Style of music, in 10 words or less: "The blues had a baby with a big hairy demon"
Three artists he owes everything to: R.L. Burnside, Tom Waits, Jimi Hendrix
Debut performance: 2004
Recordings: Listen and Learn (2007), Smoke (2008 EP), Cold Day in Hell (2008), Homesick (2011 EP), Anthromusicology (2012)
Why he matters: Grant Sabin had already been playing out for seven years by the time he was recording, at age 20, his fourth full-length album for the Haunted Windchimes' Blank Tape label. Anthromusicology proved to be the dobro-wielding singer-songwriter's most musically distinctive and idiosyncratically personal album to date, even though its overall sound was still solidly rooted in traditional Southern blues. In the two years since, he's gigged regularly with his Full Moon Band, which has included members of Briffaut, We Are Not a Glum Lot, and other local indie outfits. The group went on an indefinite hiatus after a final performance at Fort Collins' Bohemian Nights Festival earlier this month, so that Sabin and his cohorts can spend more time pursuing individual projects. But they'll no doubt be hanging out and sitting in during sessions at Hideaway Studios, where Sabin will be reuniting with producers Mark Benning and Conor Bourgal for his next Blank Tape release.
2nd place: Jake Loggins
3rd place: Justus League