Recommended CD's

CommonSense Audio

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It's no use having a great audio system if you're playing poor quality recordings.  Following is a list of 'killer' CD's from some of our favorite artists.  We've recommended a single CD from each artist's catalog.  If you like the one we've selected, you would probably like their other work as well.  We've also included a brief description of the type of music.  These are not just great songwriting and great performances.....they're spectacular recordings as well.  Super Audio CD was never necessary......just regular CD's from recording engineers that know what they're doing.

Click on this link to hear how today's recording 'engineers' are screwing up many contemporary recordings:

The Loudness War--Discussion

Our 10 Favorite Guitarists of All Time (in no particular order)

Michael Gurley (of DaDa--our favorite rock group of all time.....)

Blues Saraceno (solo and with Transmission OK--more chops in one song--Elvis Talking--than Eddie Van Halen had in his career.....)

Mike Zito (solo.  Listen to him do Hendrix 'Hey Joe'.   Killer voice too.....)

Freddie White (look for him doing Pojama People on YouTube)

Mark Knopfler (solo and with Dire Straits--totally unique)

Tab Benoit (one of our favorite blues guitarists)

Tommy Emmanuel (watch him play both guitar parts on Day Tripper simultaneously:

Nils Lofgren (solo, with Grin, and with the E Street Band.  Check out Acoustic Live)

Leo Kotke (finger picking King)

Patty Larkin (even better live.....)

Individual Artists

Acoustic Alchemy--Against the Grain (jazz/pop/rock) acoustic alchemy

Eric Alexander--Live at the Keynote (jazz)

Rob Allen--Mysterious Measures (jazz/rock)

Stephen Anderson--Remembering the Rain: The Music of Bill Evans (jazz guitar)

Jann Arden--Happy (pop/folk vocals)

Susie Arioli Band (featuring Jordan Officer)--Live at the Festival Intenational de Jazz de Montreal (jazz)

Baltimore Consort--Watkins Ale...Music of the English Renaissance (small ensemble period music)

Patricia Barber--Cafe Blue (jazz/pop vocals) patricia barber

Christy Baron--I Thought About You (Jazz)christy baron

Basia--Time and Tides (jazz/pop vocals)

Beau Jocque and the Zydeco Hi-Rollers--Pick Up On This(cajun blues)

Mary Black--Looking Back (celtic/folk vocals)mary black

Chris Botti--When I Fall in Love (jazz trumpet)

Greg Brown--Covenant (one of the greatest singer/songwriters ever)greg brown

Michael Buble--It's Time (jazz vocal)

Calamus--The Splendor of Andalusia (spanish/new age)

Roseanne Cash--Ten Song Demo (folk/country/pop female vocal) roseanne cash

Nick Cave--No More Shall We Part (folk/pop/rock)

John Cephas and Phil Wiggins--Bluesmen (blues)

Tracy Chapman--(no title) (pop/folk vocals)

Craig Chaquico--Acoustic Planet (new age/jazz)craig chacquico

Craig Chaquico and Russ Freeman--From the Redwoods to the Rockies (new age/jazz)

Checkfield--Reflections On a Decade (new age/jazz/pop-some vocals)

Clannad--Landmarks (celtic/new age)

Holly Cole--Holly Cole (jazz)

Ry Cooder and V. M. Bhatt--A Meeting By The River (acoustic)

Paolo Conte--Best of Paolo Conte (european jazz)

Jesse Cook--Gravity (new age/flamenco/jazz)

The Coryells--The Coryells (jazz/blues/new age guitar/vocal threesome)

Cowboy Junkies--The Trinity Session (folk, country, rock)

Jamie Cullum--Twenty Something (jazz vocal)

DaDa--El Subliminoso (rock)dada

Jeremy Davenport--Jeremy Davenport (trumpet/vocal jazz)

Dave's True Story--Nature (jazz)

Miles Davis--Kind of Blue (jazz)

Al Dimeola--Heart of the Immigrants (guitar)

Dire Straits--Dire Straits (rock)

Candy Dulfer--Saxuality (jazz/saxophone)

Bob Dylan--Free Wheelin' (folk)

Eagles--Hell Freezes Over (country rock)

Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters--Grateful Heart Blues and Ballads (blues/folk)

Michael Ellwood/Beth Galiger--Rolling Valentine (country/blues/folk vocals)

William Ellwood--Openings (folk guitar)

Tommy Emmanuel--Midnight Drive (jazz/rock guitar)

Enya--Shepherd Moons (new age/folk vocals)enya

Bill Evans Trio featuring Stan Getz--But Beautiful (jazz)

Fairfield Four--Standing in the Safety Zone (acappella Gospel)

Bela Fleck--Ufo Tofu (jazz/new age)

Flim and the BB's--Tricycle ( jazz/new age)

John Fogerty--Blue Moon Swamp (country/rock)

Antonio Forcione--Tears of Joy (acoustic guitar)

Fourplay--(no title) (jazz/pop)fourplay

Friedemann--Aquamarine (new age guitar)

Steve Gadd Band--Steve Gadd Band (jazz)steve gadd

Ed Gerhard--Counting the Ways (acoustic guitar)

John Gorka--Between 5 and 7 (new age/celtic)

Benny Green and Russell Malone-Bluebird (jazz)

Michael Gulezian--Language of the Flame (folk/new age guitar) michael gulezian

Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny--Beyond the Missouri Sky (folk/jazz)

Merle Haggard--If I Could Only Fly (country)

John Hammond--Got Love If You Want It (blues vocals) john hammond

Johnny Hartman--And I Thought About You (jazz)

Hayseed Dixie--A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC (I'm not kidding!--bluegrass)

Heart--The Road Home (Live Rock)

Michael Hedges--Taproot (folk/new age guitar)

Shirley Horn--You Won't Forget Me (jazz/pop vocals) shirley horn

Scott Huckabay--Peace Dance (guitar/new age)scott huckabay

Brian Hughes--Straight To You (jazz/pop guitar)

Janis Ian--Breaking Silence (folk)

Ralf Illenberger--Sedona (jazz/new age/folk)ralph illenberger

Benjamin Iobst--Seven Metals--Singing Bowls of Tibet (world/bells)

Chris Isaak--Heart Shaped World (pop/country/blues vocals)

Al Jarreau--Best of Al Jarreau (jazz)

David Johansen and the Harry Smiths--(no title) (blues)

Jamey Johnson--That Lonesome Song (country)

Jack Johnson--On and On (alt pop/rock. Unique talent with unique phrasing)

Ricki Lee Jones--Pop Pop (jazz)

Sara K--Closer Than They Appear (folk/jazz)

Greg Karukas--Heatwave (contemporary jazz)

Keb Mo--(no title) (acoustic blues) keb mo

Leo Kottke--My Father's Face

Mark Knopfler--Golden Heart (pop/country/folk vocals)

Diana Krall--All of You (Jazz, Female Vocal) diana krall

Alison Krauss--Forget About It (Country/bluegrass/folk)

Shawn Lane--The Power of Ten (new age/pop/blues)

K. D. Lang--Ingenue (pop/folk/country)

David Lanz--Desert Vision (new age piano)

Patty Larkin--Angels Running (folk/pop/rock vocals) patty larkin

Max Lassar's Ark--Timejump (new age/folk/pop)

The Legendary Marvin Pontiac Greatest Hits (the only album....Frank Zappa meets the Lounge Lizards--esoteric rock/blues/jazz)

Adrian Legg--Guitars and Other Cathedrals (finger picking acoustic guitar)

Sharon Little--Perfect Time for a Breakdown (blues/rock) sharon little

Nils Lofgren--Acoustic Live (acoustic guitar)nils lofgren

Carla Lother--Ephemera (World/New Age?)

Lyle Lovett--Joshua Judges Ruth (country/folk)

Kevin Mahogany-Pride and Joy (jazz/motown classics)

Torquato Mariano--Paradise Station (Brazilian Jazz/pop/rock)

Keiko Matsui--Dream Walk (New Age)

Susannah McCorkle--Hearts and Minds (jazz)

Michael McDermott--Michael McDermott (Springsteen Rock)

Michael McDonald--Blue Obsession (jazz/rock)

Loreena McKennitt--The Mask and the Mirror (new age/celtic/folk vocals) loreena mckennitt

Sarah McLachlan--Fumbling Towards Ecstacy (folk/pop/new age)

Billy McLaughlin--Fingerdance (folk guitar)

Doug McLeod--Unmarked Road (acoustic blues) doug macleod

Wynton Marsalis--Think Of One (jazz)

The Mavericks--Trampoline (Roy Orbison meets Los Lobos!) mavericks

Natalie Merchant--Tiger Lily (pop/folk)

Bill Mize--Tender Explorations (acoustic guitar)

Montana Skies--Chasing the Sun (acoustic)

Maria Muldaur--Fanning the Flames (blues)

Roy Orbison--Black and White Night Live (rock n roll)

Over the Rhine--Good Dog Bad Dog (ethereal pop/folk/jazz)

Dean Peer--Ucross (solo bass guitar)

Al Petteway--Caledon Wood (folk guitar) al petteway

Rebecca Pidgeon--The Raven (folk/jazz)rebecca pidgeon

Plaid--Not For 3's (electronica)

Quadro Nuevo--Mocca Flor (latin jazz)

Quitana and Speer--Shades of Shadow (new age/jazz/rock)

Keith Richards--Main Offender (rock)

Kim Richey--(untitled) (country/pop female vocal) kim richey

The Rippingtons--Sahara (modern jazz/pop)

Randy Roos--Liquid Smoke (new age/jazz/pop) randy roos

Michael Ruff--Speaking in Melodies (pop/rock vocals)

Sade--Diamond Life (jazz/pop)

Joe Satriani--Surfin With the Alien (rock/pop guitar)joe satriani

Neil Schon--Beyond the Thunder (jazz/new age)

Kate Schrock--Indiana (folk)

Steve Schuch--Crossing the Waters (celtic/folk)

Oystein Sevag--Close Your Eyes and See (New Age)

Frank Sinatra--Francis A and Edward K (Sinatra at his best)

Son Volt--Trace (folk/country/rock). Interesting mix of awesome quality acoustic recordings and terrible electric ones.....a great evaluation tool.

Special EFX--Collection ( jazz, new age)special fx

Hillary Stagg--Dream Spiral (new age harp)

Steeley Dan--Two Against Nature (jazz/rock/pop)

SuperTramp--It Was the Best of Times (Live pop/rock)

Allan Taylor--Colour to the Moon (folk)

Livingston Taylor--Ink (on Chesky Records) (jazz/folk)livingston taylor

Hans Theesink--Solo Hard Road Blues (blues vocals)

Toy Matinee (no title) (pop/rock)

Artie Traum--Meetings With Remarkable Friends (new age/jazz/folk guitar) artie traum

Leroy Vinnegar--Walkin' The Basses (jazz bass)

Andreas Vollenweider--Trilogy (new age electroacoustic harp)

Wailin' Jennys--40 Days (Country/Folk three part harmonies)

Billy Joe Walker--Warm Front ( jazz/pop guitar)

Jennifer Warnes--Famous Blue Raincoat (pop/folk)

Cheryl Wheeler--Different Stripe (folk/country)

Freddie White--My Country (pop/folk) favorite artist!freddie white

Peter White--Caravan of Dreams ( jazz/pop guitar) peter white

David Wilcox--Home Again (folk)

Cassandra Wilson--New Moon Daughter (jazz/blues/R&B)cassandra wilson

Work of Art--Lift (folk/Irish)

Yellow Jackets--Four Corners ( jazz/new age)


A Celebration of the Blues--Great Acoustic Blues

Celtic Treasure--The Legacy of Turlough O'Carolan (Celtic)celtic treasure

Guitar Fingerstyle (Narada)

Guitar Samplers I and II (Windham Hill)guitar sampler

Guitar Works (Narada)

Guitarisma (Higher Octave Music) (Guitar)

Jazz at the Pawnshop (Fim)

Passion--Music For Guitar (Narada)

The Six String (Mesa) (Guitar)

Sounds of Wood and Steel--Windham Hillsounds of wood and steel

Summer Solstice--A Windham Hill Collection (New Age)

Hope you enjoy these!

If you'd like to email us with other recommendations, we'd be happy to audition them.

If you have comments or suggestions, email us at:

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