I decided that “Five for Friday” sounds cooler than just “Five”, so I’ve renamed my little series and decided to list my favorite musicians for today’s blog.   I’ll go in chronological order, since I tend to rotate through my favorites (at least my favorite four).

1) U2 – Early in my high school years, when I was young and impressionable, I was very impressed by my oldest cousin who was in college and introduced me to music by the boys from Dublin.  The Joshua Tree had just been released, and I received that album as a Christmas present.  My cousin copied two other albums for me, and soon I was my school’s most devoted U2 fan.

2) Indigo Girls– One of my close high school friends made a mix of IG songs for me during our senior year.  During that same year, they released their third album, and I became hooked.  During my conservative college years, I distanced myself from both U2 and the Indigo Girls, but I’ve grown to like both of them again.

3) Rich Mullins– During an undergraduate research experience after the summer of my first year at Goshen College, some new friends from another midwest school shared Rich’s music with me.  It has been said that Rich was the “uneasy conscience of Christian music”, a man who was never comfortable with his popularity.  I appreciated the authenticity of his faith.

4) Andy Peterson or Caedmon’s Call – It’s a tough choice, so I get to put down two.  I started listening to both during grad school.  Andy is another singer/songwriter with some of the same honest and insightful lyrics that Rich Mullins had.  Ditto on Caedmon’s Call, but they’re a group (that I happened to have playing on the stereo today during my commute).  These two don’t quite make the top tier with the other four listed here (I haven’t heard their newer music, and I don’t know what they’ve been doing lately), but I needed something to fill this spot.  (And I don’t care that five is now six.)

5) Carrie Newcomer– Carrie actually attended Goshen College, too.  I discovered her music at the end of my time in grad school.  She has a knack for seeing the holy in the ordinary.  Perhaps the musical equivalent of Anne Lamott.