movie "Thank You For Your Service" about a group of U.S. soldiers who return from Iraq and face the struggle to get back to family and civilian life. "Thank You For Your Service," stars Haley Bennett, MIles Teller and Keisha Castle-Hughes.

As Shania dips her toe in the "DWTS" pool, perhaps we'll see the "Life's About To Get Good" singer take a spin in the ballroom. Shania is no stranger to styling dance moves. The 50-year-old has shown off her moves in many videos over the years including, "Any Man of Mine," "Man, I Feel Like A Woman," and the recent, "Swingin' With My Eyes Closed."

"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays nights on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.


[Listen] One Country Podcast: Las Vegas, Jason Aldean, And A Way Forward

We talk about what it was like inside the country music industry in the ten days since the Las Vegas shooting. Then, Drew went to Jason Aldean's first show back and was surprised by what he found.

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The Most Personalized Children's Book Ever Lets You Put Their Name In The Title

As a church kid, I felt I had arrived when I got my first personalized Bible. It was a pocket bible with my name stamped in gold across the oxblood leather that I used until the cover fell off. A large part of that was because I realized the Bible wasn't a story about someone else, but God's story for me about Himself. That is the message of a new children's book called "Jesus Loves" that will print your child's name right on the cover and address them personally in over 40 places through stories and lessons.

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