Upstate New York native Gavin DeGraw seemingly came from nowhere in 2003 as one of the bright young singer/songwriters to hit the scene, borrowing elements of pop/soul influences ranging from Stevie Wonder to Billy Joel, and creating extremely listenable popular music. Along with artists such as John Mayer and Amos Lee, DeGraw's entrance appeared to awaken an new coming of the pop singer/songwriter, a style that dominated radio in the 70s and early 80s.
DeGraw's J Records debut album, Chariot, was released in the Summer of 2003 and scored in a small way based on radio play for the infectious title cut and the wonderful mid-tempo, "Follow Through." But by mid 2004, the emergence of the harder sounding single "I Don't Wanna Be" into a bona fide hit gave the album a much bigger second life. This success was buttressed by the re-release of the album as Chariot - Stripped, boasting acoustic mixes of the original disc.
DeGraw took his time following up Chariot, dripping songs here and there before releasing his eponymously titled second disc in mid-2008.
By Chris Rizik