Best Live Albums Featuring Acoustic Guitar


While spending an inordinate amount of time on the Acoustic Guitar Forum this week (o.k., every week), we were struck by a question posted by a user on the best albums that feature a singer-songwriter on acoustic guitar.  While some of the obvious choices were mentioned (is anybody surprised to see Eric Clapton Unplugged on the list?), there were a few choices that we didn’t expect.  We were especially shocked by the album that got the most mentions.  We like the one whose picture we chose for this story, but that one wasn’t the #1 choice.  If you want to know which album was mentioned most often by guitarists in the forum, read on.

First of all, the biggest surprise was the album that was cited most often as the favorite live album featuring the acoustic guitar and recorded live.  That distinction went to Jackson Browne Solo Acoustic Volume 1 and Volume 2.  A complete list of the top albums chosen (in no particular order) is below.  Needless to say, they are all worth a listen.

1.  Jackson Browne – Solo Acoustic, Volume 1 & Solo Acoustic, Volume 2

2.  Neil Young – Live at Massey Hall

3.  Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds – Live at Luther College

4.  Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds – Live at Radio City Music Hall

5.  Townes Van Zandt – Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas

6.  John Denver – The Wildlife Concert

7.  Patty Larkin – In the Square:  Live

8.  John Prine – Live

9.  Eric Clapton – Unplugged

10. James Taylor – One Man Band

Do you think something is missing from this list?  Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Joe Chavez

    One of my all-time favorite live albums is Neil Diamond’s 1972 “Hot August Night.”

    The sound production still stands tall even by today’s standards. It’s very heavy on acoustic guitars (a la Ovation) and they sound rich and full.

  2. Brian

    @Joe – Did Dave pay you for that comment!? :) (Dave’s a huge Neil Diamond fan)

  3. Joe Chavez

    @Brian: Nope. No, that was no extra charge. Been a Diamond fan myself since the early 80′s.

  4. Dave

    I have never met Joe Chavez, but he strikes me as an extremely wise man.

  5. Joe Chavez

    @Dave: somehow, after almost 30 years, I feel vindicated. You don’t know the amount of ribbing and jokes I had to endure during elementary school. I mean, what pre-teen kid likes Neil Diamond, at least during the early 80′s? But you know, I stood my ground because I knew what I liked: TALENT! Something sorely lacking then and even more so now!

    No, Diamond is no guitar genius, but he’s always been acoustic-heavy. And I’m telling you, “Hot August Night” has some great acoustic guitar tone.

  6. Swifty

    The acoustic side of Ben Harper’s Live from Mars should be up there.

  7. Acoustic Guitar Lesson

    Come on Guys – It’s time to just come out and say it – I love Neil Diamonds music. Granted he isn’t a technical genius with a guitar but his music really rocks and if I could play as well as him (I’m a newbie) I’d be pretty happy

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