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Stars Pick Their Top 5! This week: Ryanhood


Hailing from right here in Tucson, this acoustic-virtuoso duo puts the folk in folk and the pop in pop. In a Ryanhood song, it's not uncommon to hear both sweet vocal melodies and dexterous stringwork. Looking at their favorite albums, it's easy to see influences as well. Whether it's harnessing the power of pop like U2 or the intimate acoustic sounds of Nickel Creek, Ryanhood wield the proficiencies of being a songwriting duo better than many.

Catch Ryanhood at the Fox Theatre. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. 17 W Congress St. Free!


Achtung Baby

It's musically complex and dissonant and the lyrics are enigmatic and at times frustrating. Yet, for all of its mystery, it comes across as very raw and personal. Maybe it's like a puzzle that you keep wanting to solve but leaves you satisfied even when you can't.—Cameron

Nickel Creek

Why Should The Fire Die

We won tickets from a radio station to see Nickel Creek perform this album in its entirety, completely unplugged, at a special "invite-only" show in Boston. Although Nickel Creek's origins are in traditional music, this collection of songs saw them make the plunge into full indie-rock, and covers darker territory than their previous releases. It definitely redefined what acoustic and traditional music can be. —Ryan

Collective Soul

Collective Soul

This album has hit songwriting, interesting lyrical ideas, and tons of incredible riffs and solos, and was the first place where Ryan, who loved Joe Satriani and Dream Theater, and I, who loved Gin Blossoms and Sand Rubies, found common ground in high school. —Cameron


Poetry and Airplanes

The delicate and intricate guitar work, sensitive and heartfelt singing, and the ways in which the two are woven together so beautifully is just remarkable. I shared the album with Cameron and he immediately became a fan as well, and you can certainly hear how it influenced songs of ours like "Embers." —Ryan

The Beatles


Although saying you were inspired by The Beatles is sometimes like saying you enjoy drinking water, there are few bands who have framed our musical loves as much as they have. We tend to think Help! is an under-appreciated album. But with the title track, "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," "I've Just Seen a Face"—a staple of our live set—and "Yesterday," Help! comes across as a band with unlimited magical powers starting to pull musical tricks out of what felt like a bottomless hat. —Cameron

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