Tanner Stransky
February 10, 2012 AT 05:00 AM EST

Sam Cooke, Night Beat
”This is the one I really go back to, more than some of his more classic hits, so to speak. Who sings better than him?”

Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks
”For me, there’s Bob Dylan and then there’s everybody else. His music is sort of my bible, and I’m not a very religious person, so take that how you want.”

Skip James
”I’m a huge blues fan, and his songs are just so complex and his voice is so haunting. I’ve been learning how to play songs like ‘Devil Got My Woman’ on guitar.”

Tom Waits, ”Kentucky Avenue”
”This could be one of the most heartbreaking songs ever written — the characters are so vivid. And his new CD, Bad as Me, has some great, great tracks.”

John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman
”I love to listen to their [self-titled] record, especially over the holidays. You know — the fire, some wine, sitting around with my lady listening to Coltrane and Hartman, it just seems kind of right.”

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