%99 of what I pick is my own and never gets played again, it's just fun picking up the guitar and playing something new. But a few songs that you'll hear me playing often are Long Black Veil, Folsom Prison Blues, Moonshiner, Sittin' On Top Of The World and WildWood Flower. Most recently I've been into The Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons
Most of the music I like isn't very easily labeled, but if you tried it would be under the alt-country, no depression, y'alternative, singer-songwriter blanket. I bought my first Steve Earl tape because of Copperhead road, but hearing "Billy Austin" was pivotal. Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, SunVolt, Whiskeytown (Ryan Adams), all this stuff just really rings true. More recently The Avett Brothers have been a big influence and I've enjoyed picking a few Mumford and Sons songs. I like stuff played by real people. I'm not a fan of overproduced music played by session musicians and sung by people that didn't write the songs. I'm a really big Johnny Cash fan and will often pick Long Black Veil and Folsom Prison Blues.
I can't believe how good these guys were back in the 30s and 40s when no one knew who they were. It just blows me away. I especially like country blues and delta blues. But I'm a fan of Texas and Chicago blues too, although not a lot of new stuff. Piedmont blues are okay too.. Freddie King is awesome. I'm a huge Elmore James fan even though I don't play slide. Lightnin' Hopkins was the coolest cat around, Mississippi John Hurt was awesome. Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy, and Hendrix tore it up. I've seen Buddy Guy, Clapton, and B B King live. Buddy really brought the house down. We checked out Kenny Wayne Shepard a few years back too. If I could play a cover of Little Wing as well as Stevie did, I would die a happy man.
I think the best three albums of all time are Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend, and Springsteen's Nebraska. I like story songs in any genre and great hooks when it comes to pop. I have every Springsteen album and have been a fan for over twenty years. I loved the Jane's Addiction/Pearl Jam era. Most guitarists my age were defined by the 80s, either metal or prog, but I'm an early nineties man.
I like the Country Gentlemen, Ralph Stanley, Bill Monroe. I like the sad songs more than the happy ones and I like traditional more than crossover. I like fiddle tunes, but like them better on guitar and mandolin. I think Bella Fleck is a genius and that you can find a lot of heart and honesty in bluegrass. I like to play some of the staples like Sitting On Top Of The World, The Crawdad Song, Wildwood Flower and others.
Classically I am a sucker for violin concerto's, especially for two violins, and for the dramatic. Not surprisingly I love Beethoven, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, and Mozart. My favorite pieces are Bach's Violin Concerto in D Minor, Beethoven's 3rd "Eroica", 5th, 6th "Pastoral", Mozart's Requiem, Vivaldi's Four Seasons and almost anything by Tchaikovsky, especially the Overture of 1812. Nothing exotic about my classical tastes, I just like the good stuff.
Another favorite has always been Jerry Reed. Amos Moses has been a favorite song since I was a kid. Click here to see Jackson jamming in the car to Amos Moses by Jerry Reed (1MB).