Phillip Fox's music is a mixture of American folk, rock and bluegrass. His first full-length album, "Dreams Will Come," is available on his website and iTunes.

Phillip Fox's music is a mixture of American folk, rock and bluegrass. His first full-length album, "Dreams Will Come," is available on his website and iTunes.

Ray LaMontagne, "Gossip in the Grain"

The first time I heard Ray's voice, I was entranced.He manages to ride this line between haunting and beautiful, all while inflecting an Otis Redding-ish soul. If his voice wasn't enough, the instrumentation is phenomenal full string sections, banjo, slideguitar, pedal steel, wailing harmonica. He touches on just about every American-born music form on one record. The icing is he's able to replicate the music live. Ray with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra was the best concert of my life.

Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Chronicle: 20 Greatest Hits"

Obviously I was introduced to CCR postmortem, and the greatest-hits album definitely lives up to its name. These guys just knew how to rock not "rip your face off" rock, but make-your-body-move-and-your-soul-ache rock. So many of these songs have become part of the American psyche that they're almost required learning for any group with a rock n roll bent. If you don't believe me, just break out "Down on the Corner" sometime and watch people's reactions it's like coming home.

Need to Breathe, "The Outsiders"

I've been following these guys for years, and their latest album is the real deal full of gritty, Southern-rock goodness and down-home swagger. The four-part harmonies help to frame the raw intensity of Bear's vocals (yep, that's the lead singer's real name). So many of these songs just make me want to kick open barn doors and do some dancing.

"O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack

I love old bluegrass, folk and gospel tunes. There's something so earthy and peaceful about them it reminds you that music has been around for thousands of years, way before we had record labels and fancy studios. I love Alison Krauss' additions to the album. It's great for road trips, too, we must have played it 20 times on tour this summer. Every time we ran into a traffic jam, we'd crank up "O Death."

Kings of Leon, "Only by the Night"

If Id bought this on vinyl, I would have worn it out already. Ethan Johns' production is so pure and Caleb's vocals give me goosebumps. The sparse yet perfectly balanced instrumentation is just genius. Theyre one of the modern bands who are forsaking the "wall of distortion" thats become so prevalent in rock, reminding us of the beauty of nuance and atmosphere.