Song: Someone To Someone
Artist: Ross Copperman, Roanoke, VA
Album: Not available, 2011
Notes: Started playing piano at the age of three - released a couple of overlooked albums and currently polishing off his third long-player. Top-notch piano-driven cut which should be on the new record.
Song: Woman In Chains
Artist: Tears For Fears, England
Album: The Seeds of Love, 1989
Notes: One of the finest songs ever written about the servitude of exploited women around the world. Features a significant guest vocal by R&B songstress, Oleta Adams - who the Tears For Fears duo discovered singing in a hotel bar in Kansas while they were on a US tour in 1985.
Song: You Can See Everything
Artist: Brooke Miller, Canada
Album: You Can See Everything, 2007
Notes: A buoyant acoustic number about the joy of new love by the underrated Nova Scotian singer-songwriter. Brooke records with her guitarist husband, Don Ross. Little known in the US but building a strong following in Germany.
Song: Born To Love You
Artist: Elected, San Diego
Album: Bury Me In My Rings, 2011
Notes: Simple, effective, melodic number by Rilo Kiley frontman, Blake Sennett under his other-band moniker, The Elected. He describes the new album as having 'twelve shimmering pop songs reminiscent of mid-century West Coast rock.'
Song: Let Her Down Easy
Artist: Terence Trent D'Arby, New York
Album: Symphony or Damn, 1993
Notes: Stunning ballad from the 'soft-line' according to TTD who changed his name to Sananda Maitreya in the late 90s. Always an eccentric talent, still touring and recording from his home base in Milan, Italy.
Song: Echo Park
Artist: Joseph Arthur, Akron, OH
Album: Shadows Will Remain, 2005
Notes: Neatly flowing, understated track about pure love, a little story about wandering through Echo Park in Los Angeles. Still an underrated singer-songwriter discovered and nurtured by Peter Gabriel back in 1996 and signed to Peter's Real World label.
Song: Solsbury Hill
Artist: Peter Gabriel, England
Album: Peter Gabriel, 1977
Notes: With recording techniques which were so cutting edge and precise, this classic first solo single still sounds so contemporary, though only peaked at #68 on the Billboard Hot 100. Solsbury Hill is a rather small limestone hill in the west of England located in the beautiful county of Somerset.
Artist: UB40, England
Album: Signing Off, 1980
Notes: Veteran British reggae combo with their dub-heavy first release from 1980 which flew completely under the radar in the US. A tribute to Martin Luther King. Lead singer, Ali Campbell no longer with the band.
Song: This Is Your Life
Artist: Banderas, England
Album: Ripe, 1991
Notes: Strong Manchester vibe from the obscure female duo of Caroline Buckley and Sally Herbert who only cut one album (which featured Manchester music heroes, Johnny Marr and New Order's Bernard Sumner). Song includes a sample of a Grace Jones' 'Crack Attack'.
Song: Northern Wind
Artist: City and Colour, Canada
Album: Little Hell, 2011
Notes: Breezy, clever acoustic gem from third album by Juno Award-winning tunesmith Dallas Green, aka City and Colour, which is his strongest to date.
Song: Somebody Loved
Artist: Weepies, Cambridge, MA
Album: Happiness, 2003
Notes: Folk duo of Steve Tannen and Deb Talan have mastered the art of writing and performing uncomplicated, worthwhile acoustic ditties including this one. Signed to one of the most reliable quality record labels out there called Nettwerk Music.
Song: You Got Me
Artist: Magnet, Norway
Album: The Simple Life, 2007
Notes: Rich, clever pop-rock textures of Even Johansen, who likes to go under the performing alias of Magnet. He's recorded four really intriguing albums over the past ten years or so, all worthwhile listening. More at myspace.com/magnet.
Artist: Amy Winehouse, England
Album: Back To Black: B-Sides, 2008
Notes: Tender, raw, stripped-down cover version of Phil Spector's pop chestnut showcases her true soul - without the usual gloss and majesty of Mark Ronson's superb production. A tragic and fragile soul, gone too soon, her final public performance was for? - our next artiste.
Song: Am I The Same Girl
Artist: Dionne Bromfield, England
Notes: Promising retro soul-pop recorded when she was just 13 years old. Signed to Winehouse's boutique label, Lioness Records. Bromfield's new single has just been released in Britain as the first official song for the 2012 Summer Olympic Torch relay - it will rain.
Artist: Tom Baxter, England
Album: Skybound, 2008
Notes: Simple, singer-songwriter ballad with a lush orchestral arrangement from little-known English musician. Song was also featured on the soundtrack to the David Schwimmer-directed comedy flick, 'Run Fatboy Run'.
Song: Fields of Gold (live)
Artist: Eva Cassidy, Washington, DC
Album: Live At Blues Alley, 1996
Notes: Too good for prime time, the remarkable tenderness and sheer vocal bliss of the late vocalist with her live interpretation of the Sting classic. Died from cancer age 33 and only discovered by a wider audience after her passing. One of the best live cover version albums ever made, recorded at the tiny DC nightclub.
Song: This Is The Last Time
Artist: Keane, England
Album: Hopes and Fears, 2004
Notes: So many great undiscovered tracks on their super-fab debut CD. Prodigious group is currently working on its fifth album release in eight years.
Song: A Love Story
Artist: Thomas Dybdahl, Norway
Album: Songs, 2011
Notes: Channeling the great folk pioneer Nick Drake, this top-drawer ballad was originally on his 2004 album, 'One Day You'll Dance For Me New York City'. Now included on his debut US collection (drawn from past albums), and released on legendary producer, Larry Klein's new label, Strange Cargo.
Song: This Is Why We Fight
Artist: Decemberists, Portland, OR
Album: The King Is Dead, 2011
Notes: Got a few spins earlier in the year, from the group's sixth album, the pastoral 'The King Is Dead', which features Peter Buck from R.E.M. Lead singer, Colin Meloy also has an infrequent solo side career and has cut a couple of rather fun albums one called 'Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey' - and, in a similar covers vein, 'Colin Meloy Sings Sam Cooke'.
Song: Bring It On Home To Me
Artist: Sam Cooke, Clarksdale, MS
Album: The Best of Sam Cooke, 1962
Notes: Unrivalled legacy, the R&B legend influenced successive generations of soul greats, everyone from Al Green to Prince, Rod Stewart to Jakob Cooke's concert album 'Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963' is perhaps the best live long-player ever released.
Song: Bright As Yellow
Artist: Innocence Mission, Lancaster, PA
Album: Glow, 1995
Notes: Received a few modern rock radio plays back in 1995, but the band is horribly overlooked by the mainstream. Terrific wispy, ethereal vocal delivery by Karen Peris with her husband Don on guitar.
Song: Inside of Love
Artist: Nada Surf, New York
Album: Let Go, 2002
Notes: Exceptional lost corker from the tight alternative rock trio based in New York. Cars frontman, Ric Ocasek was instrumental in getting the band to major label attention in the mid '90s.
Song: Set Fire To The Rain
Artist: Adele, England
Album: 21, 2011
Notes: The most complete recording from her massive-selling sophomore set. The moment it's released as a single and becomes a hit, L&F will no longer play this remarkable track, our work will be done.
Song: And So It Goes (live)
Artist: Billy Joel, New York
Album: 12 Gardens Live, 2006
Notes: Definitive live version of his plaintive and superb ballad from his historic 12 sold-out show run at Madison Square Garden. Joel hasn't released a new studio set for nearly 20 years (aside from a classical work in 2001) - and recently scuttled the publication of his own autobiography which was due out this year.
Song: A Little Love
Artist: Meaghan Smith, Canada
Album: The Cricket's Quartet, 2008
Notes: Curious two-minute ditty from one of Canada's most overlooked songstresses. Highly inventive artiste, this recording features the Omnichord, a rather odd electronic creation which the Suzuki Musical Instrument Corporation designed in 1981.
Song: History Repeating
Artist: Propellerheads feat. Shirley Bassey, England/Wales
Notes: Too cool for its own good but such an authentic, old big-beat band feel featuring trademark guest vocals from Dame Shirley Bassey, the veteran Welsh singer perhaps best known for her James Bond theme work. Group was duo of Alex Gifford and Will White who performed together for about seven years.
Artist: Dan Fogelberg, Peoria, IL
Album: Wild Places, 1990
Notes: Top-drawer but overlooked ancestral-themed and autobiographical folk-pop diamond from the late tunesmith. So much great music from Fogelberg, such a shame he went somewhat out of vogue towards the end of his life.
Song: The Argument
Artist: Aidan Hawken, San Francisco
Album: Temporary Heart EP, 2011
Notes: Delicious sound, beautifully crafted, quiet new music from highly literate singer-songwriter based out of San Francisco. Sometime frontman for the city's Highwater Rising combo. More at www.aidanhawken.com.
Song: Trouble In The Fields
Artist: Nanci Griffith, Seguin, TX
Notes: A standout cut from one the best Americana folk albums of the '80s from one of the veteran leading lights of the Austin, Texas music scene. Nanci has now released 19 studio albums featuring dozens of lost gems over the past 30-plus years.
Artist: Massive Attack feat. Tracey Thorn, England
Album: Protection, 1994
Notes: Cool and haunting vibe, themed on healing and staying safe and protected - a wonderful collaboration between the trip-hop electronica pioneering group and Everything But The Girl's, Tracey Thorn.
Song: African and White
Artist: China Crisis, England
Notes: Shades of David Byrne and Talking Heads, the little-known (in the US) British group's first single from 1981. Band is still going strong some 30 years later led by Gary Daly and Eddie Lundon.
Song: You Were Never Mine
Artist: Delbert McClinton, Fort Worth, TX
Album: Definitive Collection, 2006
Notes: 'I never lost you, You were never mine' - too sad for words. Lovely country/blues inflected lost gem from the now 70-year old Texan tunesmith troubadour. If you like your Americana served up uncooked and raw with a blues twist the compilation album is a winner.
Song: Just Say The Word
Artist: Josh Kelley, Augusta, GA
Album: Just Say The Word, 2006
Notes: Effortless union of words and music, melody and script, but never a hit. Josh is the older brother of Charles who's the guitarist in Lady Antebellum - they previously formed a band together as teenagers growing up in the South called Inside Blue.
Artist: Talk Talk, England
Notes: A cacophony of sound, just an avalanche of synth-rock perfection with an extraordinary extended intro. EMI (currently owned by Citi Group bank) refuses to release the vinyl-only opus on which 'Such A Shame' can be found in digital form.
Song: Hold Onto Hope Love
Artist: Amy Stroup, Boston
Notes: An update of a song Amy originally released a couple of years ago. Check out the rather lovely accompanying video now streaming on Vevo/YouTube. Terrific songstress now based in Nashville.
Artist: Porcupine Tree, England
Album: Deadwing, 2005
Notes: Superb, laid-back piano-driven nugget from an English band better known as a progressive rock combo. Song only released as a single in Poland and Germany. Group led by ever youthful guitarist/singer Steven Wilson, been around since 1987.
Song: Good Things
Artist: Kathleen Edwards, Canada
Album: Back To Me, 2005
Notes: Just too good. Yet another relatively under-appreciated female singer-songwriter from Ottowa. New album and selected cities US tour coming up in September.