There are way too many great records out there to narrow down the list of favorites to only a few. My top 5 is a constantly revolving collection of albums that span numerous genres. I usually try to rate them based on the "deserted island" factor. That is, if you could ONLY listen to 5 records for the rest of your solitary (and presumably parched) existence, which ones could you actually tolerate? That helps me weed out the stuff that I could live without. That's not to say I don't love many records that I wouldn't take with me, 'cause I do, but only certain ones have that undying appeal to me.
That said, it was difficult but necessary to narrow it down to 5 for the purposes of an article in the Tucson Weekly. It was the same week I played at the 34th annual Tucson Folk Festival, and the concept of the article was very appealing. Check it out; the beginning of the article is Jeff Gardner, the album discussion is me: https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/know-your-product-ryan-david-orr/Content?oid=24699955