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Stars Pick Their Top 5! This Week: Kyle Craft

Photo by Peter Karaviaw

Courtesy photo, Sub Pop Records

Photo by Peter Karaviaw

Kyle Craft is a songwriter. Now, this might seem obvious, but only once you hear his music do you truly understand the meaning of that statement. T here's a certain timeless sound to the way Craft's songs glide through their runtime: melodic, thriving, effortless. But for how well the guitar, piano and drum lines roll over each other in his music, their roles are often relegated to forming the canvas on which Craft tells his stories. It's the songwriter's spirit that Craft plays best, shining especially brightly on songs like "Lady of the Ark," "Broken Mirror Pose" and "Deathwish Blue." Ahead of his Tucson show, we asked Kyle to talk about his five favorite albums, and his choices definitely played their role in forming his sound. 

See Kyle Craft at 191 Toole. 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19. 191 E. Toole Ave. $12. All ages.

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Bob Dylan

Blonde on Blonde

If Bringing It All Back Home was Dylan discovering electricity and Highway 61 Revisited was him building the lightbulb, Blonde on Blonde was the record where he flicked the switch and illuminated the world around him. This album has stuck with me from the moment I first heard it and I think it's because it paints a picture with the bleak colors of humanity, but without taking itself too seriously. Also, this album just sounds like America to me. It sounds the way New York City smells at night and moves like a convertible joy ride on the first day of fall. 

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The Band

Music from The Big Pink

Same story here... that "American" sound back when it was something to be proud of. The whole record sounds like it was tracked someplace behind the gates of heaven and maybe it was. You can hear the walls of the place. The Band's taste for chord changes and melody have always had an impact on the way I write.

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Patti Smith


Patti Smith's mind is a beautiful thing, tethered to her lips and fingers like a kite in a hurricane. It's amazing to see her build her own doors of perception, walk straight through them, and build the world on the other side to her liking. She's made one million kingdoms and Horses is one of them. When she says, "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine," you can't help but believe her, almost as if Christ were a close friend of hers. Maybe?

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Leon Russell


I've always loved Leon Russell, but the older I get, the more I find myself relating to the person, more than the music. I remember seeing multiple used copies of Carney in nearly every record I'd go to and still do to this day... usually in the $1 bin. It's insane how trippy this album is willing to go once it starts rolling. Acid Annapolis is more psychedelic than anything The Beatles ever did, It's like Dr. John and Sgt. Pepper had a baby. "Roller Derby" is my favorite track. 

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The Kinks

Lola vs Powerman and the Moneygoround

I'm a sucker for a good concept record and this one goes above and beyond. The narrative is a bit sad, especially in retrospect given that The Kinks should've been more successful, right alongside The Beatles and The Stones, but alas, business is business and they tackle it head on. It's a beautiful record sonically and lyrically. I love how you can hear the traditional English bits scattered here and there. 

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