Song: Whatever’s On Your Mind
Artist: Gomez, England
Notes: Winning title track from reliably rewarding quintet from Southport in Merseyside. Melodic pop-rockers are signed in the US to Dave Matthews' strong-roster ATO Records.
Song: Long Journey
Artist: Sarah Jarosz, Austin, TX
Album: Song Up In Her Head, 2009
Notes: Outstanding ballad written and recorded when we was still at high school. Also a proficient banjo player and fast becoming a well-known singer-songwriter in bluegrass circles.
Artist: Electric Owls, Chapel Hill, NC
Album: Cullowhee Songs EP, 2011
Notes: Becoming a Lost and Found favorite cut, cool new folk-rock from indie singer-songwriter, Andy Herod, formerly in the Comas.
Song: Song To The Siren
Artist: This Mortal Coil, England
Album: It'll End in Tears, 1984
Notes: Dreamy pop-rock aggregate assembled by the founder of a hip British label, 4AD Records, Ivo Watts-Russell. Ethereal mesmerizing cover of the Tim Buckley classic featuring members of the Cocteau Twins.
Song: When I’m Dead and Gone
Artist: McGuinness Flint, England
Album: McGuinness Flint, 1971
Notes: Vintage folk-pop from band formed by former Manfred Mann guitarist, Tom McGuinness and John Mayall apprentice, Hughie Flint - which also featured another pairing called Gallagher & Lyle.
Artist: Laura Marling, England
Album: I Speak Because I Can, 2010
Notes: Superb singer-songwriter fare from the same nu-folk school which has spawned Mumford & Sons. The daughter of a baronet, look out for new album, 'A Creature I Don't Know'.
Artist: Talk Talk, England
Album: It's My Mix, 1984
Notes: Sensational extended remix of their biggest hit, taken from a rare vinyl-only LP released in Italy. There are several other remix albums available, but nothing matches this one.
Song: Long Road Home
Artist: Sheryl Crow, Kennett, MO
Album: 100 Miles From Memphis, 2010
Notes: Lovely horns-laden shuffler from a rather overlooked album which has a solid Memphis soul groove. Keith Richard, Citizen Cope and even clever boy Justin Timberlake were among guest musicians on the album.
Song: Lay Your Burden Down Now
Artist: Jon Allen, England
Album: Deadman's Suit, 2009
Notes: Described by ex-Squeeze keyboardist and BBC music television host, Jools Holland, as having 'one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard'. Recently performed to great applause at the iconic Glastonbury Festival.
Song: Old Man
Artist: Redlight King, Canada
Album: Something For The Pain, 2011
Notes: Terrific sampled use of the old Neil Young nugget 'Old Man' given an urban hip-hop twist by Canadian newcomer, Mark Kasperczyk - or Kaz for short.
Song: Ideal World
Artist: Christians, England
Album: The Christians, 1987
Notes: Badly overlooked soul-pop fusing from a soulful rock combo who were around from 1986 through the early '90s. Three brothers, Garry, Russell and Roger Christian joined and fronted by distinctive lead singer, Henry Priestman.
Song: Out There
Artist: Thirteen Senses, England
Album: Crystal Sounds, 2011
Notes: Completely over the top and all the better for it, sweeping, melodramatic orchestral-based gem from much under-appreciated British quartet from Cornwall.
Artist: Aslyn, Chiefland, FL
Album: Lemon Love, 2005
Notes: Beatles-esque ballad from Atlanta-based songstress, Heather Mitchell. Recorded this lovely ballad at Peter Gabriel's wonderful recording studio complex in England called Real World Studios.
Artist: Smiths, England
Album: The Queen Is Dead, 1985
Notes: Unmistakable vocal warblings of Morrissey accompanied by his Smiths chums (although they're not chums anymore) on an early single. Don't you wish they'd just reunite - how soon is now?
Artist: Idan Raichel Project, Israel
Album: Mi'ma'amakim, 2005
Notes: A splendid fusion of electronic, World Music (middle eastern and Ethiopian) flavors, just a fabulous musical collage from Israeli singer-songwriter who began his music career in the Israeli military.
Song: What I Cannot Change
Artist: LeAnn Rimes, Jackson, MS
Album: Family, 2007
Notes: Too many people think she's just another ditsy country pop girl, but she's actually recording some of the best almost Americana music out there. I've learned to let go of What I cannot Change' - easy to say, hard to achieve.
Song: Maggie May (live)
Artist: Rod Stewart, England
Album: Unplugged and Seated, 1993
Notes: One of the most enduring live performers of his generation, the seemingly ageless but now 66-year old Roderick David Stewart with his signature song, performed acoustic and unplugged with former Faces chum, Ronnie Wood.
Artist: Suzanne Vega, Santa Monica, CA
Notes: Somewhat of an answerback record to the above, a rather lovely stripped-down version of a tune she originally recorded for her 'Songs in Red and Gray' album in 2001. All three 'Close Up' compilations are worthwhile.
Song: Family Man
Artist: Roachford, England
Album: Roachford, 1989
Notes: Long forgotten R&B rock from little known British singer Andrew Roachford about a man trying to put his wayward behavior behind him to become a family man.
Song: Endless Sea
Artist: Lauren Shera, New York
Album: Once I Was A Bird, 2010
Notes: Horns-sprinkled lost gem from former student of the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. Opened for the likes of Ray LaMontagne, Billy Bragg, Shawn Colvin - all our favorites.
Song: To Ohio
Artist: Low Anthem, Providence, RI
Notes: Lovely rootsy, rustic, melodic Americana, well-textured song construction and execution from perhaps the quartet's finest album to date.
Song: She’s The One
Artist: Robbie Williams, England
Notes: Solid ballad from British cheeky chappie who now resides in Los Angeles. He's battled every conceivable cliched rock 'n' roll lifestyle problem, self-esteem issues, obesity, substance abuse, alcoholism, but has come through it all - now happily married to his actress wife Ayda Field.
Artist: Simple Minds, Scotland
Album: Sparkle In The Rain, 1983
Notes: Never a US hit, most people think that 'Don't You Forget About Me' is their signature song - it was certainly their biggest hit - but the band and its loyal following believe that this song is their defining anthem.
Song: Use Somebody
Artist: Laura Jansen, Holland
Album: Bells, 2011
Notes: Tres-cool cover of the massive rock hit by Kings of Leon, recast as a delightful ballad by an insanely talented Dutch-American newcomer. Album is stuffed with melodic goodies.
Song: Three Tree Town
Artist: Ben Howard, England
Notes: Much in the tradition of folk icons Nick Drake and John Martyn, 23-year old newcomer newly signed to the ultra-hip Communion Records label in London, co-founded by one of the sons of Mumford, Ben Lovett.
Song: Dive Deep
Artist: Morcheeba feat. Thomas Dybdahl, England
Album: Dive Deep, 2008
Notes: A loungy, organic, chilled-out vibe featuring an ace but understated lead vocal from Norwegian tunesmith, Thomas Dybdahl who's a big name in Scandinavia.
Artist: Iron & Wine, Dripping Springs, TX
Album: The Shepherd's Dog, 2007
Notes: Also featured in one of those wildly popular (and utterly ridiculous) 'Twilight' movies. I&W is the performing name of singer-songwriter guitarist, Samuel Beam - formerly professor of film and cinematography at the University of Miami.
Song: Living On The Ceiling
Artist: Blancmange, England
Album: Happy Families, 1982
Notes: Superb Asian-inflected riff which occasionally hallmarks this 80s new wave bubbler from British synth-poppers of singer Neil Arthur and keyboardist Stephen Luscombe.
Song: My Destiny
Artist: Lionel Richie, Tuskegee, AL
Album: Back To Front, 1992
Notes: Yes, despite being more unfashionable than a heart tattoo, sterling overlooked pop-soul nugget by Nicole's stepfather. A Motown artist rebuilding the Motown sound in grand style.
Song: Hamburg Song
Artist: Keane, England
Album: Under The Iron Sea, 2006
Notes: 'I lay myself down to make it so, But you don't want to know, You take much more, Than I'd ever ask for' - too sad for words, the saddest song of all time - until next week.
Song: So Young
Artist: Corrs, Ireland
Album: Talk On Corners, 1997
Notes: Highly melodic and tight Irish family folk rockers of Sharon, Andrea, Caroline and Jim Corr - uplifting pop-folk gem written by Sharon about their parents, Jean and Gerry Corr.
Song: Better Man
Artist: Marc Scibilia, New York
Album: Not available (yet)
Notes: Singer-songwriting troubadour who released his first collection of songs at the age of 12, much of his output these days is politically themed - but not this rather engaging and thoughtful new cut.
Song: Nine Million Bicycles
Artist: Katie Melua, Georgia (former Soviet Union)
Album: Piece by Piece, 2005
Notes: Fragile understated vocal delivery by Melua on Asian-inflected love song. Huge in Europe, song written and produced by music impresario, Mike Batt who discovered and signed Melua to his boutique, Dramatico label in 2003.
Song: It’s A Beautiful Day
Artist: Julie Frost, Oklahoma
Album: Not available
Notes: Unavailable sweet folk-pop solo outing from composer who otherwise writes huge pop/r&b hits for the likes of the Black Eyed Peas and Beyonce.
Song: A New Flame
Artist: Simply Red, England
Album: A New Flame, 1989
Notes: Mick Hucknell and his Simply Red chums with a fabulous soul-rocker - so much more to this band that its two US number ones, 'Holding Back The Years' and 'If You Don't Know Me By Now'.
Song: Last Call
Artist: Lee Ann Womack, Jacksonville, TX
Album: Call Me Crazy, 2008
Notes: Superior country music, strong lyrics, great melody, terrific break up song about a woman who's simply had enough. This song came in at #58 on Rolling Stone magazine's best songs of 2008.
Song: Da Da Dam
Artist: Paradise Oskar, Finland
Album: Sunday Songs, 2011
Notes: The tale of a smart 9-year old lad called Peter who simply wants to save planet earth by 20-year old Finnish popster. Utterly idealistic and delightful. Real name is Axel Ehnstrem, currently studying jazz at the esteemed Helsinki Music Institute.
Artist: Sting, England
Album: Nada como el sol, 1988
Notes: The Portuguese version segued into the English original by Sir Sting, a deeply moving political protest song dedicated to widows in Chile following the atrocities wrought by Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet.