10 Most Impactful Singer-Songwriter Albums • Acoustic Tuesday 206

In this video we’re going to talk about the 10 most impactful singer-songwriter albums. We’ll explore each album, and share what makes it so special. And in the end I’ll reveal my favorite song from each one!

Each of these singer songwriter albums had a huge impact on acoustic music. In this episode specifically, I’m taking a closer look at the lyrics that really take some of these songs to the next level.

From Bob Dylan to Joni Mitchell to Jeffrey Foucault, I’m excited to hear what you think of my list! Be sure to leave a comment and tell me what your favorite singer songwriter album is!

In addition to featuring the 10 most impactful singer songwriter albums of all time, I’ll be giving you the rundown on this week’s Tuesday TAC Guitar Lick Challenge. We’ll be cleaning things up in Open D tuning!

Last but not least, I have a whole host of music releases to share with you — including, but not limited to, Béla Fleck, Daisy Tempest, Courtney Hartman, and Riddy Arman!

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  1. Fairport Convention from the Unhalfbricking album. The song Who Knows Where The Time Goes; “And I am not alone while my love is near me
    I know it will be so until it’s time to go.”

  2. Hey Tony!! I just watched this weeks acoustic Tuesday about Lighting Hopkins. I heard a great story about him told by David Bromberg when he did a show with Jorma @ the Fur Peace Ranch back on 9-22-2007. Not sure if you’d be able to play it being there maybe copyright issues but i’m sure you can take a listen & pass it on to the geek community!! its a great story!!

  3. I love that you had Darrell Scott, Gillian Welch and Jeffrey Foucault on your list, (as these are less well known, but no less talented artists) and that you picked Northbound 35 as the song from that album. Of course one could do an entire list from just Joni Mitchell (“People will tell you where they’ve gone, they’ll tell you where to go, but till you get there, yourself, you’ll never really know. Where some have found their paradise, others just come to harm, Amelia, it was just a false alarm.” – Ameila, from Hejira) or Townes Van Zandt (“Livin’ on the road my friend, was gonna keep you free and clean, but now you wear your skin like iron and your breath is hard as kerosene.”).

  4. Great selection Tony!
    Here are ten I love (No
    Particular order).

    (1) Gordon lightfoot “Don Quixote”
    (2) Ryan Bingham “Mescalito”
    (3) Bruce Springsteen “Nebraska”
    (4) Sierra Farrell “Long time coming”
    (5) Benjamin Tod “A heart of gold is hard to find”
    (6) Pete Seeger “If I had a hammer”
    (7) John Prine “Fair and square”
    (8) Van Morrison “Astral weeks”
    (9) Woody Guthrie “Dust bowl ballads”
    (10) Ward Davis “ 15 years in a 10 year town”

  5. Great list!
    If I could add another it would be Andrew Peterson. One of his albums “Counting Stars “ is at the top. The song “In The Night” hits deep. Favorite line “No, they did not take His life, He laid it down. Thanks all!

  6. Good list Tony. My list would have to include several songs by Jackson Browne.
    “For a Dancer” ( Just do the steps that you’ve been shown, by everyone you’ve ever known, until the steps become your very own).
    “Fountain of Sorrow”, “Before the Deluge” would make my list as well.
    Also, how about Simon and Garfunkel, hard to leave some of their classics off the list.

    1. And from “Language of the Heart”:
      You can say that you always were honest
      And your words were clear from the start
      But its more than just words that got spoken
      There was language of the heart

  7. Wow dude! Can’t believe I said dude, the second most overused word in the English language. I can’t count the number of times I have repeated this song. Not far behind is Fire and Rain. I would add another “Harlan” song, Goin Back to Harlan by Anne McGarrigle. I you really want your heart twisted listen toEmmylou’s version.
    There were no cuckoos, no sycamores
    Played upon the forest floors
    Underneath the silver maple
    Balsams and the sky
    We plucked the heads off the dandelions
    Assuming roles of nursery rhymes
    Rested on the riverbed
    And grew up by and by
    And grew up by and by

    Wow dude gettin chills.

  8. Jimmy Buffett – Growing Older But Not Up Lyrics
    This has become my retirement mantra
    “I’m growing older but not up
    My metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck
    Let those winds of time blow over my head
    Id rather die while I’m living than live while I’m dead”

  9. Tony – I loved this show! I love that your songwriter list included some of my favorites but also introduced me to artists that I haven’t heard of. I’m going to share three pivotal albums, songs, and highlighted lyrics for you…..

    1) Shawn Colvin – Steady On —- Song Steady On — Lyric It’s like ten miles of a two-lane
    On a South Dakota wheat plain
    In the middle of a hard rain
    A slow boat or a fast train
    I am gonna keep my head on straight
    I’m gonna keep my head on straight

    2) Patty Griffin – Living with Ghosts – Moses Every time I see him he smiles
    And he tells me how well he’s walking these miles
    But he never ever asks a single thing about me
    If I die, he’d hear about it eventually
    Diamonds, roses, I need Moses
    To cross this sea of loneliness, Part this red river of pain

    3) Brandi Carlile – By the way, I forgive you – Most of All – I haven’t heard my mother’s voice in a while
    But her words are always falling out my mouth


  10. Holy Smokes … Tony ! I’m surprised you’ve never mention such a prolific song writer. (has totally changed my life since I first heard him waaay back when.)
    Jackson Browne – our lady of the well
    It is a dance we do in silence
    Far below the morning sun
    You in your life, me in mine
    We have begun
    Here we stand and without speaking
    Draw the water from the well
    And stare beyond the plains
    To where the mountains lie so still

  11. Songwriters and their songs got me back into guitar on a regular basis for the last 4 years. Ten minutes a day did it for me although the suggestion did come from someone else I must admit but it works!
    I love the songs and wanted to sing them. Guitar was the answer. Progressing slowly with you and I now have a lot of songs I love in my songbook, some I do well and many are a work in progress.
    Songwriters – How about Sam Baker! There is a poet with a story of determination. Injured in a terrorist attack in Peru and had to start over in his career. His 1st 3 albums are full of meaning, metaphor and just plain beauty. You love writing well he has it.
    Mary Gauthier – another songwriter that almost drank and drugged her career away but bounced back with some of the strongest word painting you will remember forever.
    Emmylou – “Stumbling Into Grace” album, a desert island album for me.
    And Ian Tyson’s songs of western Canada and the US are in most pickups driven by ranchers and cowboys. Try Desert Motel about a rodeo cowboy without any ethics, a user of women – “Now a 60 watt light bulb hangs by a wire – She read what he wrote and she knows he’s a liar”
    For me it is always about the lyrics – give me Townes, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell. Love that west Texas music! Give me a song with a story!

  12. There is so much great in this list, and for me it is missing one that impacts me every day I listen:
    “Tracker” by Mark Knopfler, specifically, “The Lights of Taoromina”. Mind blowing line=
    “The crowd calls for the Emperor, Raise their hands to hail another King. But he’s been so long a wanderer, Another Crowd can never mean a thing.”

  13. Great show today! A point I’d like to add regarding Daisy Tempest showcasing her wonderful Tempest #1 is the song she is singing. The song is “Sophia” by Laura Marling who is a stellar British singer songwriter and amazing guitarist. Worth your while to check her out. Here’s the complete song by Daisy https://youtu.be/3tT8S42oCYo

  14. I would be remiss if I didn’t offer up Harry Chapin’s Verities & Balderdash album (1974). Got to meet and speak with him that year when he performed at a college in North Carolina. It contains his only #1 hit Cat’s In the Cradle:
    I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
    I called him up just the other day
    I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
    He said, “I’d love to, dad, if I could find the time”

    Other wonderful songs on that album too.

  15. Not in any particular order but here’s 10 lyricists I like a lot that weren’t on Tony’s list I don’t know why…

    Paul Simon (plays pretty good guitar, too) Slip Siding Away
    We work our jobs
    Collect our pay
    Believe we’re gliding down the highway
    When in fact we’re slip slidin’ away

    Stephen Stills (lotta options but one is) Southern Cross
    “So we cheated and we lied and we tested. And we never failed to fail. It was the easiest thing to do”

    Lowell George (again many options, but to pick one) Dixie Chicken…
    “And I don’t remember church bells or the money I put down
    On the white picket fence and boardwalk on the house at the edge of town
    Oh, but boy do I remember the strain of her refrain
    And the nights we spent together, and the way she called my name”

    John Sebastian (so many, but…) Six O’Clock
    “There’s something special ’bout six o’clock
    In the morning when it’s still too early to knock
    And the dusty light shines down on the block
    And reflects up and down on the hands of the clock”

    Carole King (gotta be in the top 10) Up On The Roof
    “When this old world starts getting me down
    And people are just too much for me to face
    I climb way up to the top of the stairs
    And all my cares just drift right into space”

    Jim Croce (gone too soon) Operator
    “Operator, well, could you help me place this call?
    See, the number on the matchbook is old and faded
    She’s living in L. A. with my best old ex-friend Ray
    A guy she said she knew well and sometimes hated”

    Don McLean (sweet). Vincent
    “Now I understand what you tried to say to me
    How you suffered for your sanity
    How you tried to set them free
    They would not listen, they did not know how
    Perhaps they’ll listen now.”

    Steve Earle (not so sweet). Copperhead Road
    “I volunteered for the Army on my birthday
    They draft the white trash first ’round here anyway
    I done two tours of duty in Vietnam
    I came home with a brand new plan
    I take the seed from Colombia and Mexico
    I just plant it up the holler down Copperhead Road.”

    Paul McCartney (hard to omit, no?). The End
    “And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make”

    John Lennon (equally hard to omit). In My Life
    “Though I know I’ll never lose affection for people and things that went before.
    I know I’ll often stop and think about them. In my life I love you more.”

    That’s 10, and I can certainly come up with more, but George would be my number 11. Within You Without You
    “And the time will come when you see we’re all one.
    And life flows on within you and without you.”

    John Perry Barlow / Bob Weir (the other Dead songwriters) Mexicali Blues
    “Laid back in an old saloon, with a peso in my hand,
    Watchin’ flies and children on the street,
    And I catch a glimpse of black-eyed girls who giggle when I smile,
    There’s a little boy who wants to shine my feet.

  16. Great list of Singer-Songwriter albums, Tony! However, in the acoustic Guitar arena, no list is complete without Hank Williams 🙂

  17. I thought I had posted a response, but nowhere to be seen. I get that the list is Tony-Impact specific, buy there are so many that should be included in this area and in the “modern” era. Some examples: Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Carole King, Gordon Lightfoot, Phil Ochs, Fred Neil, Willie Nelson. So, so many since the amazing 1960s. What wonderful music has been in the air in my lifetime.

  18. MY album is from Justin hayward and is called songwriter. The song is one lonely room. Lyrics are. You took the wind right out my sails. You took my train right off the rails. You left a car that had no wheels. You left me shoes that had no heels.

    1. Yes! Indeed, Justin Hayward is brilliant. Seen him perform many times throughout the decades within the Moody Blues. More recently during his 2013 tour promoting the “Spirits of the Western Sky” album with this first track In Your Blue Eyes – “Across the sky so clear so frozen. And the sea so green so grey. I turn to face a new tomorrow.
      But darkest fears still haunt today” Last saw him in 2019 accompanied by the very talented Michael Dawes for a tour entitled All The Way In with them playing a great deal acoustically.

  19. Like peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, butter and popcorn, Redwood and Mahogany, Engelmann and Birdseye Maple, Adirondack and Rosewood…….