It’s sometimes remarked that musicians today can’t play or write like they could some 30, 40, 50 or 200 years ago.  (Take your pick depending on the speaker).  I make up this list annually to try and prove that adage wrong; there’s a lot of great music and song being written and performed today, perhaps more than ever. As evidence, I look for actual performance videos and eschew the stuff that has been auto-tuned, dynamically compressed, tweaked and regurgitated, combined with some perplexing video scenes, and then labelled “official video”.  They don’t call it the music “industry” for nothin’.
This is my fourth annual countdown list, and the songs are listed in reverse order from #34 to #1, according to me.  My wife, Nancy, and I have enjoyed reviewing the selections the last couple of evenings, and she keeps me from getting too enthusiastic about the more esoteric stuff.  We very much agree on this year’s top five, but she’s never going to like the ‘Kings of Leon’.  I’ll take the full blame for that one.  There really is no accounting for taste, so I hope that you, the viewer, find some stuff that you like that is new to you.  Most of these performers have an active tour schedule; check out their individual web sites. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some of the featured performers live this past year, and no medium beats that.

[Three videos have been removed from ‘youtube’ since this list was first made.]

One last tip, I advise watching/ listening to the playlist without skipping out to youtube itself, to avoid commercials between the songs. Sorry, no way to avoid the overlaid advertisement bar, except by clicking on the ‘X’.  Youtube is becoming well nigh unusable with the ever increasing number of commercials, and increasing inability to skip out early.  Note that you can go to full screen without any problem within my blog.