Listening in With Kevin Hyfantis

A quick glance at a list of his past performances indicates that Knoxville’s Kevin Hyfantis juggles the schedules of three men at once. He’s currently busy touring with Jonathan Sexton, as well as playing bass for local troubadour Taylor Brown. In addition, he’s also a frequent performer around town, both solo and with his group, the Bishops Band. But even with that packed schedule, you can always find Hyfantis at Preservation Pub for Stripped Down, the monthly series of singer/songwriter showcases he organizes with Angel Zuniga Martinez.

M. Ward

Post War (Merge, 2006)

This guy probably has more notoriety as a member of groups like She and Him and the Monsters of Folk, but I got turned onto his solo stuff last year, and his songwriting absolutely blew me away. When I first heard the song “Chinese Translation” off this album I said, this is the best song I’ve heard in a long, long time. Been spinning this album ever since.

Ray LaMontagne

God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise (RCA, 2010)

I buy everything Ray puts out because he is that good. This is the first album he produced on his own, without the help of famed producer Ethan Johns, who I am also a big fan of. But as always, great songs and great vocals.

Eric Clapton

461 Ocean Boulevard (Polydor, 1974)

I’ve been reading Clapton’s autobiography and was moved to listen to some of his music while reading. I had forgotten how great this album was, and for the last three days I’ve been playing it incessantly. It’s also inspired me to pick up my beat-up Stratocaster more often.

Leon Russell

Leon Russell (Shelter Records, 1970)

This has the best love song ever written on it: “A Song for You.” And everything else on the album is legendary, like the man himself.

ELO

ELO’s Greatest Hits (CBS, 1979)

This is the ultimate feel-good music, and I always come back to it during the blue times in my life.

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