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Guys With Guitars

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Okay, this is for all you guys who are sick of women taking the spotlight away. Guys can be singer/songwriters too, and can be damn good ones at that. Below is a list of songs by great male singer/songwriters – current ones, vintage ones, and in-between ones.  

“Ain’t Love Something,” Sam Brooker (The Hipper Side of Nashville)
This is one of the prettiest songs you’ve probably never heard before, because Brooker is still a relatively unknown artist in Nashville (and no, he’s NOT country). This song should be on a movie soundtrack, and it’s my mission to make sure it lands on one.

“Black Lexus,” Joseph Arthur (Nuclear Daydream)
Arthur’s voice is so soothing it just might lull you to sleep, but not in a wake-up-with-a-headache kind of slumber. I’m talking about the kind of feel-good sleep induced by prescription narcotics.

“Consistency,” Ari Hest (Someone to Tell)
Ari’s Columbia Records debut is stunning, and on this track he shows that he does more than sing well – he also plays the acoustic guitar like a man possessed. 

“Father and Son,” Cat Stevens (Tea for the Tillerman)
Before he found religion and dropped off the face of the pop music earth (he’s since returned under Muslim moniker Yusuf Islam), Cat Stevens was one of the greatest singer/songwriters of his time. And 30-something years later, he still is. 

“Just Another,” Pete Yorn (Musicforthemorningafter)
Pete Yorn’s first album is by far his best effort, and this is a stellar track from it.

“Make No Mistake,” Mike Viola (Play with Your Head)
Trivia answer: Mike Viola sang the title track to the movie “That Thing You Do!” in 1996.He also has a pretty damn good band called the Candy Butchers. But when it’s just him and the guitar, Viola is about as underrated as they come.

“Pretty Little Adrianna,” Vince Gill (High Lonesome Sound)
Vince Gill is not your typical twangy country artist. He’s also got a gift for melody, and is blessed to sleep next to Amy Grant every night.

“Red Ragtop,” Jason White (Shades of Grey)
Yes, Tim McGraw made this song a country music hit, but White wrote the song and his version is much cooler. Not to mention, this is one of the best albums by a dude with a guitar in the last ten years. 

“Satellite,” Steve Reynolds (Exile) This song has the vibe of the Stones’ “Wild Horses” but the modern day cool factor of something that could have landed on the “Garden State” soundtrack. 

“Solitude,” Edwin McCain (Honor among Thieves)
With a gravelly, soulful voice, Edwin’s career was launched by this song back in 1995. I mean, dude is cool and all, but he was way cooler playing songs like this than some of the wussy lite rock he delivered afterward.

“Stop This Train,” John Mayer (Continuum)
With apologies to all of you stuck-up editors at Maxim and FHM, John Mayer is not a tool. Dude is a brilliant singer and songwriter, and he pulls more chicks than you guys. 

“Sunbathing,” Carey Ott (Lucid Dream)
Watch out for this guy – he’s got one of those magical voices and knows his way around a melody. “Grey’s Anatomy” has already placed one of the tracks off this album, which hasn’t even been officially released. 

“Sunk,” Matthew Ryan (East Autumn Grin)
Matthew Ryan’s haunting music and smoky voice makes you want to chain smoke, drink beer and leer at hot chicks. What I mean is, he’s a guy’s singer/songwriter. 

“Surround Me,” Ben Taylor (Another Run around the Sun)
This is the offspring of James Taylor and Carly Simon. Check, please.

“Wonderland,” Angie Aparo (Out of the Everywhere)
This dude has a voice that would put a lot of rock band singers to shame. And he uses dynamics brilliantly.