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The 20th Anniversary issue (February 2010) of Acoustic Guitar is now on its way to subscribers and will hit newsstands shortly. Our aim with this issue was to pay homage to all the talented players, innovative guitars and gear, and amazing songs and albums that consistently inspire acoustic guitarists across all styles.

So, among this issue's great songs to play, lessons with acoustic icons, and information about guitar and gear trends, you'll find our list of over 200 of the finest acoustic recordings from the past two decades. Acoustic Guitar editors, over the course of many debates, chose these albums representing the best in flatpicking, fingerstyle, blues, and more. If you're looking for a way to stoke your inspiration and show you what's possible on an acoustic guitar, listening to even a fraction of these recordings will do the trick.

And while there is a ton of great playing represented here, we know that this list it is by no means complete. So, please tell us about your favorites from our article and by all means, tell us what we missed! You can comment here on this blog post.

Everyone at Acoustic Guitar hopes you enjoy the 20th Anniversary issue. Thanks for being a part of it!

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Tags: 20th, Essential, albums, anniversary, issue


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Comment by Bill Sands on March 7, 2010 at 5:46pm
Great issue! John Hiatt had a few I could include.Also, Old and in the Way.
Comment by Loren J. Shelton, Jr. on January 4, 2010 at 4:08pm
Whoof. I fell deeply in love with the guitar when I tripped over the first and subsequent "Wood & Steel" compilations under the Windham label. Doyle Dykes was there, along with Muriel Anderson, Billy McLaughlin, Lawrence Juber, Artie Traum, Phil Keaggy, and others. I remain amazed at all three of the W&S volumes and hope Windham does another. Ms. Anderson is still setting fire to her strings ... I'll bet Kaki King is too!
Comment by Stephen Verderber on January 4, 2010 at 11:53am
I think it was a mistake to not include John Fahey on the list.
Comment by Mike Smith on January 1, 2010 at 4:50pm
Speaking of REM, Peter Buck's acoustic guitar work on Automatic For the People should have gotten a mention as well. And no one ever talks about Bob Dylan's superb acoustic guitar work on Good As I Been To You and World Gone Wrong.
Comment by Emrah Aktunc on January 1, 2010 at 3:05pm
I also want to add that it is a terrible mistake to think that Segovia is all there is to 20th century classic guitar. There is Julian Bream, John Williams, Carlo Domeniconi, David Russell, and Manuel Barrueco all of whom are people who made immense contributions to the guitar world and made it improve on and go beyond Segovia's achievement.
Comment by Emrah Aktunc on January 1, 2010 at 3:01pm
I cannot figure out why John Williams, perhaps the greatest classic guitarist of all time, was not on this list. At least two, if not more, albums of his, "The Guitarist" and "Places Between (with John Etheridge) more than deserve to be on the list. The fact that nothing by John Williams is on it makes me doubt the credibility of this list.
Comment by Mike Smith on January 1, 2010 at 2:24pm
August and Everything After by the Counting Crows is a great album. However, it was not the album that introduced the mandolin to '90s alternative rock. That album was REM's Out of Time and its hit single "Losing My Religion." Also, Willie Nelson's Spirit is an awesome album that was left off the list.
Comment by Steve Dace on January 1, 2010 at 1:35pm
About 1 1/2 years ago I heard Doug MacLeod when he opened for B. B. King. Picked up Utrecht Sessions on the spot. Great steel guitar work and songs as well.
Comment by Glenn Rude on December 31, 2009 at 11:53am
Great issue, and really nice list of albums over the last 2 decades. I'm sure we all have some we would like to add to the list. My favorite would be the wonderful guitar player Tchavolo Schmitt, particularly his 2000 cd: Alors?...Voila! with the amazing Florin Niculescu on violin
Comment by gary rejsek on December 30, 2009 at 11:49am
fantastic issue from a great publication that continues it's excellence! one that I didn't see was Brooks Williams.Little Lion alone should be a best of the decade! Also Robert Bowlin's "Six String Soliloquy" is one that shouldn't be missed

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