So disappointed in today's Americana

I make it a habit of getting the Grammy nominated Americana albums from the library each year. Past years have introduced me to much new music, some good, some bad, some treasures (TajMo for example). This year I just listened to Brandi Carlile's cd 'By the way I forgive you', nominated for best Americana roots album. OMG it is unlistenable! You would think singer / songwriters would strive for a pristine recording that highlights their lyrics and mostly acoustic arrangements. No - it is a sonic mess, compressed all to hell. To quote my wife "Turn that crap off". End of rant. 

I agree with you in your analysis of what may make up Americana. It's very difficult these days to pigeon hole a specific genre because of the genre bending going on.

Love Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O'Donovan/Crooked Still, Sara Watkins......
Love Sarah, haven't listened to her in a while. Will pick up Undercurrent from the library for a listen. 
The DR measurements on Sarah Jarosz's albums seem to hover around 8, which I consider marginal but darn good compared to some of the albums mentioned above. There are folks here at Audiogon who consider anything less than 10 to be poor. So whoever her engineer is, either he is part of the problem or someone else is compressing the work after he's done with it.

Some Steely Dan albums up up around 16. Mark Knopfler, until recently, was typically in the 12-14 range. Pete Townshend's White City averages 12. 
 Please add the Wood Brothers to your quest.
Someone new to me that people may enjoy is Amy McCarley.  New album is Meco.   Stands for main engine cut off.  Alabama native who was a NASA contractor.   Marty Stuart and other Nashville folks play on this.  Really great music, well worth a listen.