HOMETOWN: Littleton, Colo.
INFLUENCES: Lenny Kravitz, John Mayer, Stevie Ray Vaughan
ALBUM: The Basement Tracks, out now
Graham Stookey took piano lessons as a child, but he truly found his calling when at age 13 he saw a show by acoustic guitar master Phil Keaggy. “After that I decided I wanted to play the guitar,” he remembers. “I enrolled in guitar lessons from an excellent teacher, and my journey as a musician began.” He began writing songs in his parents’ basement, and eventually posted a video online of one of his originals—an event that led to what he calls “the insanity that is now my life.” Within four months “Jonah” had attracted more than 270,000 YouTube viewers. The attention earned him an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, during which he met and ably jammed with one of his idols, Lenny Kravitz. Stookey recently released a digital-only four-song EP, aptly dubbed The Basement Tracks, and is currently at work on his full-length debut.