Tim Bray posted a blog on bit rates and the quality of music.
First, take the topic up with Neil Young or T-Bone Burnett. Ask experts. Casual comparisons don't mean much.
OTW, having done a fair bit of recording as an amateur (analog and digital):
- Comparing digital to digital is comparing sour milk to flat beer for everything except editing. How many toes are on a normal foot? A normal foot of what? If you don't know how the example was produced then mastered, discussions of bit rate distribution are noise. Produce in analog if you can afford it.
- Comparisons have to also rate the ears. Some people hear better. Training matters.
- Means of distribution and how they affect piracy forensics are more important to what gets produced than technology. If you are worried about how much disk space an uncompressed file wastes, you are a music consumer, not a listener.
Barton Hollow is another trend soon to be replaced by another trend. That isn't a knock on The Civil Wars. Music lover's are more interested in the means to support a living wage for working musicians so more musicians will be working. Consumers are focused on which musicians are working. Audiophiles are focused on their gear. This is their one commonality with musicians.
Unless the costs of high fidelity production can be supported by the consumer market, the consumer gets what they get and storage wars are like riots in the middle east: largely to be ignored because they are their own cause.