Best Country/Rock - Poll

I recently started picking up more and more music I would loosely describe as "country/rock". A couple of recent purchases (namely Jackson Brown "Solo Acoustic", and Gene Clarke & Carla Olson "So Rebelious a Lover") caused me to look for a "Best Country/Rock" thread for more ideas. I couldn't find one, so I'm starting one here.

General guidelines
1) Don't hang up on what is country rock. If you think it is, ok.
2) Identify particularly well recorded , but don't leave anything off if it's good.
3) No limit or minimum - name your favorites.

Here are some of my my favorites in no particular order:
(* = excellent recording)

Gene Clark: "No Other" * and "White Lightening" *
Gene Clarke @ Carla Olson "So Rebelious a Lover"
Jackson Brown "Solo Acoustic" *
Willie Nelson "Stardust" SACD *
Neil Young "Prairie Wind" *
Cowboy Junkies - most all of their stuff, but especially "One Soul Now" , "Lay it Down" , "Mile From Our Home". "Trinity Sessions" *
Willie Nelson -- Teatro
Just wanted to add one so I can check the thread easier for other input. Good idea for a thread BTW.
Look for anything with Gram Parsons, from the Parsons-era Byrds to the Parsons-era Flying Burrito Brothers (especially the classic "Gilded Palace of Sin") and then to his solo records (especially "Grievous Angel"). For something a bit more modern, check out the Jayhawks' "Blue Earth," "Hollywood Town Hall," or "Rainy Day Music." For something a bit obscure, but still great, try the Silos' "Cuba" or self-titled records. A few more names, off the top of my head: Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Rosanne Cash, Steve Earle, Kasey Chambers, Neko Case, and maybe the greatest country-rock album of them all, Lucinda Williams' "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road."
Geez Walter! How can you mention Gram and not EmmyLou??? I'd toss Buffalo Springfield into your fine collection too... and Johnny Cash's - The Man Comes Around.
It's hard to categorize "country/rock". Some of those mentioned would more accurately be described as "folk/rock". Either way it's my favorite genre of music. Dave Alvin comes to mind immediately since I just saw his acoustic show. Not many people can claim the pedigree of the Blasters, X, Knitters, and his solo stuff. Even won a Grammy for Public Domain. Robert Earl Keen, the Byrds, Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, The Band, Lowell George and Little Feat, and new stuff like the Duhks and Waifs (foreign versions of American folk/country). It's nice to see Gram Parsons and Townes Van Zandt get some play lately and a couple of movies/documentaries about them. Now that you brought it up I'm going to dig out the Poco, Pure Prairie League, and New Riders records.
Why not get the record that started it all...... Sweetheart of the Rodeo by the Byrds. Early Hoyt Axton, Jerry Jeff Walkers first few records are really good. Now you have Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keene, Townes Van Zandt (RIP), Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams, etc.

Emmy Lou Harris
Trio (Harris, Ronstadt and Parton)
Amazin' Rythym Aces
Chris Issak -more Rockabilly, but great
Grateful Dead American Beauty and Working Man's Dead
The Band
Mark Knopfler
Mark Cohen
Its late, I'll add more tomorrow.
John Wesley Harding. 1967! Since then, even aside from Nashville Skyline, Dylan's done a lot of country rock. Hard to call him a pioneer, though, 'cause noone can really follow him.
lucinda williams - essence
lucinda williams - world without tears
mary chapin carpenter
gram parsons
sticky fingers stones
chet atkins
acoustic neil young
early eagles
Steve Earle.
Gram Parsons is the gold standard, his stuff with and without the Byrds is classic. Also classi are the albums by Uncle Tupelo, particularly No Depression. There are many other great performers, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, the Waifs, early Wilco, Dave Alvin, Rodney Crowell, the Dead, and that list merely scratches the surface. Picking up the Rhino release Gram Parsons Anthology, a super two disc set. Go on from there and have fun, and happy listening!
You guys have hit the sweet ones. I'll through out some from the golden age of southern rock. A few might be a bit more bluesy, but still have good examples if you investigate.

Allman Brothers
Lynyrd Skynyrd (before the plane crash)
Charlie Daniels Band
Marshal Tucker Band
Elvin Bishop
Wet Willie
Atlanta Rythum Section
The Outlaws
Molly Hatchet
38 Special
Ozark Mountain Devils
Black Oak Arkansas
OOoopps. sorry, I can't read. This was supposed to be a "best of" thread and I just threw out general recommendations.
Thanks for all of the recommended groups. How about specific releases you're fond of - especially those with lifelike production/recording? . . . and yes this is suppose to be best of - albums , not just artists

Here's another few I like:

EmmyLou Harris - "Wrecking Ball"
Patty Griffin - "Living with Ghosts"
Johny Cash - "American Recordings"
Lyle Lovette - "Pontiac"
the dillards-the decade waltz....guy clark-ol' no.1......jerry jeff walker-its a good night for singin'.....michael dinner-tomb thumb the dreamer....richie furray-dance a little opera-the great american eagle tragedy....valerie carter.....the byrds-ballad of easy rider
How about James McMurtry? Try "St. Mary of the Woods," "Live in Ought Three," "Childish Things." Also check out Southern Culture on the Skids, Joe Ely and Frank Carillo and the Bandeleros' "Bad Out There."

Ryan Adams - "Jacksonville City Nights"
Whiskeytown - "Strangers Almanac"
Some good 'uns

Dan Fogleberg (early)
Dr. John
Don Williams
Leon Russell
John Fogerty/Creedence Clearwater Revival
Batdorf & Rodney

'Yall come back now, Ya hear?
jond hit the nail on the head

I forgot Wilco, Gillian Welch and Uncle Tupelo

also Flying Burrito Brothers, Poco, New Riders of the Purple Sage

Acknowledging that Pmarcian already mentioned the New Riders, I will be more specific and recommend the New Riders of the Purple Sage's first LP, "NRPS," which includes not only the immortal "Henry," but songs like "Glendale Train" and "Portland Woman." Not to mention Jerry Garcia on the pedal steel.
Buddy Miller-Universal House of Prayer (or anything w/his name on it)

Mary Gauthier- Mercy Now

Ray Charles- the Complete Country & Western Recordings

Waylon Jennings- Waylon Live (Expanded)

Rosanne Cash - Black Cadillac

Ray Wylie Hubbard - Growl

Tony Joe White, Best of / (also) The Heroines

Delbert McClinton - Cost of Living

Dan Penn - Do Right Man

Kris Kristofferson - Silver Tongued Devil and I / Me & Bobbie McGhee (contains four stone hits: title track, Help Me Make It Through the Night, Sunday Morning Coming Down, For the Good Times . . . how many debuts top that?)

Nick Lowe - the Impossible Bird

A lot of this, of course, has as much to do w/unvarnished soul as it does with country or rock (and roll) . . . the best of it falls through the cracks we know as genres or radio formats! (The Beatles, I Don't Want To Spoil the Party, George's guitar break on ALL MY LOVING, among other Fabbers) . . . caught me in an expansive (dig this) mood.


Sorry I didn't give more specific examples in my first post. If I were going to recommend a beginner's library of great country rock, it would have to include the following, specifically:

The International Submarine Band – Safe At Home
The Byrds – Sweetheart of the Rodeo
The Flying Burrito Brothers – The Gilded Palace of Sin
Gram Parsons – Grievous Angel
Buck Owens – The Buck Owens Collection
The Jayhawks – Rainy Day Music, Blue Earth, and Hollywood Town Hall
Rank and File – Sundown and Long Gone Dead
The Silos – Cuba
Steve Earle – Copperhead Road and El Corazon
Rosanne Cash – Interiors and Kings Record Shop
Jimmie Dale Gilmore – After Awhile and Spinning Around the Sun
Joe Ely – Honky Tonk Masquerade
Neil Young – Comes A Time
Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Kasey Chambers – The Captain
The Old 97s – Fight Songs
Jo Carol Pierce – Bad Girls Upset By the Truth
Neko Case – Blacklisted
The Blasters – American Music
Trailer Bride – Whine de Lune
Drive-By Truckers – Decoration Day
The Bottle Rockets – The Brooklyn Side and 24 Hours a Day
Jason and the Scorchers – Fervor
Elvis Costello – Almost Blue
Gary Allan – Tough All Over
Buffalo Springfield – Buffalo Springfield Again

These are in no particular order, hardly comprehensive, and lean too heavily on alt-country (sorry, but I could never get much into the Uncle Tupelo/Son Volt/Wilco branch of the tree). Sorry for repeating what's already been mentioned...
dcisok, waltersalas - thanks! I now have a shopping list.
I was wondering how far down I was going to have to go before somebody mentioned the early-mid 70's influences of the NRPS and even moreso The Dead. They are the closest definition of country rock I can think of. The Marshall Tucker band would also fall right in line.
As far as current day stuff, there is a band called Railroad Earth which is a country/bluegrass/rock band. These guys are GREAT both live and on their new live CD called ELKO, and the quality of the recording is definately worth the shot. I ran the whole disc through twice on Sunday after seeing them live on Sat. night. The disc sung like a bird on my 3 month old MBL/Tara Labs setup. Really sweet.
Bonnie Raitt
The Mavericks
Leann Rimes
Gosh, tough to figure out what does or doesn't fit in the definition. But a couple I feel the need to include:

Chris Whitley -- "Living With the Law" and "Dirt Floor" are my favorites. Chris passed recently, and will be sorely missed.

Also, two local-type blues/country/folkey singer-songwriters I have to (and frequently do) recommend who are, for my money, among my all-time favorites, anytime, anywhere, any genre. Really. Danny Schmidt and Paul Curreri. No, you might not have heard of them and you won't find their stuff just anywhere. But all the details you need are on the sites and, I promise, well worth your time. (And there should be samples to listen to on both.)
I agree with jond, Gram Parsons. Also him with that, The Flying Burrito Brothers. Also The Byrd’s should be mentioned. For more current groups, I would say Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, and Son Volt.

That's a good start list! I must be a pretty big fan of this type, since I've got all of those. I think the more you listen to it, the "wider" your view becomes of what fits . . . which, of course, leads down more squirrel holes. That's the fun, I guess.

another from way back: cowboy, later performing as boyer and talton. around 72 or 73 I guess.


I'll see if I can track down the Cowboy album you mentioned. Sounds interesting. Do you know if it's in print?

I agree with you about the way your view seems to widen the more you get into this stuff. Admittedly, the definiton of country-rock is as subjective as the albums on any given list. For example, Neil Young's "Comes A Time" and "Harvest" strike me as country rock, but "Tonight's the Night" and "Rust Never Sleeps" don't. Dylan's "John Wesley Harding" (mentioned earlier) doesn't sound like country-rock to me, but "Nashville Skyline" (which I obviously should have listed) does. I love the Band and Creedence Clearwater Revivial, but they don't really strike me much as country-rock either. Who really knows?

My grandpa used to play clawhammer banjo and guitar in a bluegrass outfit, and not long before he died somebody played him a couple of tracks off a Randy Travis album to get his reaction to "new" country music. He paused for a moment after listening and said, "Well, if that's country music then I'm a Baptist preacher." He wasn't.

In general, if it's got a fiddle, a banjo, a dobro, a pedal-steel guitar, or a harmonica in it, there's a good chance I'll like it. If somebody got cheated on, or somebody died, or somebody got too drunk, the chance doubles.

Listening to Steve Earl's "The Revolution Starts Now." Definitely qualifies for this thread.
Steve Earle, Revolution Starts Now & Jeruselem
Pure Prarie League, Amy
Firefall, Liven Aint Liven
Mark Knopfler, Golden Heart
Whiskeytown, Strangers Almanac

The Mark Knopfler & Whiskeytown CD's are both excellent recordings.
Walter Salas!
OK, I'll bite. Are you the Walter Salas as in one of the founding members of The Silos? If so, I'm not too proud to grovel a bit and say THANK YOU for the album, "Cuba". That is truly one of the great albums IMO and definitely a top 10 "desert island" discs. Thanks again!
If you're NOT him, well ........ POSER! Ha!

Never too proud when it comes to God's gift of music, TGYETI.

A poser, alas. Just a big fan of the band.

PS I agree with you about "Cuba"...great album!
A great album, "Mud on the Tires", Brad Paisley.
At first, listening to my daughters talk, he was just a guy with beautiful eyes. But no, after buying the album, I have to say that the recording is good, studio, but good studio, and the music, if you're so inclined, excellent. Me, I'm ecclectic so if it's good I like it.
The song, "Whiskey Lullaby" which won song of the year, maybe a year ago, has an interesting story--for those non country folk who might read this the refrain of the song, which features Allison Kraus, goes like this, "He put a bottle to his head and pulled the trigger." Grim yes, but great music, plus a funny story.
One night I am surfing the TV channels in the wee hours, as all good insomniacs do and come across the country video station, and lo and behold theres the video, but with the writer of the song doing a voice over, (probably right after the award was given).
The VJay asks him about the unusual lyric, and he says.
"Well about a year ago, during a one month period, I lost my girl, my recording contract, then my writing contract, then of course my manager. So, uh, I started drinking and laying around the house. So about a month or so goes by and my manager comes over to check on me I guess, and says 'what on earth is going on', (apparently in response to how he looked, and maybe a bunch of whiskey bottles lying around). The manager then spoke the magic words, "Man, you just put a bottle to your head an pulled the trigger." The song writer, as he explained got a twinkle in his eye.
"The rest is history, I wrote the song, and now it's song of the year."
Funny, true? Who knows, but fun.
Great album, and by the way Brad Paisley is a REALLY good singer of this genre and some of the better engineers in the world converged on the 'money' of music for many years, Country, making this a good listen.
Buy it, you'll like it. Another great song is "You Said You Want Somebody To Know you", (I think).
Get some beer so you can cry in it!

Good listening.
I'm suprised these were not mentioned:
Point Blank
The Dingo's
Arlo Guthrie
and Neil Young/Old Ways and Elvis Costello/Blue.
I will tell you all about Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Back in 1970 they were contracted to play a concert at El Camino Real High school in Woodland Hills my alma mater and were busted for possesion of Marijauna. One of the Phys. Ed coaches walked in on a couple of band members getting high in the Special Ed room.
I will never forget standing in the nutrition area watching the Football players threatning to kick Gram Parsons ass for looking so queer dressed in pink from head to toe including a pair of pink shades and a Pink hankerchief around his throat. I never thought he was going to get out there alive. Boy times in Cali have sure changed.
Greta story Qdrone. Those were the days.
Hey Larry,

Don't stop with "Mud On The Tires", all of Brads' music is golden. Go pick up the rest of his cds.

I have heard that from more than one Samac.
He really is a good singer, and as I said, the side benefit is that the recording is very good.
Thanks for the tip, I am going to take your welcome recommendation!

Great music listed. Also include
Joe Ely (for special instance,"Letter To Laredo"), another vote for Steve Earle (for example, "Transcendatal Blues"), a lot of Jennifer Warnes work, and if you're a Flying Burritos and Gram Parker fan you have absolutely gotta' listen to "Return of the Grevious Angel" which is an incredible compilation put together by Emylou Harris.
The original Marshall Tucker band during the Toy and Bobby Caldwell days. New Riders Of The Purple Sage with David Nelson, Buddy Cage, Dave Torbert and company..

Marshall Tucker Band's "Searching For A Rainbow" and "Where We All Belong" (a great live album), on the Capricorn lable, are perfect examples of cowboy rock, as is NRPS' "Adventures Of Panama Red" and "Powerglide" (Columbia lable)

"American Beauty", "Workingman's Dead", and many cuts on "Europe '72" from the Grateful Dead are good examples of the genre as well.
A third nomination is going to Steve Earl. Both a true Country star & a Rocker. You can also throw in the Gear Daddies, The Blasters, Jason & the Scorchers. Find me more I love that stuff.
I have to mention Joe Ely. Joe Ely! Check out "Letter To Loredo" for instance.
The new live Wilco album; Kicking Television is really good. I usually don't like live albums, but this one is recorded really well.
Has anybody mentioned The Rolling Stones? Kieth was heavily influenced by his friend Grahm Parsons: Goats Head Soup, Beggars Banquit, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers all have heavy soutnern influence. How about the song "Far Away Eyes" on Some Girls.

For something a little more modern how about Donna and the Buffalo.
" . . . and if you're a Flying Burritos and Gram Parker fan you have absolutely gotta' listen to "Return of the Grevious Angel" which is an incredible compilation put together by Emylou Harris."

ok, I have many some of the artists recommended here, and as a result of the above posts went out and bought many more. Among them is Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers, which I like. Based on Sit's recommendation above, I purchased "Return of the Grevious Angel", and Man, is it great. The recording quality and playing will blow you away.

The quote above is right on . . . it's a must have, and good demo disk too.
Creedence Clearwater Revival- All

Later, John Fogerty solo efforts are not worthy of the CCR connection.
Funny, his early singing sounded more mature, he now sounds like a sissy boy.
In the "little more country" category - since most country nowdays *is* country-rock - I gotta throw in Sons of the Desert (self-titled release.) Toby Keith's recent recordings are well-mixed and produced, and what guy doesn't like a dude who writes songs like "Good as I Once Was" and "I Wanna Talk About Me"?? :)
Finally reading through this topic and very pleased to see mentions of Paul
Curreri and Joe Henry. My favorite Joe Henry album (actually the only one I truly
love) is an early one and may be out of print: Shuffletown. Produced by T-Bone
Burnett. Wonderful songs, masterful arrangements.

Paul Curreri is a treasure. I doubt he'll ever have a hit, but he's a unique,
original, and wonderful singer-songwriter. Catch him live if you can. I'm on his
email list and his communications with the fan base are warm, humble, funny,
and read like his songs.

Some really peculiar suggestions in this thread, including the two artists I
discuss above (Joe Henry has one or two albums that I'd call Country
Rock),which goes to show I guess that we agree on what Country-Rock is about
as well as we agree on what "musical" means.
Thanks for the tip Drubin. If T-Bone Burnett produced it, it's worth a listen. I can't think of a bad album he produced. His solo stuff is quite good also.
Jupiter Coyote. Uncle Tupelo.