R & B singer Oleta Adams

Aretha Franklin, A Rose Is Still a Rose (Arista, 1998)

I love the fact that Aretha is still contemporary, that she can go with a lot of the new trends and still be Aretha. That is the sign of a wonderful, timeless artist. It doesn't matter what the flavor is; the feeling is still there. Her voice still sounds very youthful, but you know there's a mature woman singing.

Jazz-blues pianist Mose Allison

Nat King Cole, The Complete Early Transcriptions (Vintage Jazz Classics, 1941)

I was very affected by the first King Cole Trio in high school. Nat Cole was a great pianist, and the sound of the trio was unique, but he really had a completely unique singing style, too. He had a smooth, pleasant voice, but he also had great jazz phrasing. . . . He really swung.

Gregg Allman

Stevie Ray Vaughan, In Step (Epic, 1989)

“The House Is Rockin'” is a smoker. A long time ago, someone would say, "Stevie Ray Vaughan" and people would start shaking. I said, "I gotta see this," and sure enough, I saw him at some little club in Austin, and before the song was even over, there was no doubt in my mind the guy's dynamite.

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull

Gov't Mule, Dose (Capricorn, 1998)

I heard a couple of those tracks and went "Wow!" It's just very reassuring to hear people playing tough, grown-up rock 'n' roll in a fairly emotional and direct way, but with a lot of technical expertise. They're very good players, but they're not showing off. I was so impressed I gave it to my son and said, "Check this out."

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