Tonight marks the 53rd annual CMA Awards and instead of giving my predictions for who I believe will win (I would kill that by the way) I am going to share with y'all who I would nominate.

I'll make this a series where I do one or two categories an article. We'll start with 'album of the year'.  I'm going to break some rules, I have far too many nominations and I'm going to stick with records that came out this calendar year all the way up until September.

MAGNOLIA - Randy Houser

A crazy underrated album that kicked off 2019 on the right foot. With only one single breaking the top 40 (What Whiskey Does) Magnolia is the perfect blend of heartbreaking ballads and party anthems.

HONKY TONK TIME MACHINE - George Strait

The king does what the king always does, puts out great music. 'God And Country' and 'Blue Water' are my personal favorites. Plus he has his first-ever duet with Willie Nelson on his thirtieth studio album.

Stronger Than The Truth - Reba McEntire

I had a hard, hard time not picking this as my favorite album. Reba will always be one of my all-time favorites and this album backs that up. Following an amazing gospel album Stronger Than The Truth is as country as a turnip green. If you should only listen to one track make sure it's 'The Clown'. Your heart won't be the same.

Let It Roll - Midland

Midland picks up right where they left off with their second studio album. They've figured out how to make traditional country cool again and I love it!

Old Dominion - Old Dominion and Heartache Medication - Jon Pardi

Both fantastic albums that are less than three months old. I see both actually being nominated next year by the CMA's when they are eligible.

Red Bandana - Aaron Watson WINNER

It doesn't get any better than this and I'd be hard-pressed to say it doesn't get any better than Aaron Watson. The best way to listen to Red Bandana is all at once from start to finish. Watson penned all twenty tracks himself which makes the beautifully written album all the more impressive. I could write an entire on every song which is the case for most of these albums, but I won't. Simply give the album a listen, I feel it's my duty to share this wonderful art with as many folks as I can. Make you want to create something as meaningful yourself.

@havenmedrano