Soulful blues the way Susan Tedeschi sings them explains why I named my Pandora station after her. Right now I'm listening to "It Hurt So Bad." Everything she sings just blows the top of my head off. She does Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan in a way that I'm sure makes them proud – and me jealous.
Being a freelance writer, it's fun to crank up the music and pound away on the keyboard while groovin' to Bonnie Raitt, Tift Merritt and Joan Osborne. If it sounds like it's just a bunch of girly tunes, I've also thrown in stuff like Nickel Creek, selected Allman Bros. and Stevie Ray Vaughn, James Taylor (love the harmony) and Traveling Wilburys.
Bluegrass is another passion. Allison Krauss can do no wrong, and it was actually Audie Blaylock -- a bluegrass virtuoso and Grammy nominee who happens to live in my vicinity -- who turned me on to The Wailin' Jennys and Tim O'Brien. Audie's own CDs are regulars in my revolving listening repertoire. And I can't close this little piece without mentioning the soul influence. "Ain't No Sunshine" by Tracy Chapman and Buddy Guy is a favorite, along with old Motown tunes like "Shotgun" by Jr. Walker and the Allstars.