The album has produced two singles in advance of its release: "Lookin' for That Girl" and "Meanwhile Back at Mama's", the latter of which features backing vocals from McGraw's wife, Faith Hill. These singles peaked at numbers 15 and 2, respectively, on the BillboardCountry Airplay chart. "Shotgun Rider" was released as the album's third single and became a Number One hit on the Billboard Country Airplay charts. McGraw previously recorded a different song also entitled "Shotgun Rider" on his 2007 album Let It Go. "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools was released as the album's fourth and final single in 2015 and reached the Top 5.
McGraw produced the album with Byron Gallimore, who has produced all of his albums. In an interview with Country Weekly, McGraw stated that, ""I think it’s a good microcosm of what my 20 or so years in music have been, in a lot of ways. You can certainly hear parts of my career throughout all of these songs, as well as the future and where my music is headed. To me, the title of the album is all about that time where you stop doing what you have to do, and start doing what you want to do."
McGraw revealed the album's cover art and track listing on July 28, 2014. One day later, the album was made available for preorder via Amazon MP3 and the iTunes Store.
Sundown Heaven Town received positive reviews from critics. According to Metacritic, where they assign a weighted average score out of 100 to ratings and reviews from mainstream critics, Sundown Heaven Town received an average of 71, based on 4 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Writing for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine suggested the music "come[s] on smooth and easy but have the foundation to last." Chuck Dauphin saying for Billboard how "the singer stretches a little more than usual... and takes a few musical chances." On behalf of USA Today, Jerry Shriver commenting how the project contains "many wise nuggets on the vet's solid outing." Glenn Gamboa stating for Newsday how it is an "Eclectic collection of country styles that brings (usually) great results." Writing for Rolling Stone, Will Hermes opined "its hit-or-miss" with this project that's "best when he's feeling your pain." On behalf of The Boston Globe, Sarah Rodman found "a solid effort featuring a few stand-out tracks, slightly better than average radio fare, and some pleasant filler", which is done in "a creditable job of sidestepping any naked pandering to trends, balancing authentic country atmosphere with pop polish."
The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and at number 3 on the Billboard 200, selling over 71,000 copies. The album has sold 299,000 copies in the US as of September 2015.