Style of music, in 10 words or less: "Grateful Willie with a Gram of Bluegrass"
Three artists he owes everything to: Gram Parsons, Townes Van Zandt and Jerry Garcia
Members:Jason Miller (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jason Gilmore (lead guitar, mandolin), Rick Starkey (bass), Teddy Nazzario (drums)
Debut performance: 1975 ("At the age of 4 with a Buck Owens look-alike guitar, my mom's boots, and I believe it was a sold out show in my mind.")
Recordings: Past Due (2008), Road to ElVado (2010), The Rooftop Collection: Live at The Loft (2012), One More High One More Low (2014).
Why it matters: Well, in large part, because it's incredibly good. The follow-up to Jason Miller's also-excellent Road to ElVado, One More High One More Low's highlights include "Get Back to Graceland," which is the kind of ballad that could have made George Jones smile in approval, as well as other tracks that wouldn't have sounded out of place in a Jayhawks or Flying Burrito Brothers set. Penned in the wake of the Black Forest Fire that leveled his home, Miller's collection of heartfelt new songs was written with the talents of his bandmates in mind, and the result is a seamless Americana effort that stands as his best work yet.
2nd place: We Are Not a Glum Lot, self-titled
3rd place: Eros & the Eschaton, Home Address for Civil War