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Ten Country Albums Everyone Should Own but Probably Don’t

Michael Buckner, Getty Images
Country music has always evolved as time has passed but some albums will always stand the test of time. Some albums comes from well known artists while others come from an artist you saw one night in a small little bar and fell in love with. Not matter what, everyone has those albums they think everyone should own but probably don't. Here is my list of 10 albums everyone should own but probably don't. Hope you enjoy.


Outpost
Outpost
10

Whiskeytown

Strangers Almanac
 
 

Whiskeytown could almost be considered alt. country, but their music will stand the test of time as some of the best country most have never heard. Fronted by singer/songwriter Ryan Adams, Whiskeytown released three studio albums, but it's Strangers Almanac that stands taller than all. Released in 1997, Strangers Almanac weaves storytelling, true emotions and haunting lyrics to create a standard in alt. country/country rock.Tracks to listen to: "Inn Town," "Not Home Anymore" and "Dancing With The Women At The Bar"

 
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
9

Dwight Yoakam

Dwightyoakamacoustic.net
 
 

Dwightyoakamacoustic.net, released in 2000, is Yoakam performing his greatest hits on his guitar. Just Yoakam, a mic, his guitar and 76 minutes of pure emotion coming out through your speakers. Some artists have done this style of album before and since Yoakam did, but no other musician comes close to producing what he did with Dwightyoakamacoustic.net.Tracks to listen to: "I'll Be Gone," "This Drinkin' Will Kill Me" and "Two Doors Down"

 
Ark 21
Ark 21
8

Wayne Hancock

Thunderstorms and Neon Signs
 
 

Wayne "The Train" Hancock's gem, Thunderstorms and Neon Signs, sends chills down my spine and makes me feel like Hank Williams was alive again. Thunderstorms & Neon Signs, released on CD in 2000, makes you want to get up and dance while mourning over a broken heart. His stripped down sound, blended with real heartache and sorrow, makes you imagine your back in the golden days of country.Tracks to listen to: "Thunderstorms and Neon Signs," "Why Don't You Leave Me Alone" and "She's My Baby"

 
Lost Highway
Lost Highway
7

Van Morrison

Pay The Devil
 
 

Van Morrison's "Pay the Devil," released in 2006, is his crossover to country music that scores big. Pay The Devil features classic country hits with Van's spin on them. Most crossover albums don't have the same success that Morrison did with Pay the Devil. The majority of these types of records get the sound, style or overall appeal a sour vibe, but Van's 2006 masterpiece was a solid and under heard country gem.Tracks to listen to: "There Stands The Glass," "Things Have Gone To Pieces" and "Playhouse"

 
Arista
Arista
6

Robert Earl Keen

Picnic
 
 

Robert Earl Keen' Picnic is one of the most complete albums ever made. When I say complete, I'm meaning flawless from beginning to end. Fantastic storytelling is perfectly combined with a talented group of musicians to create one of the best albums in the Americana genre. Most know Keen's albums Walking Distance and Western Textures, but it's Picnic that really solidifies him as one of the best song writers to come from the Lonestar State.Tracks to listen to: "Shades of Gray," "Undone" and "I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight"

 
Knight Klub Records
Knight Klub Records
5

James Hand

Live @ the Saxon Pub
 
 

James Hand's Live 2 the Saxon Pub album will be the hardest album on this list to try to purchase. This album isn't even available to purchase on his own website. The album though is pure bliss that grabs you and doesn't let you go until weeks later. You'll find Hand's voice eerily familiar and pure, much like Hancock's mentioned earlier. The album, while hard to find, will be one of the crowning jewels of you music library. Do yourself the favor and hunt this one down. The heartbreaking and toe tapping lyrics will be reward enough.Tracks to listen to: "The Truth Will Set You Free," "Shadows Where The Magic Was" and "The Pain Of Loving You"

 
Sony
Sony
4

Uncle Tupelo

89/93 An Anthology
 
 

I tried not to put a greatest hits album on this list but Uncle Tupelo's: 89/93 An Anthology was too amazing too not put on. The album chronicles the music of Uncle Tupelo, which featured Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar of Son Volt, which spanned only three studio albums. Uncle Tupelo is also considered one of the founding bands of Alt. Country and are the institution for longtime fans of the genre. Purchase the album and get a real sense of where country music of today got its roots.Tracks to listen to: "Moonshiner," "Whiskey Bottle" and "Graveyard Shift"

 
Island Records
Island Records
3

Willie Nelson

Teatro
 
 

Recorded in an old theater, Teatro is Willie Nelson's best work you may have never heard of. The majority of the album is done with Emmylou Harris on backup vocals and features almost his full band. It's not what you would usually expect from the Red Headed Stranger, but you never really know what to expect from him anyways. His library of music spans different genres and Willie continues to change the face of country with every album he records. Released in 1998, Teatro is the must have Willie Nelson album for either die hard fans or just fans of good music.Tracks to listen to: "I Never Cared for You," "Home Motel" and "My Own Peculiar Way"

 
Lost Highway
Lost Highway
2

Ryan Bingham

Mescalito
 
 

Everyone is becoming quickly aware of the name Ryan Bingham thanks to the movie Crazy Heart. Bingham, who won an Oscar for the movie, has recorded three studio albums including his first, Mescalito. There's a real grit and pain in Bingham's voice that comes across on the album and in his song writing. Mescalito blends the grit and pain with strong songwriting and haunting tales that make you happy that true country music is still alive and well. Good luck trying to get tickets to his live shows but do yourself the favor and get the album.Tracks to listen to: "Southside of Heaven," "Sunrise" and "Sunshine"

 
Philo Records
Philo Records
1

Slaid Cleaves

Broke Down
 
 

This could quite possibly be the best album ever recorded that no one has heard. If you have heard it then you know how truly great it is. Broke Down, released in 2000, is story telling at its finest. It's hard to find the right words to describe this album but it's well worth the $10 you'd pay to purchase it.Tracks to listen to: "Broke Down," "One Good Year" and "Breakfast in Hell"

 

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