1. Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison
    His whole catalog is pretty amazing, but this 1968 live recoding is a real highlight. With a band that includes Carl Perkins, the faster songs rock a little harder, and the slower numbers tear you up a little more inside. This is Johnny Cash at his absolute best.
  2. The Supersuckers - Must've Been High
    I first saw The Supersuckers 23 years ago, and they blew me away. Their high energy cowpunk shows were awesome; but when this record came out, I almost couldn't believe it. It's real outlaw country; great songs, amazing performances, it just doesn't get better.
  3. The Knitters - Poor Little Critter on the Road
    I was a punk rock kid, and this 1985 record from members of X and The Blasters is really amazing. It has it all: outlaw drinking songs, heartbreaking ballads, and a whole bunch of badass rockabilly guitar.
  4. The Flying Burrito Brothers - The Gilded Palace of Sin
    This 1969 album is really one of the greatest of all time. Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman wrote the majority of these songs, and the band is incredible. It's classic country fused with soul, gospel, and rock n roll. It's fun, heartbreaking, and stellar.
  5. Margo Price - Midwest Farmer's Daughter
    This album just came out on Jack White's Third Man Records, but it's so incredible, I had to include it. This is Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and every classic country artist all rolled into one. The honestly of this music just changed the way I look at songwriting. I had the pleasure of seeing Margo Price right before the album came out, and it was one of the best shows I'd ever seen. Buy this record today.