A look at singer and songwriter Ari Hest could make a guy feel nervous taking his girlfriend along to a show. And the feelings of inadequacy are likely to double once the smooth-crooning New Yorker starts singing his introspective songs about love yearned for and lost. Fitting well within the realm of such amiable pop-rock romantics as John Mayer, Jason Mraz and Gavin DeGraw, Hest has demonstrated an unnaturally prolific streak despite only a handful of proper albums (in 2008 he recorded and released a new track on his own subscription service every Monday for a year, with fans voting on their favorites to create his 2009 album, "Twelve Monday"). On the road touring behind his latest record, "Sunset Over Hope Street," Hest is scheduled to perform at Ashland Coffee and Tea on Thursday, at 8 p.m. $15-$20. 798-1702.