By Tanner Stransky
Updated February 13, 2012 at 07:50 PM EST
Credit: Jeff Vespa/WireImage

His charming Good Wife character Will Gardner may love baseball, but in real life, actor Josh Charles loves music. When he’s not legal-eagling on the screen for the CBS drama, he’s digging into blues, soul, and folk. Recently, he shared his favorite artists, albums, and songs from his iPod, which you can find here:

SAM COOK, NIGHT BEAT “This is the one I really go back to, more than some of his more classic hits, so to speak. I just think it’s such an incredible record. Who sings better than him?”

BOB DYLAN BLOOD ON THE TRACKS For me, there’s Bob Dylan and then there’s everybody else. There really isn’t anything of his music that I don’t have on my iPod, so if I had to pick one record, let’s say, it would be Blood on the Tracks. I just love the whole feeling and vibe of that record. His music is sort of like my bible, and I’m not a very religious person so take that how you want. It would be my default music if I couldn’t figure out what to listen to. I feel like Dylan, at his heart, is a real blues man, and I love his records where he’s stripped them down and done some really good blues songs.”

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 my guitar, as well as ‘Special Rider,’ and ‘Hard Time Killing Floor.’ You know, his life story is pretty incredible, too. But his music, I just find it so haunting. Haunting is the word that comes to mind but, also, the guitar playing is unique and really kind of multilayered.”

TOM WAITS “KENTUCKY AVENUE” This could be one of the most heartbreaking songs ever written — the characters are so vivid. If I had to pick just one song — it’s obviously hard to do — but that is a song that I listen to quite often. And his new CD, Bad Is Me, has some great, great tracks.”

JOHN COLTRANE AND JOHNNY HARTMAN “The two of them together are just sort of perfect. They’re two massive talents getting together, with Coltrane’s playing and Hartman’s voice blend together kind of brilliantly. I love to listen to their [self-titled] record, especially over the holidays. It reminds me of the holidays. You know — the fire, some wine, sitting around with my lady listening to Coltrane and Hartman, it just seems kind of right.”

JIMMY REED “TAKE OUT SOME INSURANCE” “Jimmy Reed is another one of my all time favorite blues men, just solid Chicago blues. His rhythm is just so, so solid. I was just watching the movie Diner, and the song ‘Take Out Some Insurance’ by Jimmy Reed plays in a great sequence in the film, and it’s just such an all-time classic. I love his music, love his rhythms, love his voice, and listen to him an awful bit, too. I also love ‘Big Boss Man.'”

FEIST METALS “I’m really crazy about Feist. I really love her and her new album Metals. I’ve really been burning that one out lately.”

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE “STARS AND SONS” “Anyone who knows Broken Social Scene knows that song and certainly knows when they play it live just how much of a frenzy the audience can get into. That’s sort of my go-to song if I’m working out or anything, and I just need to get pumped up. It’s got a great base line and rhythm, and there’s this whole clapping section that gets me motivated when I need it.”

CHOPIN “It’s my sort of go-to, on my iTunes, within all the classical music I listen to. I just find the music perfect for like reflection in the morning while having a cup of coffee or working on a script in the afternoon, to sort of have in the background. I love the ‘Nocturnes,’ they’re very melancholy but really beautiful music.”

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Read more: