1. “You and Only You,” The Gabe Dixon Band
Think a more modern version of an upbeat Billy Idol or Elton John. The influences are undeniable, but the infusion of a little jazz and Dixon’s wonderful vocals creates something wholly unique.2. “Hard Knocks,” Marc Broussard
Broussard is from down south in Louisiana, and he creates his own blend of swamp rock meets old-school soul music. His voice rises above the instruments with ease, as his gravelly baritone steals every track on his new album.
3. “Anti-Depressant,” The Eclectic Collective
This band is incredibly difficult to categorize. Jazz, funk, R&B and rock influences can all be heard within the first 30 seconds in the track. Just sit back and enjoy afterwards.
4. “All Burns Down,” Fundamental Elements
I could tell you the lead singer was Jamiroquai, and no one would question me for the first 20 seconds or so. The soaring falsetto of lead singer Russ Mohr carries above the funk-rock beat, all while keeping your toes tapping throughout the whole song.
5. “Call the Police,” James Morrison
No, this is not Jim Morrison of the doors. James Morrison is a British singer/songwriter, and his raspy baritone caught my attention the first time I heard him on the radio. He has been compared to John Mayer, but he showcases his voice much more than his guitar-playing skills.
6. “All at Sea,” Jamie Cullum
Simply one of my favorite songs. This came out several years ago, but I continuously find myself listening to it when needing to relax after a long day.
7. “Old Man Walking,” No More Kings
Great guitar. Great bass. Great vocals. Absolutely ridiculous lyrics. This short song – only about two minutes – is entirely about an old man who is having trouble walking and talking. Like I said, ridiculous lyrics.
8. “Thrill of It,” Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Any time I ever need to be re-energized after a rough day, I love to get in my car, turn this song way up, and rock out. Robert Randolph is a phenom on the steel pedal, and it is on full display in this song.
9. “Longer,” Silver Griffin
Silver Griffin plays rock as it should be. The band sometimes plays with a little jazz by adding trumpets and saxophones, but this little-known group from California can certainly rock.
10.”Killing in the Name,” Tyrone Wells
Have you ever wanted to hear an acoustic remake of this famous Rage Against the Machine song? Tyrone Wells’ soulful voice does the song justice, complete with a slide guitar version of Tom Morello’s guitar solo at the end.