Emmylou Harris's recent box set, "Songbird" sounds very good.
Jimmy LaFave's recent "Cimmaron Manifesto" sounds good and is a killer album. Jimmy is not your typical country singer if you haven't heard him.
Capitol reissued Linda Ronstadt's first 4 albums as a 2 cd set titled, "The Best of Linda Ronstadt, The Capitol Years". Very nice sound.
Ray Wylie Hubbard's last 3 albums were produced by Gurf Morlix, famous for his work with Lucinda Williams. They have a little more of a gritty bluesy sound than Ray's earlier work. If you prefer something more Austin/country sounding get "Loco Gringo's Lament", "Dangerous Spirits" or "Crusades of the Restless Nights".
Alison Krauss "A Hundred Miles or More" is an excellent sounding CD.
here's some archive discussion that had some good contributions: country rock thread
There are alot of Alternative Country or sometimes considered Conutry Rock as Bdgregory listed. Even many of the Popular Country radio stars have great sounding albums.
I'll add Christina McBride and Lyle Lovett albums.
Opps I meant Martina McBride...
Vince Gill put out a 4 CD set last year called These Days for which I believe he won a Grammy or AMA award. Great playing and top engineering.
Emmylou and Mark Knopfler - All The Road Running - is amazing production - some will call this country, some not-
Also new and very good is the Cowboy Junkies new version of The Trinity Session called Trinity Revisited - some will call this country, some not-
Martina McBride on Timeless is old classics, played by old players on old instruments but thoroughly SOTA recording
Willie Nelson on You Don't Know Me - songs of Cindy Walker also turns the trick - classic country writing with great production
Again you may or may not put them in the category but the Dixie Chicks work has been consistently well produced, especially to my taste Taking The Long Way
Finally I much like Allison Moorer - her new album Mockingbird is pretty sweet
Most of Lyle Lovett's recordings are audiophile quality. "Joshua Judges Ruth" is wonderful, both artistically and sonically.
Also, the new Drive By Truckers album is worth a listen.
I really like Johnny Cash's "Live from Folsom Prison" and "Orange Blossom Special" in addition to all of the American albums that he produced in his later years. Not really country either, but excellent records.
Willie Nelson has some incredible stuff out including "Willie and Family Live" and "The Red-Headed Stranger".
Steve Earle's Guitar Town is a great one, but borders on the Americana genre.
Dwight Yoakam has several great selections that sound fantastic. His big hit albums "This Time" and "There was a Way" are both excellent. His greatest hits record is also very good.
But, I think my favorite country album is David Ball's "Thinking Problem". I love this 1994 release and probably listen to it more regularly than any other country record I own.
I guess it comes down to what type of country music do you like?
Old School, Classic Country (Roy Clark, Freddy Fender, others)
"Country Comes to Carnegie Hall"
Glen Campbell - "Wichita Lineman"
Rosanne Cash - "Rules of Travel" or "Black Cadillac"
Elvis does Country
"Elvis in Memphis"
Willie Nelson - "It Will Always Be"
Junior Brown - "Down Home Chrome"
Jerry Jeff Walker - "Live at Gruene Hall"
The Flatlanders - Wheel of Fortune
Jimmie Dale Gilmore - One Endless Night
Dale Watson - From the Cradle to the Grave
Emmlou Harris -Wrecking Ball
The Derailers - Full Western Dress
Jim Lauderdale - Country Superhits Vol 1
Flying Burrito Brothers - Any
And of course, The Man "Johnny Cash"
The country/rock is pretty-well covered in the other thread. But I also like some of the Jesse Winchester and early Jesse Colin Young.
Keeping on the Jess(i/e) theme, I just picked up a Jessi Colter album this weekend from the mid to late 1970s called "I'm Jessi Colter" that not only sounds amazing, it is excellent music. (She was married to Waylon Jennings at the time but her talent is all her own.)
If you want to pick up some really nice sounding female vocals with great harmonies, good playing and good production, and DON'T LAUGH, get The Judds first two albums on vinyl.
I've found that most of the 1980s country stuff, even the digitally recorded Warner Bros stuff, sounds really good.
Dick Curless' final release before his death, "Traveling Through", is a real gem. Good music, great emotional voice, well recorded - a real treat.
Merle Haggard's tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, "Same Train, Different Time", is a great, timeless recording. Not sure about Capitol's release but the Bear Family release I have sounds good.
Willie Nelson's "Teatro", all five of Johnny Cash's "American Recordings," anything by Dave Alvin, Steve Earle's last four albums, the Eagle's first two albums
new this year...John Doe & the Sadies "Country Club"
These are a few of my favorites......
Wayne Hancock "Swing Time"
Willie Nelson "Moment Of Forever"
Lucinda Williams "West"
Lyle Lovett "and His Large Band"
Anything with Graham Parsons
All the Cash American recordings
Anything by Jamey Johnson
1. Willie Nelson- Stardust
2. Willie Nelson- Always On My Mind
3. Just about any Alison Krauss- Great music and stellar recordings. Live, Forget About It, and New Favorite are my personal favorites
4. Lyle Lovett- Step Inside this House
I have to agree with Johny Cash recordings being among some of the best. I would also include Brooks and Dunn and Garth Brooks.
Johnny Cash "The Legend" 4 disk box set has fantastic sound quality throughout.
It covers all but his American Records years pretty well. The song selection and packaging is excellent to boot. I think anybody who has taken a liking to any of Cash's stuff over the years will cherish this set. I picked up a nice second hand copy for only $20 recently at the local music store...a steal! A 10/10 in all regards!
"You Can't Beat Jesus Christ" on this set might well make converts of some people in need and certainly had me singing along and tapping my foot. If I were Christian I'd probably go to church more often if they played stuff like this!
IS there any artist out there who can connect with the American common man better than Johnny Cash could?
Wow, you did get a good deal on that second hand boxed set. I am assuming that it was in good shape and plays well. Johny Cash certainly did seem to connect with American people through his music more than anyone.
Chatta, yes, it was in like-new condition. The store had two of them actually for that price. I thought it was too good to be true at first.
I suspect there is a glut of Johnny Cash stuff out there these days that affects the asking price. His stuff has been re-released in different packages umpteen times over the years.