As far as notable singer-songwriters go, the list is endless, although it includes notable names like Bob Dylan. Yet while classics will always be recognized, it's hard to know when a new name will yield some of the genre's most promising work for his generation.
For Brooklyn's own Kevin Devine, finding his place in the world has taken him on a journey that has spanned over the past decade, and will bring him to Houston's Warehouse Live on Friday, April 27.
"I've enjoyed [my journey as a musician]," said Devine. "I wouldn't trade it for anything else. It's been unpredictable at times – it definitely took turns, sometimes for good and bad. But it taught me how to be flexible, and it's what I've wanted to do my whole life."
Although Devine has played with two other acts – Expo '86 and Delusion – he focused on his solo work during college while he studied journalism. Following graduation, he released his first album – Circle Gets the Square.
His most recent effort, Between the Concrete and Clouds, is his sixth full-length album (and the eleventh that he's worked on under his name).
"I've always been attracted to music – it's always been around," said Devine. "It's like another person, another family member. It's what's always been more interesting to me than any other thing."
Among a long list of inspiration that includes bands from nearly every genre – from Guns N' Roses to Superchunk and Built to Spill to Sonic Youth – Devine would love nothing more than to write music for Sinead O'Connor.
"It's been an all-time dream of mine. I think she's got the coolest voice ever, and I think she's so beautiful, powerful and amazing. Such a badass, and such a rich personality."
However, Devine has already hit the road (and collaborated with) some notable names in indie and alternative rock. In fact, his relationship with members of the band Manchester Orchestra led to the creation of Bad Books, and Devine revealed that they will be finishing up their sophomore release in the coming months.
For now, he is busy planning his upcoming European tour, where he will be supporting Omaha indie-rockers, Cursive. That is, after he wraps up his current tour with Say Anything and Fake Problems, which has lasted ten weeks and spanned seven countries.
Yet despite the fact that Devine has played with some of alternative's best acts, Devine reveals that the one place he hasn't yet toured is Central and South America.
"I think it'd be so different in terms of topographical and cultural surroundings, and I'd be super lucky to go to those countries."
One thing is for sure; Devine's music would translate well there, and just about anywhere else.
His gentle voice and firm songwriting style he take's life lessons and turn them into honest pieces of advice or political statements. It's that kind of writing that makes Devine's songs flow more like poetry than a chorus and verse, and his music isn't stuck in a decade or trend.
"What keeps me working and what keeps me interested is the thrill of discovery where you find a different way to express something. It's more exciting to me than almost anything else, and I'm always working at getting better at that."
If you're a fan, or just learning about Kevin Devine, head over to Warehouse Live on Friday, April 27 to hear what you've been missing. Tickets start at $16.