Baltimore

Mike McFadden, guitar and vocals

2004

folk rock

Martin Sexton, Jackie Greene, John Mayer, Ray LaMontagne, Josh Ritter, M. Ward

McFadden, with the support of his parents, decided to skip college and work on his music. Late last year, he released a self-titled full-length album of well-crafted songs and smooth melodies.

"I was filling out applications and getting all the pressure from my parents and having to meet a certain GPA and taking the SATs and all of that, and after a while I just realized that's not what I want to do," he said. "I think that once school ended, I basically just dropped the bomb and told my parents, 'I don't want to do this.' They were a little worried, but especially after I put out my first CD, they realized that maybe I was doing the right thing."