Brandi Carlile is an essential artist for the winter months. A perennial favorite song of mine is "Have You Ever" from her 2007 album, The Story. This song reminds me of a cold, clear morning: it's bright, upbeat, and will give you chills! The simple, straightforward lyrics and melody makes this a great track to practice picking on the guitar--though it's difficult to imitate my favorite segment of the song: a lovely, extended vocal crescendo that is to die for.
Carlile has a lot going for her: she has a warm, wailing voice; terrific guitar skills; and she is, frankly, beautiful. How many artists can say they are both mainstream country stars and lesbian icons?
On iTunes: Brandi Carlile / "Have You Ever"