Pat Metheny "One Quiet Night"
Jackson Brown "Solo Acoustic 1"
Michael Hedges "Aerial Boundries" is a great one. His other albums are good too, all well recorded.
The Pink Guitar--music of Mancini, each great arrangement by a different guitarist. It's a Grammy winner, and well-deserved.
Lots to choose from in this genre. Here are a few of my favorites:
Harry Manx- Road Ragas- blues with an Indian influence
Adrian Legg- Guitar For Mortals- Irish master of the Ovation
Bruce Cockburn- Speechless- excellent instrumental collection
Chris Eldridge & Julian Lage- Avalon- Chris is the guitarist for the Punch Bros.
Leo Kottke- 6 & 12 String Guitars- a classic
Antoine Dufour- Existence- Amazing finger style pyrotechnics in the Michael Hedges tradition.
There is also the classic Dimeola/Mclaughlan/Delucia "Night In San Francisco".
Andy McKee "Art of Motion".
Lot's to choose from. Seem to keep coming back to this artist.
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters Volume 1
Slack Key Guitar Volume 2 -- 2005 GRAMMY AWARD - Hawaiian Music Album of the Year
Eva Cassidy's Simply Eva is guitar solo. Good recording, but very nice music, if you want to relax.
Larry Coryell - Standing Ovation
Plus 1 for Doyle Dykes. HEAT is one of my favorites of his albums.
Kaki King's "Everybody Loves You".
Michael Hedges' Beyond Boundaries, a best of CD, I was listening to it yesterday. One composition by Frank Zappa. Very well recorded, you know, Windham Hill and everything.
Joe Pass - Virtuoso - If you've never heard it, RUN, don't walk!! Buy it and you'll never regret it. If I remember correctly, the very 1st cut is him on an electric gtr but the rest of the record is him on acoustic, amazing!
Ralph Towner, Bill Frisell and Ottmar Liebert. I second the suggestion of the Jackson Browne Solo Acoustic albums 1 & 2, as well as Bruce Cockburn's Speechless and pretty much anything by Leo Kottke. They are all different styles.
"6 and 12-String Guitar"...Leo Kottke
Joe Pass - Virtuoso > I agree it's a must have
Ralph Towner, Gene Bertoncini, Jason Vieux. Anything by the first two and a very special CD, "Images of Metheny" by Jason Vieux. Vieux is a classical guitarist but clearly has a special affinity for Pat Metheny, whom you already know.
Most anything by Tommy Emmanuel. Chet Atkins proclaimed him best guitar player. He's self taught... living out in nowhere in Australia, and started copying old surf guitar artists by ear. The Center Stage album has rave reviews on Amazon.
Virtuoso is unbelievable playing but the sound on the acoustic tracks is lacking. An ES-175 was not designed for its acoustic sound. Again, the playing is without equal.
I know, you are interested in solo guitar. But....
Sharon Isbin/Carlos Barbosa-lima Rhapsody in Blue/West Side Story. Gorgeous.
Check out the Groovemasters series on Solid Air, a dozen or so albums, each pairing two excellent guitarists... For example, Vol 1 pairs Laurence Juber and Preston Reed.
The California Guitar Trio...try Whitewater or Masterworks.
The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet...one of my favorites is Guitar Heroes, but their catalog is very good.
Tommy Emmanuel's solo works are jaw-dropping, but don't overlook his duet albums with Martin Taylor, Jim Nichols, and Frank Vignola (that one is Vol 11 of Groovemasters).
Staying in the solo guitar realm, good recommendations for Doyle Dykes, Tommy Emmanuel. Also check out Martin Taylor (jazz), Pat Donohue (excellent house guitarist on Prairie Home Companion), off the top of my head.
Lots of good calls already, but I'll throw two new names into the ring:
Bert Jansch and John Renbourn
They played a couple of acoustic guitars together as Bert and John, each had a long solo career, and, together they formed the heart of Pentangle (a British folk band). Jansch is often cited in British '60's rock n roll circles as one of the most influential guitarists of that era. (Both Page and Clapton have ID'd Jansch as a major influence). Renbourn is also a major talent and might be a more impressive picker than Jansch - IMO, it's six of one.
On a separate note, my main guy, Lindsey Buckingham, just released a live album of his recent solo tour called "One Man Show". About two thirds of it is solo acoustic guitar and the playing is first rate. The other third is electric lead over looped rhythm and is pretty cool in its own right.
Tony Rice and John Carlini have a real good one. I only do SEEEDEEE in the car, but it sounds pretty good on my Japanese CD player. Not solo but great stuff IMO.
If you decide to dip you toe in the classical realm, almost any of the Naxos Laureate series will serve you well, and they're pretty cheap, too.
Nils Lofgren --- "Acoustic Live" is pretty perfect. Incredible guitar playing and exceptionally well recorded.
Friday Night in SFO - DiMeola, Paco Delucia etc.
New Chatauqua - Metheny
Aerial Boundaries - Micheal Hedges
I 2nd! Best Acoustic Live guitar album is FRIDAY NIGHT IN SAN FRANSISCO LIVE by Al Dimeola, John McLaughlin, Paco DeLucia. IMHO.
Thank you so much for your efforts everyone. Really appreciate it. Keep em coming please...placing an order from amazon very soon for sure...:)
Speaking of the Al, Paco and John trio--"Passion, Grace and Fire" sounds fantastic though the music can be challenging to the listener. A bit modern.
Another great record is by David Grisman & Tony Rice - 'Tone Poems (The sounds of the great vintage guitars and mandolins). Each song features different combos of the instruments and the booklet has photos of these beauties!
Here's one that I'd guess few people have heard. Tim Sparks - 'Sidewalk Blues'. Sensational solo acoustic blues guitar. He also plays various vintage guitars, great sounding record, highly recommended!