Over Jack Johnson
Like G. Love, Jack Johnson plays groovy acoustic funk. The difference is that where G. Love relies on hip-hop, Johnson's points of reference are a bit more eclectic, incorporating lite jazz and classic singer-songwriter motifs (including interesting vocal experiments a la Joni Mitchell and Tim Buckley). It's all held together by earthy rock backing and topped off with a voice that at times sounds enough like Mose Allison to convince listeners that Johnson really has the goods. Before embarking on a musical career, Johnson was a successful professional surfer. His popularity simmered with his first few albums, but with 2005's In Between Dreams Johnson's stock exploded, crossing over from the jam-rock crowd into the mainstream pop market. The record yielded hits in "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" and "Better Together." Johnson's comfortable voice and sweet melodies translated naturally to children's songs with his 2006 release Sing-a-Longs & Lullabies for the Film Curious George. In 2008 he released a new studio album, Sleep Through the Static, and in 2009 he confirmed his live reputation with En Concert.