10 Favorite Musicians/Bands of All Time . . .

I shared a few mugs of tea with someone the other day and they told me they thought I had "great and eclectic" (I can't make this stuff up) taste in music and they asked me who my favorites were. I started to talk about my favorite albums of all time but I was challenged for favorite ARTISTS. This changed things. Here, four days later, is my top ten list.

A few disclaimers - to make the cut someone has to have at least two or three albums out and has to have been around for longer than 15 minutes of fame. You'll note some of these folks have been around since before I was even born. This is better. Longevity is not easy in music or mugs of tea.

10) KT Tunstall - You may know her Horse and Cherry Tree song and nothing else . . . a shame. She's incredibly talented and writes almost everything herself and also plays a lot of the instrumental tracks herself, too. I don't know why this woman is not more popular in the world. I will stop searching for something else to listen to every time she comes on. FAVORITE SONG - Suddenly I See

9) (Sir) James Galway - Fun fact . . . I started playing the flute at the age of 10 and never really stopped (I played as recently as two weeks ago). I listened to a lot of James Galway as a kid and still do. He is one of the world's most accomplished flutist and he is a great ambassador for an often dismissed instrument. His Flight of the Bumble Bee is humbling (watch his fingers fly). FAVORITE SONG - Danny Boy

8) Alanis Morissette - Ahhhh. My girl Alanis. I've loved her since Jagged Little Pill and probably always will (many think her music has declined over time . . . I totally disagree). It has been interesting to watch her evolution as a woman and entertainer. FAVORITE SONG - Thank U

7) Adele - Oh, baby. This woman is truly special. She's amazingly talented, charming as could possibly be, and is willing to just put it all out there in moments of happiness and sadness. If you've never seen her "Live at Royal Albert Hall" DVD - fix that. It will sorta blow you away. I hope this woman makes music for 50 more years . . . even if her albums only come every three or four years. Worth the wait. FAVORITE SONG - Hometown Glory or Make You Feel My Love (tie)

6) Barenaked Ladies - Okay . . . to clarify. These guys are a favorite of mine from freshman year of college when I settled on my favorite of EVERYTHING in this world (approximately). They have changed a lot over the years and they have had some albums that didn't exactly wow me but I actually think they are doing just fine on their last few efforts. If you've never seen them live - do so. They are wonderful showmen. FAVORITE SONG - Call and Answer

5) Prince - I mean, c'mon. Seriously. This guy has more talent in his little, tiny, itty-bitty body than people three times his size and he gives exactly zero clicks (literally - he has no website) what you think about him or what he does. And he's not had to worry about that very much over the years. It is also important to note how many songs other people have recorded and become famous with that flowed from his brain/pen. FAVORITE SONG - Still Would Stand All Time

4) Jay-Z - Shawn Corey Carter is my favorite solo rapper of all time (Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace is my second favorite). Everything he's ever done (except married the dreadful woman he chose to breed with) makes me happy and he has evolved so much over the years. Can't say enough good stuff about Jay-Z. FAVORITE SONG - Young Forever

3) Philip Glass -  Philip Glass doesn't make music, he makes audio sculptures. His music is rich, sparse, complicated, simple, tangled, and engaging. I can't think of too many other composers with pieces that make my brain hurt like some of his do. I don't love everything Philip Glass has born but the percentage of "hate" stuff is very, very small. FAVORITE PIECE - I'm Going to Make a Cake

2) Stevie Wonder - I don't care that it has been a lifetime since Stevie Wonder put out something truly amazing (his "Overjoyed" duet with Celine Dion is an exception . . . it is wonderfully guilty of pop cheesism) . . . it was decades and decades of amazing productivity that preceded the run. Steve Wonder is truly an American Treasure and he can't even see that (See what I did there? Horrible blind jokes, folks.). Luckily I can. FAVORITE SONG - As

1) Ben Folds (Five) - Ben Folds is our generation's Elton John and/or Billy Joel. He might even be bigger than them because he has had success in a musical environment that was not inclined to like him and his influence is diverse (search for" Ben Folds, a capella" and see all the inspiration) and his personal life has never really been a focus (rare in this era of entertainer). He has a TV show and he's done movie scores, etc. He, like Adele, is someone that I think I'll listen to until their last breathe - or mine - whichever comes first (probably mine). FAVORITE SONG - The Luckiest

Who are your favorites?