and she was like: oh my (word), this is my song

There’s a question that I get asked a lot that I can almost never answer –
“Who’s your favorite artist?”
Part of the reason this is so hard is that I have a hard time picking a favorite of anything – movie, tv show, food, song.  I don’t like having a favorite.
But the other reason I can’t answer this question is that it’s almost impossible for me to pick one.  I think people who ask me that question probably think, she likes music-she could probably narrow it down to one.  Wrong.  I like music so this question is inviting me to either give you an “off the top of my head” list of current faves or my “standards.”  Either way the answer will always be incomplete, if only in my own eyes.
But recently I’ve been qualifying this question with things like – Top 5 Influential Artists to my taste.  Or Top 5 acoustic bands.  You get the hint.
So recently I decided to make a playlist with some of my Top Influential Artists.  Meaning artists who have inspired my own personal taste in music or inspired me personally.  I decided to share it on here so enjoy, maybe look a few of these artists up.
1. You May Be Right by Billy Joel
Billy Joel was a constant in my childhood.  My mom loves his music, plus he’s from New Jersey which is where I grew up for a period of my life.  So there’d be times where he’s singing about a place and I’d be like – I KNOW WHERE THAT IS!  Little pleasures for kids.  I remember singing the line “You may be right!? I may be Crazy!?” at the top of my lungs in the car with my family. Each of us pointing at another person.
2. I Want to Hold Your Hand by the Beatles
Another family favorite – the Beatles.  I recently inherited some of my Dad’s old albums, including all of his Beatles collection.  This band is the cornerstone that my music passion is built on.  And this song especially makes me smile.
3. Chasing the Sun by Sara Bareilles.
This is a current fav of this lady.  Sara B. is one of the first female artists that I fell in love with (you’ll notice she’s nearly alone on this list).  She has an amazing talent for song writing and for making me laugh, reflect and sing out in one album.  Every song of hers is golden but this one is particularly great (at the moment).
4. Love Soon by John Mayer
Yes, I’m that girl.  I love John Mayer.  He’s a great songwriter and I DO NOT apologize for loving his acoustic goodness.  This song was an early favorite and probably a reason that if you give me an acoustic guitar sound with a male voice, chances are I will love the song.
5. The Authority Song by Jimmy Eat World
The other dat the Kindergarten Teacher was over and opened my CD drawer and made the comment that there was a lot of Jimmy Eat World CDs.  That’s because I used to be obsessed with them. I had a more punky edge back in the day and Jimmy Eat World helped me process a lot of teenage angst.
6. Hey Ya by Obadiah Parker
My first ever acoustic cover.  Long before Boyce Avenue and Tyler Ward and other youtube obsessions there was this cover of the Outkast hit.  And I loved it (still do.)
7. Dark Blue by Jack’s Mannequin
Andrew McMahon is a writing genius.  And most often they release a CD that seems to help me process whatever big even is happening in my life at the time.  This song is the perfect late night, windows down song.  The lyrics “this night’s a perfect shade of Dark Blue” is almost always on my mind in the summer.
8. Something to Talk About by Bonnie Raitt
My dad loved some Bonnie Raitt.  And man, this song was on repeat in our house a lot.  I still know all the words and love to sing them out!
9. Melody by Aaron Espe
My friend The Bass Player and I used to say that there was no problem a little Aaron Espe couldn’t fix.  And it’s true.  The way he writes songs and interweaves his faith with the world around him is amazing.  Fast songs, slow songs, songs that hit you in the heart break and songs that make you happy to be alive.  He’s got a little of everything.
10. End and Beginning by Jason Stocker
Jason was one of the first people who showed me what it was like to worship God musically.  Like really worship.  It was with him that I learned to sing harmonies, I found the confidence to sing in front of people and I learned what it meant to sing songs that declared truths of who God was.  His worship music is amazing and I love each and every song.
11. See You Later, See You Soon by Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers
This band. Oh man.  I honestly don’t even remember how I discovered this band.  But I have two of their CDs.  This was the first band that I felt like I could call my own – as dumb as it sounds it was my first “grown up” band that I fell in love with.  It was hard just picking one song.  It’s seriously … seriously.
So that’s it, the tip of the iceberg, but 11 songs my some of my most influential artists.  They are the founders of the music I’m into now.  The ones I look back at fondly, remembering the early discoveries and branching out of my musical ruts that I tend to get into.
So who influences your musical tastes?