On my way home last night, I started thinking about the impact music has had on my life in so many different ways. I started thinking of different artists and specific songs that I could say defined my musical taste and helped to shape who I am as a person. I tried not to over think it and just pick the first 20 that came to mind. There are way more than 20 that could go on this list and I’ll probably expand it later. They are listed below in order of time that they were released. 

1.Rich Mullins If I Stand (1988)

It was the song that preceded this one on the album that ultimately was more popular, but it was this one that encouraged my faith a bit more. Rich’s catalog still tends to do that for me. 

2. Steven Curtis Chapman The Great Adventure (1992)

I was 11 when this song first came out, and it continues to push those buttons to look for the adventure that’s in front of me every day. 

3. Audio Adrenaline Big House (1993)

I’ll admit that even at the time of release this song was cheesy as all get out, but these guys encouraged me to expand my musical tastes. 

4. PFR That Kind of Love (1993)

This song so beautifully spells out the meaning of the gospel and beckons us to love one another with a perfect love

5. Newsboys Shine (1994)

Another admittedly cheesy song, but there was so much truth delivered in the cheese of this whole album

6. Wallflowers One Head Light (1996)

It’s hard for me to explain the impact this song and ultimately the album has had on me over the years. It remains in my top favorite albums ever. 

7. Smalltown Poets If You’ll Let Me Love You (1997)

This song was released a few months after my dad passed away. Obviously I was hurting and struggling with processing it all. I remember thinking that this song was written just for me. I was privileged years later to tell these guys thank you for helping a 16 year old kid start his healing process with listening to this song over and over again. These guys are still making music that has further impacted me. 

8. Foo Fighters Everlong (1997)

My first introduction to what rock music could truly be was the album The Colour and the Shape and my favorite song from it. I’ll never get tired of listening to it. 

9. The Waiting Hands in the Air (1997)

This is one of those songs that I appreciate more each time I listen to it. I remember the first time that I heard it and thought it was over just for the the final verse and chorus to kick back in to brilliantly breakdown what complete surrender should look like. Something I’m learning more and more the longer I’ve been around. 

10. Jimmy Eat World 23 (2004)

I was still 23 when this song came out, and it was a really good reflection of my life at the time. It remains a favorite and might be my favorite album closing song of all time. 

11. The Avett Brothers Laundry Room (2009)

I was late to finding these guys, but that just gave me a huge catalog to listen to. This song quickly became a favorite and it helped shape my musical tastes going forward. 

12. Mumford and Sons Little Lion Man (2009)

Yes the unedited version has an infamous expletive in it, but as someone who was doing through some really tough stuff at the time I first was introduced to this song, I have to admit that I sang it out in my car every time 

13. The Civil Wars 20 Years (2011)

I’m not going to say a lot about this song other than the fact that I can still acknowledge it and listen to it when I ultimately had to stop listening to it when it came out because of a situation I was going through at the time that I associated it with, is a testament to what a great song it is. I’ve been able to go back to this song and their too small catalog and find enjoyment all over again. 

14. The Vespers Better Now (2012)

Stumbled onto this song through a noisetrade feature. I immediately became of fan of these sisters and brothers. Through social media and then later live shows, I built a pretty good relationship with them. They introduced to more amazing music from themselves and then to early finds of other bands on this list. Finding quality friends and quality music all started with one song. 

15. The National Parks Ghosts (2013)

This song popped up on YouTube one day and I was immediately hooked. There’s rarely a playlist I’ve created since that this song doesn’t appear on. Everything about this song speaks to me and in my opinion is the perfect example of who they are as a band. I saw them play live seven times hoping to hear it live. The eighth time it finally came true when they stopped the show to actually dedicate it to me. 

16. Judah and the Lion Back’s Against the Wall (2013)

A good friend gave me a heads up that these guys were putting out an ep and that it would be right up my alley. Little did I know that this song would be on repeat for several months and I’d still be listening to it today. These guys became my favorite band and after getting to see them live more than any other band including getting to spend some quality time with them, I consider them friends. 

17. Handsome and Gretyl After All (2013)

The first song I heard from this duo is still an impactful on me. They were kind enough to come to Oklahoma and give me my first opportunity to host a house show. They even worked this into their set even though they didn’t typically play it at their shows. 

18. Colony House Moving Forward (2014)

My favorite part of any show is when Caleb comes out with his acoustic guitar to start this song alone with the rest of the guys joining him for the final chorus. This song is all about overcoming those things that try to overcome us and moving forward with hope and love. 

19. Joseph Honest (2016)

It’s true that music is therapy and this song along with seeing a therapist helped me through a very rough period of seeing my worth. In it’s simplicity it shows that even when we feel most alone, we are never alone. I am constantly challenged by their whole catalog and am always excited for what they come up with next. 

20. Arbour Season Utah (2022)

I mean in the short time I’ve known these wonderful people, I’ve gained a real love for their music. If it weren’t for this song being about me, their song “When I Get There” would be in this spot. But how could I not pick a song that was specifically written about me?