Artist: Chimes, Scotland
Album: The Chimes, 1992
Notes: Little known Scottish R&B trio handsomely cover a U2 classic, led by fine lead singer, Pauline Henry. One of Bono's fave covers of his work.
Song: Take Everything
Artist: Greg Laswell, San Diego, CA
Album: Take A Bow, 2010
Notes: Top-flight singer-songwriter, his music is often featured on tv shows like 'CSI' and 'House'. Deserves a long-overdue hit.
Song: Little Bird
Artist: Kasey Chambers, Australia
Album: Little Bird, 2010
Notes: Lovely slice of alternative Aussie folk-country, reflecting on why not to get back together with an old flame. Six good albums to date.
Artist: Kane Gang, England
Album: Miracle, 1987
Notes: Sturdy synth-blues pop/rock from '80s combo which was around for single decade, hailing from the north of England and led by singers, Martin Hammer and Paul Woods.
Song: Don’t Look Any Further
Artist: Dennis Edwards, Birmingham, AL
Album: Don't Look Any Further, 1984
Notes: Original version of the much covered - and much sampled Motown soul nugget. Edwards was one of more than 20 different vocalists in the Temptations.
Song: Money Lullaby
Artist: Kanute, England
Notes: Superb cut sampling a Rickie Lee Jones' pearl (next song). Band is ad-hoc duo of Rachael Gray and way-talented producer, Rob Overseer.
Artist: Rickie Lee Jones, Chicago
Album: Rickie Lee Jones, 1979
Notes: An incredible ballad taken from what may be the veteran singer-songwriter's second best album (check out 'Girl at Her Volcano').
Artist: Madness, England
Album: Absolutely, 1980
Notes: So much more to Madness than their big hit, Our House. Band started out in ska revival in mid-70s, still going, led by charismatic singer, Suggs.
Song: Not Even Human
Artist: Angel Taylor, Los Angeles
Album: Love Travels, 2009
Notes: Deeply sad song written about a bad boy in a bad relationship from one of the best current female tunesmiths out there.
Song: Soul Drifter
Artist: Lindsey Buckingham, Palo Alto, CA
Album: Out of The Cradle, 1992
Notes: Released as a single, never charted. Despite great dexterity on the guitar, Buckingham is one of the few musicians to only use nails/fingers while plucking.
Song: Words of Gold
Artist: Nejra, Sweden
Album: Hindsight, 2009
Notes: Fled to Sweden from Bosnia during the war as a teenager. Very promising newcomer. More at nejramusic.com
Song: Boat To Bolivia
Artist: Martin Stephenson & The Daintees, England
Album: Boat To Bolivia, 1986
Notes: Rather obscure, but delightful smooth reggae beats. Frontman Stephenson has eked out strong solo career.
Song: Every Kinda People
Artist: Mint Juleps, England
Album: The Power of Six, 1987
Notes: All-female band of the Charles Sisters who cut a couple of fine albums for the seminal Stiff Records label. Curiously, song written by Free rock group bassist, Andy Fraser.
Song: My Darling Child
Artist: Sinead O'Connor, Ireland
Album: Universal Mother, 1994
Notes: Simple melody, great string arrangement, earnest vocal delivery. Written about her son, Jake, with producer husband, John Reynolds.
Artist: Eagles, Los Angeles
Album: Desperado, 1973
Notes: Title ballad cut from iconic band's second album - now a classic, but amazingly never released as a single.
Artist: Electric Owls, Chapel Hill, NC
Album: Cullowhee Songs EP, 2011
Notes: Cool new folk-rock from indie singer-songwriter, Andy Herod, formerly in the Comas. Most promising.
Artist: Paul McCartney, England
Notes: Originally written and recorded by Macca for the Beatles 'White Album' in 1968. His MTV 'Unplugged' live set was first to be released as an album.
Song: This Is The Life
Artist: Amy MacDonald, Scotland
Album: This Is The Life, 2007
Notes: Terrific rolling gem, title cut from her maiden album. Inspired to take up the guitar and career in music after seeing the Scottish band, Travis perform live.
Song: Chocolate Girl
Artist: Deacon Blue, Scotland
Album: Raintown, 1987
Notes: Recently reformed band, big in the UK in the '80s led by very talented singer-songwriter, Ricky Ross.
Artist: Tracy Chapman, Cleveland, OH
Notes: Stunning live version of a song originally on her 'Crossroads' album, performed at one of Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit concerts held in Mountain View, CA since 1986.
Song: Wake Up Everybody
Artist: Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes, Philadelphia
Album: Wake Up Everybody, 1975
Notes: Truly the sound of Philadelphia from the mid '70s, a soul classic with a strong message, highlighted by the late Teddy Pendergrass' powerful vocals.
Song: It Stops Today
Artist: Colbie Caillat, Newbury Park, CA
Album: Breakthrough, 2009
Notes: Typically catchy and bubbly cut from sophomore album, co-inked with the truly exceptional songwriter Jason Reeves.
Song: The Things I Do
Artist: Teddy Thompson, England
Notes: A+ folk rock from the UK. The son of legendary British folk-rock pioneers, Richard and Linda Thompson - who brought him up in a Sufi Commune in the mid-70s.
Song: North Country
Artist: Gustavo Santaolalla, Argentina
Notes: Two minutes of instrumental bliss from top film soundtrack composer who also helmed 'Brokeback Mountain' and 'Babel'.
Song: Much More Than This
Artist: Chris de Burgh, Argentina
Album: The Love Songs, 1997
Notes: Well-crafted lost gem ballad about infidelity, superior alternative to the truly over-played (and now awful) 'The Lady In Red'.
Artist: Madeleine Peyroux, Athens, GA
Album: Dreamland, 1996
Notes: Early recording by a truly original and worthwhile vocal stylist which many have compared to Billie Holiday. Also a fine ukulele player.
Artist: James Taylor, Lenox, MA
Album: New Moon Shine, 1991
Notes: Unmistakable simplicity and genius of Taylor, reminiscing about earlier, simpler times. Originally signed to Apple Records by McCartney in 1969.
Artist: Mindy Smith, Long Island, NY
Album: One Moment More, 2004
Notes: Top-drawer, melancholic folk-Americana from her excellent debut album. Early career was strongly supported and nurtured by Dolly Parton.
Song: Walking On The Milky Way
Artist: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, England
Album: Universal, 1996
Notes: Anthemic synth-rock from OMD, an ode to the joys of youth. Veteran band just completed its first US tour since 1988.
Song: I’ll Say I’m Sorry Now
Artist: Shawn Colvin, Vermillion, SD
Album: Whole New You, 2001
Notes: Saddest song of all time, outstanding underrated ballad. Colvin may have the best phrasing and intonation in all of modern music.
Artist: Oona, San Francisco
Album: Shhhhout!, 2011
Notes: Jazzy, blues-rock beats Oona Garthwaite and her band. Great energy from Oakland-based combo, more at www.oonamusic.com
Artist: Foy Vance, N. Ireland
Album: Watermelon Oranges EP, 2006
Notes: Flying under the radar for about six years, based in County Down. Highly rated by top musicians including Bonnie Raitt - who calls him
Song: Gimme Sympathy
Artist: Metric, Canada
Album: Fantasies, 2009
Notes: Top-notch hook-driven indie rock, lots of neat Beatles and Rolling Stones references. Juno Award winning quartet from Toronto.
Song: Yank and Mary (Smile)v
Artist: Ian Matthews, England
Album: Stealin' Home, 1978
Notes: Lovely ballad featuring 'Smile' sections co-written by Charlie Chaplin. Matthews was an early member of folk pioneers, Fairport Convention.
Song: Spare An Angel
Artist: Chris Rice, Clinton, MD
Notes: Beautifully constructed, yet another fabulous quiet cut from earnest signer-songwriter. 12 albums since 1992.
Song: Turn Me On
Artist: Norah Jones, Brooklyn, NY
Album: Come Away With Me, 2002
Notes: Jones' impeccable cover of gem written by country singer-songwriter, John D. Loudermilk in 1961. Also featured in movie, 'Love Actually'.
Song: Station Approach
Artist: Elbow, England
Notes: Anthemic rock from one of Britain's best alternative rock bands on the past decade. Yet another top combo from ever-fertile city of Manchester.
Artist: Tom Waits, Pomona, CA
Album: Foreign Affairs, 1977
Notes: Too good for prime time, feel the smoke and whiskey. Marvelous bar-room ballad conversation between the maestro and Bette Midler.
Song: When I Get Over You
Artist: Venice, Venice, CA
Album: Born and Raised, 1997
Notes: Strong California harmonies from underrated group formed by the four Lennon cousins and siblings, Michael, Mark, Kipp and Pat - who once opened for our next artist.
Song: Trapped (live)
Artist: Bruce Springsteen, Long Branch, NJ
Album: We Are The World, 1985
Notes: Wisely added as a live number to his 1981 'The River Tour', Springsteen's triumphant cover of a Jimmy Cliff (reggae icon) song.