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Play favorites: Mark Kuller of Proof

Mark KullerThe proprietor of Proof is a fan of Eva Cassidy and Sam Cooke. (Photo courtesy of Proof.)

Every Wednesday Click Track finds out what the city is listening to with Play favorites -- a weekly column where we ask a Washingtonian what's been been getting heavy spins on their stereo.

This week we talk to Mark Kuller, proprietor of Proof, a Penn Quarter restaurant that has received a coveted 3 star rating from The Post's own Tom Sietsema, who called Proof his "fallback for any number of restaurant scenarios." Kuller told us his about the artists he's recently been listening to the most.

Ray LaMontagne - "Trouble"
He's probably my favorite current vocalist. I don't miss an opportunity to see him. I think I've seen him every time he's been in D.C. in the last five or six years. The best show I remember seeing was an acoustic show he did at the 9:30 club about four years ago. The first time I saw him, he was opening for Rachel Yamagata at Iota. That may have been his first appearance [in the D.C. area]. I went to see Rachel Yamagata ... and I was blown away by Ray LaMontagne and have enjoyed seeing him achieve the kind of popularity he has. When he sings about girls it grabs me. "Trouble," "Jolene, "Hannah" - those are favorites of mine.

Eva Cassidy - "Songbird"
I've got all of her CDs, I play them repeatedly. They are always in the rotation. "Songbird" is probably my favorite. Her voice was just ... spectacular. I love putting on her music -- any time, any place. I've turned so many people on to her music who have never heard of her. Then, of course, when you tell the stories about her, it's hard not to be sad when you hear a talent like her and [know] what happened. I wish I had seen her, I never did.

(Old school soul and more, after the jump.)

Sam Cooke - "Summertime"
We play his music continuously in the restaurant. You will not go two nights without hearing a Sam Cooke CD spinning. I have close to his entire catalogue, there's always a Sam Cooke CD on in my house or sitting in my car. There's a lot of Motown stuff I listen to - I love Otis Redding - but Sam Cooke is the man for me.

The Gaslight Anthem - "The Navesink Banks"
It has some old-school Bruce in it, it definitely has that Jersey stuff going on. I've been listening to [the album] "Sink and Swim." The slowest song on the CD, "The Naveskin Blues," it's a much more mellow song than most. "We Came to Dance" is a nice song, too.

Blind Pilot - "One Red Thread"
I first heard them on NPR. There are no clunkers on that CD, I just left it in my car and listened to it over and over again. "One Read Thread" is my favorite, but I really do like every one.

By David Malitz  |  February 24, 2010; 4:20 PM ET
Categories:  Play favorites  | Tags: Blind Pilot, Eva Cassidy, Ray LaMontagne, Sam Cooke, The Gaslight Anthem  
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