WHISKEY RIFF MADNESS 2022: Country Albums 2010 – Present Elite Eight Is LIVE

A collage of George Strait

Down to the Elite Eight.

In this year’s round of Whiskey Riff Madness, we put 64 of the best albums from 2010 to today, from all across the spectrum of country music, up against each other. And then we let you the readers vote to see which one would come out on top.

And now we’re down to the top 8.



The Sweet Sixteen featured some TOUGH matchups. So before we get to the voting, let’s take a look at how we got here.



Texas + Red Dirt






In the Mainstream region, Eric Church’s 2011 album Chief managed to knock off George Strait’s Honky Tonk Time Machine in a close matchup. But in the tightest race of this round, Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album barely squeaked through with just 52% of the vote after going up against Jamey Johnson’s The Guitar Song.

I’ve gotta say, Dangerous has had some nail-biters throughout this whole tournament, but it just keeps advancing.

Then in the Texas/Red Dirt region, we had somewhat of an upset with Whiskey Myers’ Firewater knocking off Turnpike Troubadours’ Diamonds and Gasoline with an impressive 63% of the vote. And in the Cody vs. Cody matchup, Jinks knocked off Johnson to advance to the next round.

The biggest margin of victory of the last round came in the Appalachia region, where Tyler Childers’ Purgatory knocked off Wheeler Walker Jr’s Redneck Shit, ending Ol’ Wheeler’s Cinderella run in the tournament. Childers has been absolutely ROLLING through this tournament, so if there’s a favorite so far, it’s got to be Purgatory.

And in the other matchup of the Appalachia region we had two heavyweights battling it out, with Chris Stapleton’s Traveller racking up 69% of the vote to beat out Sturgill Simpson’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music.

Finally we had the “Indie” region, where Zach Bryan’s DeAnn continued its strong run and won its matchup against Home from Billy Strings with nearly 80% of the vote, while Colter Wall came out on top of a tight matchup with Blackberry Smoke to round out the Elite Eight.

And now it’s time to narrow it down to the Final Four.

Church vs. Wallen. Whiskey Myers vs. Cody Jinks. Tyler Childers vs. Chris Stapleton. And Zach Bryan vs. Colter Wall.

I’m glad I don’t have to decide these matchups.

It’s all up to you know, and voting is open until 11:59 pm central time on Monday, March 28.

As always, you can vote as many times as you like – and make sure you’re following us on Instagram, because we’ll be throwing some of the close matchups on our stories to give you a chance to vote there too.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock