This afternoon, Dave and I are headed to the XPNonential Music Fest just outside Philly. I have wanted to go to the festival for years because some of my favorite artists play there. I can’t wait.

So in honor of the festival, here are my top ten favorite musicians.
10. Dar Williams – I love the politics and fun of her music.

9. Indigo Girls – Their harmonies and the emotion of their songs always gets to me.

8. Amos Lee – Lee’s voice is sultry and familiar, and his musicality makes me feel at home.

7. Jonatha Brooke – Their’s a fierceness undergirded by tenderness to her music, and she’s a great live show.

6. Alejandro Escovedo – The story of Escovedo’s remarkable recovery from hepatitis makes me love his rockin’ music even more.

5. Snow Patrol – One day as I graded papers in a borrowed office in a CA university, “Chasing Cars” came on, and I was hooked.

4. Ray LaMontagne – Talk about feeling comfortable in someone’s voice? Going to see him on August 15th with K, and I can’t wait.

3. U2 – Someday, I will see these guys in concert; that show is on my “list of things to do before I die.”

2. Over the Rhine – I’ve always said that when I get to heaven, I will sing like Karen Bergquist.

1. Ellis Paul – Listening to Ellis Paul is like listening to a troubadour. You should have a fire, a nice glass of wine, and good friends nearby.

Runners-up – Sufjan Stevens, Peter Bradley Adams, The Hold Steady, The Felice Brothers, Lucy Kaplansky, Richard Shindell, The Avett Brothers, Rhett Miller, Ani DiFranco and on and on.

Who would you add? Take away? What are your favorite musicians?

– Alejandro Escovedo