The past few weeks, I've been listening to a lot of acoustic music in preparation for my show (!) on Jam 88.3, and I've found it a thrill to discover all this great talent just sitting in the wings (or flying, but not to my knowledge, haha).
If you've time, do check out the following:
Brian Littrell. Wait a minute, you say. That name sounds familiar. Isn't he a Backstreet Boy? LOL Yes, he is. He's also founder of Healthy Hearts, a nonprofit organization for children. Since BSB went on hiatus, he's also gone into recording his first album of Christian music, and the first Christian pop-country single, In Christ Alone, is featured on Wow #1's, released April 5 in the US, an amazing collection of hits ("31 of the greatest Christian music hits ever!"). Want the MP3? Email me.
Ryan Cabrera. I've been listening to True nonstop for days. Between True and Reliant K's Getting Into You, I've found two guitar ballads that make me cry daily. That can't be good for my lachrymals.H is album Take It All Away is flawless, and listening to On the Way Down makes me actually think there are Christian overtones to this man. And oh, his hair rocks.
John David Webster. Ooh, this guy's good! Driven piano lines combined with a Southern rock sensibility make Webster's music easily accessible, fantastically radio-friendly, and remarkably holy. First single Miracle is now climbing the top 20 of the Billboard Christian charts, and he's certainly got a lot going for him. This superblessed singer is also annoyingly good-looking. Why must some people have all the blessings?
Matthew West. West's debut single, More, was the first Contemporary Christian song to debut at #1 on the Christian charts. What makes it even more remarkable was the fact that was a debut single as well! West's passionate vocal over irresistible guitar riffs makes for an unforgettable gospel-rock experience. While he was shut out at the recent Dove Awards, West's five nominations means that he certainly will be around for years to come.
Gavin DeGraw. Stole my name for the show from this incredibly talented young man. He's a pianist slash vocalist whose I Don't Wanna Be, off the One Tree Hill OST, cracked the Billboard Hot 100's Top 10 a few months ago, and went gold as a single. I don't have his album (it's not available locally), but I have listened to other tracks, including Belief, Dreams, and Chariot. He's really amazing, you should give him a shot. Note: not Christian music.
Aside from these people, other amazing, albeit established, male singers you would do well to check out include Chris Rice, Michael W. Smith, and one of my personal favorites, an amazing singer, songwriter and storyteller who makes me cry every time I hear a new track, Mark Schultz.