Song: Simple Things
Artist: Dirty Vegas, England
Album: Dirty Vegas, 2002
Notes: Better known as a house music trio which scored a hit with 'Days Go By' in 2001, this is a remarkably mainstream pop-rock bubbler. Band reunited in 2009 and recently released its third album.
Song: All In A Day
Artist: Open Sea, Brooklyn, NY
Album: Little Apple EP, 2010
Notes: Outstanding tender lost pearl from the beautifully matched vocals of Ari Heist and Rosi Golan. The Open Sea is Ari's side project to his already prodigious solo career.
Song: Love Sucks
Artist: Nathan Angelo, Atlanta, GA
Album: Through Playing Me, 2006
Notes: Singer-songwriter and ivory tinkler who claims to be influenced by Motown acts from the 1970s. Now trying to be heard above the noise in New York, he's just released his third long-player, 'Follow Your Heart'.
Song: Won’t You Come Again
Artist: Susie Suh, Los Angeles
Album: Susie Suh, 2005
Notes: Her music has been occasionally featured on 'One Tree Hill' but is otherwise much overlooked. Talented Korean American based in Los Angeles who's recorded two fine albums and an EP to date.
Artist: Sting, England
Album: Mercury Falling, 1996
Notes: Sting goes country with a shuffling divorce-themed ditty, sarcastic but ultimately touching. It somehow stalled at #94 on the Billboard Hot 100, though a revised version cut by country singer, Toby Keith - which also featured Sting - become a huge country hit the following year.
Song: Not Good Enough
Artist: Kari Kimmel, Nashville
Album: A Life In The Day, 2006
Notes: Straightforward melodic pop-rock, no nonsense harmonic quality. Her sturdy tunes have been featured in dozens of tv shows and movies including 'The Hills', the equally dreadful 'Laguna Beach' and the marvelous 'Wall-E' animated classic.
Artist: It's Immaterial, England
Notes: Quirky, curious but rather winning number from the short-lived Liverpulian combo. Part of the fertile Liverpool music scene of the '80s, the band prided itself on a real smorgasbord of musical genres, mixing new wave, folk, synth, pop even some blues - a fabulous lost nugget.
Song: Trying Not To Lose
Artist: Lucie Silvas, England
Album: The Same Side, 2006
Notes: A L&F regular, a top singer-songwriter almost universally ignored in the US. London born but frequently records in LA, NY and Nashville. Just completed her third long-player which should drop any day now.
Song: Father and Friend
Artist: Alain Clark, Netherlands
Album: Live It Out, 2007
Notes: Rather affectionate and soulful song about the relationship between father and son - recorded by Dutch singer-songwriter, a duet with his actual dad, Dane Clark. Big hit in his home country but it remains a musical secret around the rest of the world.
Song: Close To Me
Artist: Cure, England
Album: The Head On The Door, 1985
Notes: Huge hit in Ireland and Australia but only peaked at #97 in the US. Why? Earlier this year the Cure played their first three albums, in order and in their entirety, at a couple of shows in Sydney, Australia - a mighty musical event they dubbed 'Reflections'.
Artist: Clifford T. Ward, England
Notes: A soothing sapphire from the 1970s from Ward's sophomore album. Superb tunesmith and pianist who was also a drama and English teacher at a British high school. Recorded more than 10 fine albums before being diagnosed with MS in 1994 - he passed away too young at the age of 57 in 2001.
Song: In My Head
Artist: Until June, Hollywood, CA
Album: Sound of Defeat EP, 2009
Notes: Outstanding lost gem from the LA-based alt-rock trio led by Pianist singer-songwriter, Josh Ballard. They've had a number 1 hit in Greece, but otherwise fly sadly under the mainstream radar.
Song: She Saw The World
Artist: Blue Nile, Scotland
Album: High, 2004
Notes: Largely unheralded by anyone who hasn't heard them and adored by those who have. Firmly fronted by their mainman Paul Buchanan, one of the most talented and enigmatic characters in rock music - much in demand by other A-list musicians including Joni Mitchell and Shirley Manson.
Artist: Johanna, Iceland
Album: Not available, demo, 2003
Notes: Extremely rare but engaging ballad performed by the then 11-year old Johanna, one of the best vocalists to emerge from Iceland in recent memory. She's now 20 years old, released just one album to date with the fun title, 'Butterflies and Elvis'.
Song: I Try
Artist: Ben Taylor, Martha's Vineyard, MA
Album: Deeper Than Gravity EP, 2006
Notes: A terrific cover of the Macy Gray smash. Ben's eked out a sterling solo career in spite of the huge shadow cast by his family lineage (son of James Taylor and Carly Simon), released three fine albums and a bunch of EPs since 2003.
Artist: Boz Scaggs, Canton, OH
Album: Fade Into Light, 1996
Notes: Just sensational, an entirely overlooked lost nugget by veteran musician who is now 67. For many years way back in the '60s and '70s Scaggs used to be in Steve Miller's band.
Song: Voices In My Head
Artist: Naked Eyes, England
Album: Burning Bridges, 1983
Notes: Delicious synth-pop confection by duo of Pete Byrne and Rob Fisher from the lovely ancient city of Bath, better known for their radio staples, 'Always Something There To Remind Me' and 'Promises Promises'.
Song: Raggedy Ann
Artist: Mindy Smith, Long Island, NY
Album: One Moment More, 2004
Notes: Too good for prime time, gorgeous fragile vocal style with a sad self-penned tale. Mindy first arrived on the music scene when she contributed a definitive cover version of Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' to a tribute album to the country legend - who then helped nurture Mindy's career.
Song: No Chance
Artist: Moon Martin, Oklahoma
Album: Escape From Domination, 1979
Notes: Channeling one of his idols, Buddy Holly, to note perfect effect. Started his career as a rockabilly artist then forged a rather cool niche in the late '70s and '80s as a melodic pop-rocker. Also wrote a big hit for Robert Palmer called 'Bad Case of Loving You'.
Song: Good Thing
Artist: Woodentops, England
Album: Giant, 1986
Notes: Top-drawer folk-rock number from the mid-'80s by thoroughly experimental British combo. Group is still around, fronted by Rolo McGinty - check out their website, www.woodentopsmusic.com.
Song: When The Time Is Right
Artist: Griffin House, Springfield, OH
Album: Flying Upside Down, 2007
Notes: Understated but terrific overlooked number from A+ singer-songwriter who almost became a professional golfer. Also check out well-titled 2004 album, 'Lost and Found'!
Song: Under The Milky Way
Artist: Church, Australia
Album: Starfish, 1988
Notes: A one-hit wonder (and a big one) in the US but a very popular band throughout the '80s in their native Australia. One of the most prolific bands ever from down under, they've released 22 studio albums and nine EPs over 30 years.
Song: How Good We Had It
Artist: Hayley Taylor, Los Angeles
Notes: An emerging singer-songwriter from Michigan now based in the city of Angels. You can often find Haley playing at the venerable Hotel Cafe club in Hollywood (which boosted the careers of other top female songstresses including Sara Bareilles, Meiko, Ingrid Michaelson and Laura Jansen - all L&F preferred vendors).
Artist: Aztec Camera, Scotland
Album: High Land Hard Rain, 1980
Notes: Emerged in the early '80s as perhaps the best of the Scottish new waves bands bursting out of Glasgow. Based around lead singer/guitarist, Roddy Frame, 'Oblivious' was their very first recording from 1980.
Song: Slice of Heaven
Artist: Magnet, Norway
Album: The Simple Life, 2007
Notes: Magnet is the pseudonym used by the ingenious and ever-creative songsmith, Even Johansen - virtually unknown outside Scandinavia. Cut so many worthwhile songs over four albums, including this one.
Artist: Louis Armstrong, New Orleans
Notes: Perhaps the single most important figure in popular music history of the 20th century, one of the vital building blocks of everything that happened to create rock 'n' roll. Ballad theme to the 1969 007 classic movie.
Song: Louis Louis
Artist: Teitur, Faroe Islands
Album: Stay Under The Stars, 2007
Notes: 'Louis Louis, play us a song' - so bloody good, a fabulous tribute to Satchmo from singer-songwriter Teitur Lassen - who just goes by the single name, Teitur - from the Faroe Islands in the Norwegian Sea, but now based in Denmark.
Song: Blanket On The Ground
Artist: Billie Joe Spears, Beaumont, TX
Album: Blanket On The Ground, 1975
Notes: Deeply unfashionable but outstanding trad-Country bubbler from the Queen Mother of the genre. She still performs very occasionally despite a major heart operation in 1993.
Song: Mother Mary
Artist: Foxboro Hot Tubs, East Bay, CA
Album: Stop Drop and Roll!!!, 2008
Notes: Sounding awfully like Green Day - because it is Green Day but under their side project name. Unable to keep their anonymity a secret when they recorded as FHT, lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong issued a statement saying, "The only similarity between Foxboro Hot Tubs and Green Day is that we are the same band".
Song: Lost Soul
Artist: Bruce Hornsby and Shawn Colvin, Williamsburg, VA
Album: Night On The Town, 1990
Notes: "You show me love but maybe I don't deserve it, I've been called - but not been found' - too sad for words. Delivered with trademark perfection by two of the best performers around at the top of their game - with such a depressing melody to boot.
Song: Going Away
Artist: Meg & Dia, Draper, UT
Album: Here, Here and Here, 2009
Notes: Brilliant, bright pop rock from sisters Meg and Dia Frampton (no relation to Peter) with a self-empowering nugget. Their father was a South Korean DJ from whom they developed an early love of music. Currently unsigned.
Song: New Amsterdam
Artist: Elvis Costello, England
Album: Get Happy, 1980
Notes: Two minutes of the genius of Declan McManus and his Attractions from way back when. Costello is one of the smartest wordsmiths in rock history - so damn good at weaving nimble lyrics and double-entendres.
Song: Come Back When You Can
Artist: Barcelona, Seattle, WA
Album: Absolutes, 2009
Notes: Sensational track by a band completely overlooked by all and sundry. They're a piano-based trio in the Coldplay/Death Cab For Cutie mold, based in Seattle - once again dropped by a major label during the recession - obviously too good.
Artist: Van Morrison, Northern Ireland
Album: Enlightenment, 1990
Notes: Utterly original, blue-eyed soul of the first order, a nostalgic teenage tale about the joys of listening to the radio and hearing music by the great rhythm and blues architects of rock & roll in the 1950s. Full eight-minute version.
Artist: Brooke Waggoner, Nashville
Album: Fresh Pair of Eyes, 2007
Notes: Quirky, light, breezy lost gem. Brooke's originally from New Orleans but now based in Nashville, one of dozens of bright new talents remaking the soundscape of Music City beyond its country music roots.
Song: Stop The Sun
Artist: Ross Copperman, Roanoke, VA
Album: Not available, 2011
Notes: This great song should be on his next album. Fast becoming an L&F preferred vendor. Started tinkling the ivories at the tender age of three, currently finishing his third long-player.
Artist: Bruce Springsteen, Long Branch, NJ
Album: Tunnel of Love, 1987
Notes: A little-played sapphire from his mighty 'Tunnel of Love' opus (his best album to date?). The tracks on that album are the least played by Springsteen from any of his long-players when he performs live.
Song: Imagine Love
Artist: Lori Carson, Cleveland, OH
Album: Shelter, 1990
Notes: Phenomenal lost ballad by sometime lead singer of the Golden Palominos - but when featured guest vocalist Greg Allman arrives, all bets are off. A song which goes from good to great with his blissful intervention.