Well, staying in the Windham Hill vein:
William Ackerman / "Imaginary Roads"
Tuck Andress, Alex deGrassi, Michael Hedges, Michael Manring and David Torn / "Guitar Sampler Vol.2"
Moving on from Windham Hill:
How about Al DiMeola, Stanley Clarke, Jean-Luc Ponty / "The Rite of Strings" (incredible all acoustic recording)
Marc Antoine / "The very Best Of"
Torcuato Mariano / "Paradise Station" & "Last Look"
Both can be found on the web under "Brazilian Jazz". Torcuato is an awesome guitar player, although his recordings are currently import only. 12 & 6 string acoustic guitar with a very emotional kinda' "feel good" sound. I have owned "Paradise Station" since 1994. I still play it at least once a week.
Well, I think I've spent just about enough of your money.
Jorma Kaukonen (of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna fame) - Too Hot To Handle comes to mind. Also, some of Bruce Cockburn's early releases.
Probably someone's going to say Leo Kottke but I find him way too boring.
I just started to listen to The Pizza Tapes - Dave Grisman, Jerry Garcia & Tony Rice. It is excellent.
Sergio and Odair Assad "Play Piazolla"
off the top of my head...
alvin youngblood hart...big mama's door
r.l. burnside...acoustic stories
al lee...ain't playing the game
the blue rider trio...harp, steel and guts
bob dylan...world gone wrong
bob dylan...good as i been to you
bob dylan...bootleg series vol 4...disc 1
neil young...comes a time
jack johnson...on and on
dave matthews and tim reynolds...live at luther college
gillian welch...time the revelator
buddy guy and junior wells...alone and acoustic
hope this helps
Many thanks! I'll take the time to scope each of these out. Do you guys agree that there is something special about this kind of music played on a nice system? Sure specific jazz or blues sounds great too, but to hear acoustic guitar, it seems to sparkle. So much music, so little time.
Muddy Waters, Folk Singer! This is Muddy Waters, unplugged, an awesome performance, great songs, and impeccable sonics.
There's alot of good classical stuff that you might like (Parkening, Segovia, Gropman...). Also would recommend:
Andreas Willers/Can I Go On Like This
Larry Coryell/Tributaries/ The Restful Mind
John McLaughlin/My Goals Beyond/ or any Shakti
L'Ensemble Raye/Quelques Pieces Detachees
James Emery/Standing On A Whale...
Raoul Bjorkenheim, Nicky Skopelitis/Revelator
Jonas Hellborg/Octave Of The Holy Innocents/Good People
Adrian Legg/Guitars And Other Cathedrals
Zai Ensemble/Oxygen Suite
Tim Sparks/At The Rebbe's Table
Benjamin Verdery/Ride The Wind Horse
Richard Johnson, Jud Martindale/Creatures Of Habit
Ralph Towner/City Of Eyes, Sargasso Sea (w/Abercrombie)
Jack West/Big Ideas
Leo Kottke/One Guitar No Vocals, That's What
Christian Escoude/A Suite For Gypsies
D. Andrtova & R. Hladik/Voliera
Robt. Fripp & The League Of Crafty Guitarists/Show of Hands
Bernd Steidl/Psycho Acoustic Overture (maybe a bit of an Yngwie clone)
The Guitar Workshop (Compilation of some GREAT little known british acoustic guitarists on the Transatlantic label)
Masada Guitars - Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot and Tim Sparks playing solo compositions by John Zorn.
Also -- Stephen Stills, Stills Alone. This is just Stills and an acoustic guitar. Stills is in his gritty, swampy, backwater mode, picking his guitar and singing with a whiskey aged voice. Great songs, great picking, and
great sonics. Check it out.
Norman Blake, "Whiskey for Breakfast", n Rounder Records. I have the LP, and it is incredible. Utterly true to the sound of the instrument, no compression of dynamincs or bandwidth, and virtuouso, tasteful playing. Really terrific. Can't speak for the CD release, and doubt it's quite as good. Also, Vanguard releases of Doc Watson tend to sound great.
Some older acoustic guitar LP's that I have combine both great music and top-notch recording are:
Bruce Cockburn - Dancing in the Dragons Jaws (sound quality is unbelievably good)
Leo Kottke - A Shout Toward Noon (obscure recording that has survived my rotation on and off for well over a decade)
Muddy Waters - Folk Singer (a classic)
I have about 40 original Kicking Mule LP's with a variety of obscure artists. Some of them sound great - they were clearly single mic'ed and deliver some real warmth. If you want some names, I can go make a list.
Laurence Juber on the AIX label
Michael Hedges, Beyond Boundaries.
Ians, thanks for the offer... but at this point, I have a ton of research to do. You guys are awesome! I have jumped over to Amazon to check some of these recommendations out and I already have 17 on my Wish List.
If you liked Matthews and Reynolds on the bonus CD, there is a Live 2-CD set of the two of them doing an acoustic concert at Luther College that is one of the most outstanding live-performance CD's out there.
I love acoustic guitar. Here are just a few suggestions without benefit of having read all the responses here (so pardon the redundancies):
Rory Block, "When a Woman gets the Blues" (many of her others are quite wonderful too)
Patty Larkin, "A Go-Go"
Patty Griffen, "Living with Ghosts" & "1000 Kisses"
"The Slide Guitar: Bottles, Knives and Steel" (part of the excellent "Roots&Blues" collection)
Definitely Muddy Waters Folk Singer
If you like acoustic Jazz guitar this one is a truly astounding recording that was on Stereophiles Recordings to Die-For list. It has a very improvisational sound to it.....not for everyone I'd imagine: Marc Ducret, "Detail"
I would add Nick Drake to any acoustic guitar list.
Start off with one of his compilations.
On another post I recommended Doc Watson. He plays bluegrass and country blues. Absolutely fantastic. All his stuff that I've got, "Memories", "Trouble in mind", and "live on stage" to name a few have great music and sound. Essential!!!! His stuff with his late son Merle is the best.
Here's a few other goodies that haven't been mentioned yet:
Friday Night in San Francisco--DiMeola, McLaughlin, DeLucia.
Train A Comin'--Steve Earle
You? Me? Us?--Richard Thompson (the nude disc)
Another Stoney Evening--David Crosby/Graham Nash
Mijknarf: Acoustic guitar sounds outstanding on my system, too. So do jazz and chamber music. It seems the "simpler" (it terms of ensemble size), the better.
I disagree with one post saying that Leo Kottke was boring. Listen to his first album ("Six and Twelve String Guitar") and tell me, honestly, that it's boring. It's amazing. Glad to see a recommendation for the great, late-departed Michael Hedges. I personally prefer "Breakfast in the Field," but any of his are worth obtaining.
If you like the John Mclaughlin style, then "My Goals Beyond" is a must, as is his acoustic album with Santana.
I'm not sure if you were looking primarily for recordings of well-played music, or for well-recorded/engineered CDs.
Cpdunn99, is the acoustic album with J mclaughlin and Santana called "Welcome"?
I suspect he is thinking of "Love Devotion Surrender" which has both acoustic and electric numbers, including a lovely acoustic version of Coltrane's "Naima".
Yes, I am talking about "Love, Devotion, Surrender." It's great on vinyl, if you can find it!
Steve Howe "Natural Timbre" - even a little Yes for a teaser.
Most Oregon recordings, but especially Ralph Towner solo projects. Then there's Egberto Gismonte.
1. Doc Watson, Doc Watson - ie. his first Vanguard recording. This one is my favorite, but you can substitute many from that catalog. This man is a treasure.
2. Tony Rice, Backwaters - One of the truly great New Grass recordings with Tony's other worldly technique ablazing.
3. Slack Key Guitar Masters, vol. 1 (on the Dancing Cat Label). Sweet finger-style guitar technique that conveys intense depth of emotion. Led Kaapana's Weehaa Swing not to be missed.
4. Bola Sete, The Incomparable Bola Sete - One of the major proponents of Bossa Nova in the US, but with much more fire than was typical. Classical intonation and cleanliness with staggering speed and elegant phrasing. One of the greats.
5. Norman Blake, Whiskey Before Breakfast - No collection of acoustic guitar music should be without this recording of essential, traditional American music.
6. David Grisman Quintet, Hot Dawg - One of the premier New Grass groups meets Stephan Grappelli. Tony Rice's playing is as good here as anything he's done. The rest of the group ain't chopped liver either.
7. Julian Bream, The Julian Bream Consort, Elizabethan Music - Arguably the greatest classical guitarist and lutenist to ever breath air. Great performances of great music.
8. Manitas de Plata, at Carnegie Hall - Spanish gypsy playing flamenco guitar with such intensity it will make you sweat. May be the definitive recording of its type.
the best acoustic guitar album i have ever found is by 3 of the best guitarists in the world,album is called friday night in san francisco & the guitarists are al di meola & john mclaughlin & paco de lucia,its a live album & it has never came out of heavy rotation in my collection,every time i listen im completely floored,it is a complex recording to say the least,some of the passages are breath takingly beautiful.
I played the groove off my copy of "Friday Night in San Francisco" in the 80's. I recently bought it on CD and have a completely different reaction after many years of not hearing it. It's certainly full of fireworks, but I don't find I can sit and enjoy it from beginning to end like I used to. In contrast, Pat Metheney's "One Quiet Night" is a phenomenally listenable recording that's on heavy rotation these days.
Add to the list "Cielo e Terra" by Al Di Meola, "Siroco" by Paco De Lucia and " Que Alegria " by John McLaughlin.
second Steve Howe Natural Timbre
also Suzanne Vega - first lp
Narada Guitar,any Ottmar Liebert, Tuck Andress "Reckless Abandon" (which I'm listening to right now), The Coryells and a definite second for the Pizza Tapes and anything else with Grisman, Garcia and Tony Rice, which can be found on Acousticdisc.com. If your an acoustic guitar fan you must have the "Tone Poem" collections available on that site as well.
Correction... the Tuck Andress title is "Reckless Precision".
Tony Rice and John Carlini - "River Suite for Two Guitars". Outstanding.
Just an update for anyone who cares... I bought 4 CDs from your recommendations:
1. Buddy Guy "Blues Singer"
2. Nickle Creek "Nickel Creek"
3. Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds "Live at Luther College"
4. Windham Hill "Sounds of Wood & Steel #1"
I love these CDs! Each one unique in its own way, very well recorded to boot. Many thanks to all! (I'm not done, still got a couple more to get)
What?! No Mention of Tenacious D??? You've gotta check out this recording; it just may be the "greatest and best" music in the world!
Checkout Bill Frisell, the 'Willies', 'Nashville' or any of his albums for that matter. If you haven't heard him you are in for a real treat.
David Russell on Telarc. Russell is one of the few true guitar virtuosos, and it is really great that such a fine guitarist is recognized by a label with such high production standards. There are many to choose from, all great, but for someone who is new (or wary of) to classical guitar, hi newest 'Aire Latino' might be the best starter. Or you could try 'Plays Barrios'. I'll never get tired of these cd's - real sound you can almost touch in front of you!
Here's another one, Tony McManus - "Ceol More". Tony is a Celtic guitarist with unbelievable technique. This is sort of a blend of traditional Celtic music and jazz. Everyone I play this CD for loves it.