Can anyone suggest a really good acoustic album (individual or compilation) that is strictly acoustic? Looking for some good background music (mellow, but not elevatorish) for work. Thanks ahead of time.
Do you mean instrumental ?
If not, Eric Clapton’s Unplugged.
Got that one, but yes, along those lines.
Unlce Tupelo - March 16-20, 1992
Willy Porter - Falling Forward
Peter Mulvey - The Trouble With Poets
They’re both more to the folk side, rather than blues, but both fantastic albums, IMO.
Leo Kottke - One Guitar, No Vocals
Jerry Garcia and David Grisman
Barry Mitterhoff - Silk City
This is mandolin music all over the map. A little bluegrass, a little polka, some Dvorak, and a great Wizard of Oz medley to boot.
Al Petteway - The Waters and the Wild
Robin Bullock - Midnight Howl
Two exceptional musicians with more of a Celtic influence.
Phil Keaggy - Beyond Nature. Wonderful acoustic guitar music. Samples available at the link.
Great choice. Get this, but wait a few weeks for the release.
Also, get everything by Robert Johnson. You can get a box set that will have almost everything he recorded.
Or get stuff by the Carter Family. And Jimmie Rodgers.
Should be re-release.
My two favorite CDs:
The Nine Maidens and The Lady and the Unicorn both by John Renbourn. These are acoustic and just lovely - mainly guitar with flute, fiddle, oboe and so on (no vocals). They have a Renaissance feel.
VH1 Storytellers: Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.
Some beautiful choices, I have a couple to add (they’re not strictly acoustic, but you’ll think they are):
Tim Hardin - Hang On To The Dream - The complete Verve Recordings or, if you’re in Australia, Person To Person.
Fred Neil - Tear Down The Walls/Bleeker and MacDougall - A Cheapie twofer that won’t let you down.
Leonard Cohen - Songs Of Leonard Cohen - Again, Not entirely acoustic, but essential and great (a bit deep at times).
Johnny Cash - American Recordings - The answer to the question what do Danzig, Leonard Cohen and Nick Lowe have in common, and in many ways, too good to be true.
I echo the recommendations for Uncle Tupelo and Robert Johnson.
Nick Drake’s Pink Moon is the only album you’ll need. Bleak, depressing and amazingly beautiful minimalistic folk-pop. Sort of.
A good resource for you would be to check out KFOG’s Acoustic Sunrise every Sunday morning 6-11am Pacific Time.
It’s 5 hours of acoustic based music streamed online. They usually have the playlist posted by the next day so you can see the artist and source for each song.
They also play a lot of acoustic songs that were recorded by artists performing live at the station.
Definitely worth checking out.
Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, recorded on a four-track in his basement.
Anything you can get your hands on by Doc Watson, a pioneer of fingerpicking/flatpicking from North Carolina.
King Rat mentioned Jerry Garcia and David Grisman. Grisman runs a label called Acoustic Disc that puts out some fantastic albums - I’d especially recommend Doc & Dawg, a session with Grisman and Watson.
There are a bunch of country and bluegrass folks you could look into: Gram Parsons, Allison Kraus and Union Station, Tony Rice, and Merle Travis to name a few.
If you like the Grateful Dead at all, Reckoning was recorded on an acoustic tour in 1980. Bob Weir, who played rythm guitar for the Dead, also has an album with Rob Wasserman that’s usually hit or miss - I like it, but I know people who love the Dead and don’t like this album at all.
Neil Young’s album Silver and Gold from a couple of years ago is great. His Unplugged album is worth a try, to.
If you’re looking for the blues, you could check out Mississippi John Hurt. For a more contemporary sound with a lot of blues influence (and a few covers), try Chris Smither.
It might be helpful if you could tell us a little more about what you like and what you don’t.
I’d also recommend Train a-Comin’ by Steve Earle. It’s got Steve, Norman Blake and Peter Rowan playing all kind of string instruments. Fabulous!