Leo Kottke and Tony Rice come to mind immediately. Maybe the Three Pickers work by Doc Watson (guitar), Ricky Skaggs (andolin) and Earl Scruggs (banjo). Or for guitar derivative (dobro), anything by Jerry Douglas. This is more in the bluegrass or roots vein then classic country. I am thinking here of excellent music. If by excellent you mean sound quality wise,then any of the Acoustic Music recordings of David Grisman et al have great sonics and great music. More emphasis there on mandolin, but plenty of acoustic guitar as well.
Try the Windham Hill crowd: Alex DeGrassi, Michael Hedges, WIlliam Ackerman. All excellent, each with different styles. LPs and CDs on Ebay. (cheap)
For outstanding finger-style guitar playing, with a bit of celtic, blues and jazz flavoring, any of Martin Simpson's recordings are highly recommended, particularly:
"Leaves of Life"
"When I was on Horseback"
You might also try Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds - Live at Luther College. It's very upbeat, and VERY well recorded! It has some vocal tracks, but also has some stunning guitar-only tracks. I like track 2 on Disc 2, called "Stream;" there's some blazingly fast picking by Tim Reynolds on it that's guaranteed to impress. Enjoy!
Keb Mo -- Keb Mo
Muddy Waters -- Folk Singer
Both are well recorded acoustic country [Delta] blues. Folk Singer was recorded 40 years ago, Keb Mo more recently.
Leo Kottke -- 6 & 12 String Guitar
Finger picking, slide, open tuning, all guitar -- no vocals.
Pat Metheney "One Quiet Night"
Friday Night in San Francisco --
John McLaughlin, Paco De Lucia, Al Di Meola
o Chris Issak - San Francisco Days,
o Johannes Linstead - Guitarra del fuego. Spanish-like guitar, warm and well recorded.
o William Ackerman - Past Light , instrumental (early digital, very steel string and one of my all time favorites(at times mezmorizing).
o Mary Chapin Carpenter - C'mon C'mon - (the fast songs are country (I never listen to those), but the other half are songs are more folk and storyteller style, excellent recording).
Jack Johnson is primarily acoustic guitar w/vocals. The Pizza Tapes with Garcia, Grisman, and Rice is a favorite of mine.
Antonio Forcionni on the NAIM lable
Another vote for Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges. Ackerman is OK, but bores me for some reason (the George Winston of guitar?)....
For something out of the mainstream, John McLaughlin has some incredible acoustic recordings.
Cpdunn99, I would agree with you about your comments on Ackerman. Except for his Past Light cd. Perhaps I'm biased but it is rather interesting and quite un-George Winston like. :)
Pierre Bensusan. Excellent French guitarist with mostly very good recordings, material. Acoustic with steel strings.
Dominic Miller, on Naim and others...
Mason Williams has a new EP release on his web site. It's
a pristine recording and all acoustic guitar. A whopping
$10.00 Check it out. Joe
Could you share a couple of McLaughlin acoustic woth trying
Sergio & Odair Assad Play Piazolla
Take a listen to Gordon Lightfoot's - Sundown ,he playes both 6 string and 12 string acoustic guitar, its a nice piece of pop/folk from the early 70s and one of my favorites.
I'll second the Hedges and Sergio & Odair Assad CDs.
Also, Phill Keaggy's Beyond Nature is excellent.
This is a good thread that pops up every so often....I have some browsing and sampling at Amazon to do now.
Clapton's Unplugged has some great acoustic guitar tracks.
"A Meeting By The River" Ry Cooder & V.M. Bhatt on Water Lily Acoustics lable. All analog, minimalist tube mic recording of some sublime music. A blend of western and eastern musical styles. Wonderful.
Lawrence Juber, The Collection. You will love this cd. It is recorded very nice and the music is great.
I suggest you click on my threads and go to my thread named "Calling all acoustic guitar fans" and you see other suggestions as well. Acoustic guitar, it dosen't get any better that this!
I agree with
Leo Kottke '6 &12 String Guitar',
Doc Watson and Merle Watson "Live and Pickin'" and "Doc and the Boys",
Martin Simpson "Cool and Unusual"
and "Friday Night at San Francisco" by McLaughlin, DiMiola and DeLucia is wonderful.
"Skip, Hop and Wobble" by Russ Barenberg, Jerry Douglas,and Edgar Meyer is great for guitar, dobro and accoustic bass.
I would also recommend
Richard Thompson's "Celtschmerz", and accoustic live album from '98 and
"Two Letter Words" especially disc two which starts with four great accoustic numbers. It is a live album from '94 that has a mix of accoustic and electric guitar.
The Richard Thompson is only availble via his web site.
For Jazz I would also recommend Ralph Towner's "Ana". I solo guitar work for Classical and 12 string.
here are a few in recent rotation in my home
Time (the Revelator)...Gillian Welch...americana/country/blues
Big Momma's Door...Alvin Youngblood Hart...blues
Shine Eyed Mister Zen...Kelly Joe Phelps...blues
Roll Away The Stone...Kelly Joe Phelps...blues
Alone & Acoustic...Buddy Guy & Junior Wells...blues
Acoustic Stories...R.L. Burnside...blues
hope this helps
Lots of good ideas above. But I don't see Norman Blake. "Whiskey for Breakfast" is especially good for focusing on guitar.
You should try a search on "acoustic guitar" here as this question has been asked before. I'll add Rory Block (pretty much anything - When a Woman gets the Blues is great), Tim Reynolds and Dave Matthews if you like Dave - there's a great live album at a Luther College, Gillian Welch on the country side (her guitar accompaniast David Rawlings is fantastic), Patty Larkin has some great rifs on Agogo.
Pat Metheny and John Scofield "I Can See Your House from Here" track 5 "message to a friend" excellent recording indeed
Ahh, good thread I'm taking notes.
One guitarist I can contribute to this is one of my favorite accoustic players albeit not well known. His name is Robby Longley who's originally from New Orleans but now resides in Los Angeles.
Growing up in New Orleans, he has an interesting style that is composed of different flavors like a good gumbo, but his main influence is Flamenco. I 've seen him perform live in my local Borders Bookstore about four times. He's a super nice guy and an incredible talent. Check out his album "Sanctuary" which features more acoustic compositions than his album Danza Mora. I like em both!
Chris Isaak...Forever blue
stellar modern recording with incredible depth and warmth...
Phil Keaggy- The Master and the Musician, also the Wind and the Wheat
here's another vote for leo kottke. really amazing what that man can do with a guitar.
Oh Oh, I forgot, How about Bruce Cockburn! Anyone with me here? If you're not familiar with him,"Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws" is a good start. His recordings are squeaky
clean and he knows his way around a guitar.
Anyone suggest John Fahey? I really like America & Of Rivers and Religion.
Doc Watson, Tony Rice, Bruce Cockburn, Leo Kottke,Phil Keagy, Alison Krouse,Pat Methany.All but Allison and Bruce have all guitar albums.Also like Ralph Towner, as well. Nothing new here, but wanted to vote anyhow.
John Renbourn "Sir John Alot... or Stephen Stills "Stills Alone"
Try "My Goal's Beyond" and "Shakti"
Forgot Dan Crary. He has a Christmas album that is fantastic.So does Bruce Cockburn for that matter.
Larry Coryell's acoustic LPs are some of my favorites; his 1st duet with Phillip Catherine, "Twin House" on Elektra is not very hard to find and one of the most inventive and virtuosic acoustic guitar records I know. "Standing Ovation" is another excellent solo acoustic LP. He has a live at Montreaux Jazz Fest I think called "European Impressions" that's also quite excellent.
Bert Jansch and John Renbourne, the original guitarists for the UK band Pentangle have a great duet LP and loads of fantastic solo LPs.
Their mentor and one of the finest guitarists ever was Davey (sometimes spelled as "Davy") Graham. His "Complete Guitarist" LP for Kicking Mule is astounding solo acoustic. UK pressings of Kicking Mule always sound noticably better.
Check out Tommy Emmananuel an Australian guitarist. He is predominantly an acuostic player (amazing solo musician) but has also ventured into electric material so be careful which cd you get. He can sometimes lean towards a country feel but if its top shelf acoustic guitar you are after they dont come any better than this.
Michael Hedges - Aerial Boundaries
For something different try slack key acoustic wizards Gabby Pahinui or Led Kaapana...
hot tuna- jorma kakounen (guitarist from jefferson airplane)
from rags to riches- leo wynjkamp jr.(folk/traditional)
blind blake- everything (ragtime/blues)
richard gilewitz- similar to leo kotke, but very lyrical
allison krouse,,lots of acoustic instr. well recorded
I'll suggest Atlanta Rhythm Section's "Partly Plugged", another recording that is quite well recorded and brings back great memories. ARS's unplugged compilation commemorated their 25th anniversary. Barry Baily's acoustic lead guitar work is fluid and dead on in the acoustic arrangements of their hits.
Greg Chaquico (sp?)
Dem,i lived in atl. 78,79, lived 2 blocks from the bass player from ARS,saw them live a few times,great band!barry baily is excellent!!! def. underrated,,im going to have to look for "partly unplugged" should bring back some good memories,back then i was a 17 yr old starving musician with more hair than brains lol,, i have a dvd a called "the bluegrass sessions" tales from the acoustic planet vol 2,,,bela fleck,jerry douglas,tony rice,vassar clements,earl scruggs and a few more great musicians.exc.music and recording!