So, let me tell ya a little story.
Somewhere around the middle of August, everything for the Philby Hot 100 Songs of 2021 was in a position to wrap up and post.
Everything was prepped and just needed some finishing touches.
It was saved on the website in a preview mode and lookin’ good!
However, about a week later when I returned to work on the list, it had disappeared.
Where did it go!!!!????
Now, I have been through plenty of these disasters over the years, and have learned the hard way how to avoid having a similar disaster happen again.
And as much backup that I had for this year’s Philby lists, (I never once lost a list!), I was not ready for a situation where my website did not communicate with a server for a week.
And it just happened to be, you know, the week I was working on this year’s Final Official List.
There’s no way to prepare for that.
I kept checking and hoped that it would miraculously show up again–like a cat that finally decided to return home, for a week or so.
But it never did reappear.
And I can tell you that, after investing that time in a project, the last thing you want to do is jump right back in and do it again.
Well, at least I didn’t feel like it.
I was already working on all of the other lists I do, and I just couldn’t find that extra time that I’d already used just to do the same tedious things again.
Eventually things have to reach a conclusion, especially if there is to be another yearly list.
I believe we have reached that point.
I have always felt that most people are always open to receiving positive news about their creative endeavors no matter when it is given.
I guess I’m about to find that out.
I treat my weekly shows as if I am the music programmer at my own radio station.
From those shows, I construct my weekly Fave Song lists, just like in the radio days, when almost every station had a music guide of what songs they played.
A song cannot appear on my year end list without having been played on one of my shows.
So, here we are.
I like to think that the songs I select are a piece of someone’s heart, or soul, if you will.
They certainly are much more than a song!
My putting them together in this list is more an effort to rank how I, as well as other listeners, reacted to the songs.
The songs cover such a variety of styles, it would be impossible to say that one is better than another. But where I felt that someone exceeded at what they did on their project, I gave them a special award.
Those awards are truly mine!
I had fun assigning them, and I hope you will enjoy my serious yet somewhat playful categories.
This makes the list, in a sense, it’s own piece of art. It makes it a fresh and breathing list!
There are 54 first time song winners!
98 of the tracks are represented in some form, and I tried to find them all!
A couple of the songs have different versions to at least give someone an idea of what the song sounds like. (I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I’m sure others will give me some input.)
I didn’t time it out, but I’m sure it would take 5 to 6 hours to explore the songs on it that have links.
Regardless, this will be a list for further exploration!
So here they are!
This year’s songs of brilliant musical achievement!!!
1. Daddy’s Wheels—Eric Gnezda (Single) [Best Song][Best Story Song][Best Song Almost Guaranteed to Make You Cry][Best Non-Fiction Story Song][Best Song to Hear in the Middle of the Night Waking Up With the TV On, Then Fall Back to Sleep Yet Still Remember to Find It the Next Day Song]
2. If I—Tracy Kash (Fierce)[Best Pop Song][Best Hooky Song][Best Latin Flavored Rhythm Song][Best Pop/Rock Vocal]
3. Southland—Lindsay Lou (Southland)[Best Sultry Song][Best Americana Vocal]
4. The Things That Matter—Matthew French (M French) (Sweet Love)[Best Song About Peace][Second Best Song Almost Guaranteed to Make You Cry]
5. Beautiful—Karyn Oliver (A List of Names)[Best Female Vocal]
6. Hope (NOT the Correct Version) —Diamonds in the Rust (The Whole Half)[Best Americana Vocal Group Song][Third Best Song Almost Guaranteed to Make You Cry]
7. Don’t Think—Jillian Rae (I Can’t Be Who You Want Me to Be)[Best Rock Song][Second Best Sultry Song][Best Female Rock Vocal][Best Atmospheric Song]
8. Wrong Side of Right—Tosha Owens (Wrong Side of Right)[Best R&B Song][Best Female R&B Vocal][Best Short Drum Hook]
9. I Will Make My Nest High Up—Erin Zindle (Scenes from the Fragile Agile Avian World)[Best Haunting Melody][Best Lyrics]
10. The Dreams That Are Waiting for Us—Amy Petty (The Darkness of Birds)[Best Rock/Pop Vocal]
11. Please Don’t Tell Me How to Dance—Cindy Ruenes (Please Don’t Tell Me How to Dance)[Best Attitude Song]
12. Some Better Days—Jeff Scott with Smoke Jones and Duane Allen Harlick (Single)[Best Jazz Song][Best Jazz Collaboration][Best Sax Solo: Skip Pruitt]
13. Lucky Rocks—Sarah Borges and The Broken Singles (Love’s Middle Name)[Best Chunky Guitar Song]
14. Boss Hog—ShwizZ (ShwizZ II)[Best Instrumental][Best Jazz/Rock Song]
15. Foolish Heart—Wendy Webb (Moon on Havana)[Best Jazz Vocal][Best Moody Song]
16. Dangerous Love—Angela Perley (4:30)[Best Yearning Rock Vocal]
17. Open My Eyes—Becki Digregorio (Seven Worthies…of the Bamboo Grove)[Best Cover Song]
18. One Month in the Hole—Bobby Pennock (Single)[Best Pandemic Song][Best Psychedelic Song][Best Harmonies][Best Theremin Solo][Best Little Noise That Shifts From One Ear to the Other][Best Headphone Song]
19. It’s Happening Here—J.C. And The Disciples (Single)[Best Classic Rock Song]
20. Fire and Flame—The Whiskey Charmers (Lost on the Range)
21. Better Than Gold (NOT the correct version) —Erica Blinn (Better Than Gold)
22. Trust Somebody—Billy Brandt and The Sugarees (Riverside)
23. Born Again—Judy Banker (Buffalo Motel)[Best Daytime Open Highway Driving Song]
24. Learn—Nina and The Buffalo Riders (For the Dirt)[Best Nighttime Open Highway Driving Song]
25. Give It Away Again—M.J. Bishop (Give It Away Again)[Best Yearning Americana Vocal]
26. If You Only Knew—Bill Edwards (Sounds Like Love)[Best Sad Song That Is Actually Happy][Best Waltz]
27. Always in Between—Tom Curless and The 46% (Almost Ready for the Future)[Best Back-up Vocal Hook with Gibberish Words][Best Power Pop Song]
28. Real Love—Wolf B. Reuter (Hour of the Wolf)[Best Beatles Cover That Sounds Better Than the Original]
29. The Power of Love—Lucrecia Lopez Sanz (Single)[Best Soundtrack Cover Song]
30. Control—The Cordial Sins (Only Humans)
31. North Country—Sam Corbin (North Country)[Best Heading to Northern Michigan Song]
32. Every Day—Mental Health Day (You Could Be Anywhere)[Best Song That Almost Dies in the Middle But Builds Up to a Good Finish]
33. Bad Babe, Losing Touch—The Claudettes (High Times in the Dark)[Best Keyboards: Johnny Iguana][Best Tambourine][Best Echo]
34. Angels Fly—Johnny Irion (Driving Friend)
35. Save All My Cryin’ (For Sunday Afternoon)—Vicky Emerson (Wake Me Up When the Wind Dies Down)
36. Starcrossed Losers—The Fratellis (In Your Own Sweet Time)[Best Song About Romeo and Juliet][Best String Arrangement][Best Falsetto Vocal]
37. The Hewry Highwayman—Bill Grogan’s Goat (Third Eye)[Best Celtic Song]
38. Dichotomy of Disbelief—Latvian Radio [Best Trumpet]
39. The Lucky One—Mark Jewett (The Lucky One)[Best Pedal Steel]
40. How Will You Go—Sugar Snow (Woodface Reimagined)
41. Outside of This Town—Christone “Kingfish” Ingram (Kingfish)[Best Blues Song]
42. Make Up Your Mind—Heathcote Hill (Fight Another Day)
43. Solo—Arnold Mitchem (Single)
44. Life Out of Control—Linden Thoburn (Scarecrow)[Best Cello: Sara Gibson]
45. No Way to Live—Mike Ward (The Darkness and The Light)
46. Jesus on the Dash—Vegas Strip Kings (Jackpot!)[Best Tex-Mex Song][Best Accordion]
47. Stuck in a Rhyme—Cool King Chris (Paradigm Shift)
48. Turn My Heat On—Scott Greeson with Warriors, Zombies, and Other Joedai Pilgrims (Collaboration)
49. Too Cold to Cry—Lindsay Beaver (Tough As Love)[Best Rockabilly Song]
50. Time Flies By—Gary Browe (Red Sky Remembers)
51. Never Let You Go—Biltmore (Revolutions and Romantics)
52. Long Gone—Karen Nash (Love and Justice)
53. Split Decision—Popular Creeps (Single)
54. This Morning—Ben Levin with Bob Corritore (Before Me)[Best Blues Instrumental]]Best Piano Instrumental]
55. Keep Diggin’—The Stone Souls (The Stone Souls)[Best Slide Guitar]
56. Built to Break—Mike Galbraith (Here, Elsewhere)
57. Lightspeed—Steve Leaf and The Ex-Pats (Lightspeed)]Best Jam Song]
58. Snake Wine—Transit Method (We Won’t Get Out of Here Alive)[Best Hard Rock Song]
59. Show Them It’s True—The Simon Kennedy Band (Make Up Your Mind)
60. Object Permanence—Sydney Sprague (Maybe I Will See You at the End of the World)[Best New Artist]
61. Time Goes By—Territorial Chant (Territorial Chant 6)[Best Prog Ballad]
62. Power Thru—Rick Mummey with Warriors, Zombies, and Other Joedai Pilgrims (Collaboration)
63. I Feel Like My Old Self (NOT the correct version)—Nora Jane Struthers (Bright Lights, Long Drives, First Words)
64. Quarantine Dream—Scott Martin (Quarantine Dream)
65. Stuck in Orbit—Xposed 4Heads (Ultra Sound)
66. Little Miss Night and Day—Boz Scaggs (Out of the Blues)
67. Peculiar—The Slackers (Peculiar)[Best Ska/Punk Song]
68. Pirates—Joanna and The Jaywalkers (The Open Sea Before Me)
69. River of Tears—Upstairs Party (Upstairs Party)[Best Twin Lead Guitar Riff]
70. Graveyard Train—Wild Ponies (Radiant)
71. Lonesome City—Dave Karchner (Lonesome Town)
72. My Mother Gave the World to Me—Jubilant Bridge [Best Song About a Mother]
73. Turn Up Your TV—Michael Snyder-Barker (Tales of Whoa!)
74. The Original Swing—Seth Bernard (Eggtones for Fun)
75. Analise—Inland Isle (Time Has Changed Us)
76. Black Patch—Kelsey Waldon (White Lines/White Noise)
77. Sweet Marie—Strawberry Heritage (Light Magic)
78. Go to Girl—Travis Bowlin (Secondus)
79. Hard Times—Sublunar Minds (Into a Future Bright and Beautiful)
80. The Warning—Robin Tucker (The Way Out)
81. Then There Was You—Steve Sterner and Sundown (November Rain)[Best Folk Song]
82. Consolation Prize—Jeremy Porter and The Tucos with Jennifer Westwood (Don’t Worry, It’s Not Contagious)
83. Long Way Back—Terri Binion (The Day After the Night Before)
84. Talk to Me—Makoto (Spirit of the Island)[Best Island Jazz Instrumental]
85. Radar Contact—TR3 featuring Tim Reynolds (The Sea Versus the Mountain)[Best Prog/Jazz Instrumental]
86. House of the Rising Sun—Johnny Mastro and Mama’s Boys (Never Trust the Living)
87. Here Comes Love—Robert Stark (Robert Stark)
88. Did It All—Gogol Bordello (Seekers and Finders)[Best World Song]
89. All We Ever Have Is Now—Valerie JanLois (No Drop of Love Is Ever Wasted)
90. Storyline—Trio of Awesuhm (Cowboys and Aliens)
91. Nuthin’ to Me—Suzi Moon (Call the Shots)[Best Punk Song]
92. When She Smiles (NOT the Correct version)—Kevin Lockhart and Bill Bosler (Waterbound)[Best Hammered Dulcimer-Bill Bosler]
93. Berlin—Karolina Rose (Invicta)
94. Escape Route—Jordi (Single)
95. Got Me Glued—The Transparent Tones (Lovely)
96. Summer in a Bottle—Marvin Etzioni (Single)
97. I Gotta Dance to Keep from Crying —Tom Faia and Kate Miller (Harry’s Place)
98. On and On—Tin Sparrow (Shoelace Ring)
99. Be a Good Girl—CJ Ramone (American Beauty)
100. Train to Nowhere—Hannah’s Field (Revolutionary Soldiers)[Best Hippie Vibe Song]
Here’s a section on submissions:
I am accepting entries for Philby consideration!
The album selections are made from a sliding four year pool of music.
The pool for 2023 is 2019-2023.
One of the reasons that I use a multiple year submission scale is that just getting music out to the world is sometimes difficult for an artist.
A lot of them are not really wired for self promotion.
Making music is totally different than drumming up interest in it, especially for independent musicians.
Yes, there are promoters that can help with that. And nothing against promoters because they have a role to play. But they cost money, and the artist already had to pay to record the music, and may not be prepared for the process of promoting it.
After looking at how some other independent awards are handled, I figured a four year window allows me enough time to serendipitously run across someone’s music.
I have told this story several times, but I try very hard to listen to everything that is submitted.
Although I work on my list, starting literally on January 1st, using a four year sliding window, I carry over some of what would qualify from the prior years.
So, if you’ve made some music dating back as far as 2019, I will accept that music for consideration.
If you have something older than 2019, send that, too, but identify the release date. I’m always looking for GREAT music.
For the Philbys, I’m looking for full albums.
However, if you only have a single, I’ll accept that, too. Don’t forget that I also have a Philby Hot Songs list, and more artists are releasing singles these days.
But please don’t send me an incomplete album if you have one.
So, please don’t edit for me.
I dislike that and I might not even check out the item. I don’t know why anyone would only send selected songs instead of their whole work of art for consideration.
Please don’t send me links to listen to music. That’s not how I listen to music. And I probably won’t listen to it if you send me a link to stream it. Either send me the album to download or request my mailing address to send a physical copy.
Every year I say that if your item came out later than May, it may not end up on this year’s list. So it’s possible that submissions entered now may only be considered for 2023.
However, this year will be totally different than other years. I have not received any where near the amount of releases that I normally do.
It might be an excellent year to send a submission.
I will accept any genre of music. I like a variety of styles, even on the same album!
So, please e-mail your mp3s, and please make sure it is an mp3 only, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want a physical address or have other questions, please e-mail me at the same address. Because selections will be considered for more than a single year, there isn’t an expiration date at the present.
If you want someone who will actually listen to your music, I am that person.
If you want some recognition for working hard and baring your soul, that might be me, too. I can’t make any promises, but I will listen to your music.
If you are reading this and are not a musician but know someone who is, please forward this to them.
Good luck to all who participate!
My weekly radio show “Theme Attic,” can be heard Wednesdays, 12PM-4PM ET!
It almost always includes a weekly countdown of my favorite albums or songs and some shows feature two countdowns!
There’s plenty of other musical things to browse on my website!
Here’s the link to the complete history of all the Fave Albums: https://philmaq.com/phils-lists/phils-faves-albums/!
Here’s a link for the complete history of all the Fave Songs: https://philmaq.com/phils-lists/phils-faves-songs/!
Another list that you might find interesting is my list for “The Most Awesomest Songs of the Day”: https://philmaq.com/most-awesomest-songs/!
If you’d like to know what I think are even better than the awesome songs, have a look at “The Greatest Songs Ever Recorded”:https://philmaq.com/the-greatest-songs-ever-recorded/! Occasionally, an “awesome song” crosses over to become a “Greatest Song!”
My somewhat unusual Hall of Fame can be explored here: https://philmaq.com/hall-of-fame/!
Lastly, but most importantly, is my Philby Awards link! A Philby is my annual award for outstanding musical achievement! https://philmaq.com/philbys/!
If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!