Since 2003's catchy as hell folk-grunge single "I Don't Want To Be" hit America's ears, Gavin DeGraw has been firmly implanted on pop radio. Routinely lumped in with the John Mayers and Jason Mrazes of the world, DeGraw has a decidedly rougher edge, wielding a soulful R&B inflection in his howl. Sounding a little like Sam Cooke fronting Stone Temple Pilots, he's justifiably got a female-heavy following.
DeGraw's lyrics swerve into the bitter areas of the male experience, like on 2008's jealousy-ridden "Cheated On Me." At first glance, he may seem cut from the same cloth as other pretty boys with guitars, but DeGraw isn't exactly what he seems and is worth an extra listen. He's currently touring behind the piano-driven Free, released at the end of March. The single "Stay" could very well be this Spring's sad-boy anthem.
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With Angel Taylor, 7:30 p.m. tonight at House of Blues (Bronze Peacock Room), 1204 Caroline, 888-402-5837 or www.hob.com/houston.