I've spent a good part of my life in the library, a good part of my life in music venues and a good part of my life next to the record player. I grew up like most American suburban kids in the 1980's, watching MTV and listening to top 40 radio. I also raided my friends' parents' record collections for all of the cool old stuff they had.
The Harder They Come was one of the first albums I loved and it's still one of my favorites. My songwriting heroes have always been the really smart ones who write great poetry over great tunes: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Hank Williams, Bob Marley.
My favorite singers were always the real churchy ones: Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Roberta Flack, Ralph Stanley, Dolly Parton, Toots Hibbert, The Staples. I also love raspy, intimate rock singers like Rod Stewart and Paul Westerberg. More than just about anything in life, I love a tune that you can't wait to hear again, a story that takes you somewhere and a singer that you can feel in your heart.