Artist: Snow Patrol, N. Ireland
Album: Final Straw, 2003
Notes: Mystifyingly never made the Hot 100. Anthemic rock glory from group originally from N. Ireland but relocated to Glasgow, Scotland. For some reason UK 'X Factor' winner, Leona Lewis did a cover version at the behest of Simon Cowell - big mistake - the original is still the best.
Artist: Brian Protheroe, England
Album: Pinball, 1974
Notes: Lovely old folk-pop number by British singer-songwriter and notable actor who's been in a number few period dramas on the BBC over the years. Still going strong as a musician, he released a digital single last year, 'No Snow Blues'.
Song: Elevator Love Letter
Artist: Stars, Canada
Album: Hearts, 2003
Notes: Such a reliable outfit, just keep making one unusual but quality track after another. Combo is based around singer, Torquil Campbell (who's also a fine actor) and keyboard player, Chris Seligman.
Song: If I Had A Gun
Artist: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, England
Notes: Strong first solo flight from the dominant creative force behind Oasis. With his brother Liam working on his own Beady Eye solo work, and the pair still not talking, unlikely there'll be an Oasis reunion until the money runs out.
Artist: Graffiti 6, England
Album: Free EP, 2011
Notes: A new acoustic cover by the band of their already overlooked original electronica corker which L&F has played several times. London-based duo of clever chaps Jamie Scott and Tommy D.
Artist: Joshua Radin, Cleveland, OH
Album: We Were Here, 2006
Notes: Too good for his own good, the always reliable Radin with his lilting take on missing a lost love. He's had dozens of placements on tv shows and a few films, but that major hit still eludes him - more at www.joshuaradin.com.
Song: Let It Shine
Artist: Maureen Toth, Los Angeles
Album: Shine, 2011
Notes: Promising stuff with a neat repeated piano roll from a new artiste, a songstress originally from New Jersey now based on the west coast. More at www.maureentoth.com.
Song: This Will Be Our Year
Artist: Nerina Pallot, England
Album: Year of the Wolf, 2011
Notes: Simple, evocative ballad from a much under-appreciated singer-songwriter who was motivated to begin a career in music after hearing Kate Bush's beautiful song 'This Woman's Work'.
Song: Daylight Katy
Artist: Gordon Lightfoot, Canada
Album: Endless Wire, 1978
Notes: A lost pearl to celebrate the senseless turning back of the clocks from one of Canada's finest. If you ever get the chance to see the veteran tunesmith perform live, cancel everything and find a way.
Song: Lego House
Artist: Ed Sheeran, England
Album: Plus, 2011
Notes: Terrific rapid-fire vocal delivery from promising British folkish newcomer. At least four great tracks on his long player, a sterling freshman effort.
Song: On Her Way
Artist: Shelly Fraley, Nashville
Album: Not available (yet), 2011
Notes: Delightful, new breezy number from an artiste who's among the burgeoning non-country Nashville musical community. More at www.shellyfraley.com.
Artist: Serenades, Sweden
Album: Criminal Heaven, 2012
Notes: Lovely new electronica/pop/folk from Swedish duo Adam Olenius and Markus Kruneg�rd. Their debut album is already available in Sweden, not due to be released on these shores until March of next year.
Artist: Steely Dan, New York
Album: Gaucho, 1980
Notes: Allegedly written as a tribute to modern jazz great, Keith Jarrett, and featuring the absolute cream of session musicians from that era on both coasts. Polished, timeless magic from the now 60-somethings.
Artist: Adrianne, Los Angeles
Album: Burn Me Up, 2006
Notes: Such a rich, full-sounding vocal style, a blissful acoustic ballad just right for a Sunday. Adrianne Gonzalez's been making music since 1999 - also a member of the Rescues.
Song: That’s The Way It Is
Artist: Venice, Venice, CA
Album: Born and Raised, 1997
Notes: Sadly flying under the mainstream radar throughout their career, this album is their finest. They've been crafting beautiful West Coast melodic pop rock for decades (a la Eagles/Crosby Stills & Nash etc.)
Song: Here To There
Artist: Sonya Kitchell, Northampton, MA
Album: Storm, 2008
Notes: A fine much overlooked singer-songwriter another one of those musician's musicians - she's worked with the likes of Jamie Cullum, Ben Harper, Madeline Peyroux. Four underrated albums since 2004.
Song: It Must Be Love
Artist: Madness, England
Album: Total Madness, 2009
Notes: Why is it that most radio stations will only play 'Our House' when there are so many other strong cuts by the cheeky British combo from Camden Town in London. Spot-on cover version of an old 1971 Labi Siffre chestnut.
Song: Place To Hide
Artist: Lucie Silvas, England
Album: The Same Side, 2006
Notes: Sensational, simple, sincere, effortless - yet another terrific ballad from Silvas. Three magical albums since 2004.
Song: Stay At Home
Artist: Johnathan Rice, Alexandria, VA
Album: Trouble Is Real, 2005
Notes: Curious but winning number from his largely overlooked 2005 debut set. Scottish-American tunesmith now based in New York. Johnathan (yes, with two "h"s) did a nice acting turn portraying a young Roy Orbison in the Oscar winning Johnny Cash movie, 'Walk The Line'.
Song: Big Jet Plane
Artist: Angus & Julia Stone, Australia
Album: Down The Way, 2010
Notes: Look out for this fantastic quirky song to be used on a future commercial for Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner jumbo plane (just a thought). Restrained but rather engaging nugget from their number 1 album in their home country.
Song: Mrs. Cold
Artist: Kings of Convenience, Norway
Notes: Breezy, rather delicate indie folk-pop from Norway. Band is the inventive duo of Erlend Oye and Eirik Glambek Boe - who have a lovely, understated subtlety in their work.
Song: Stand By Me
Artist: John Lennon, England
Album: Rock 'n' Roll, 1975
Notes: Lennon's tightly clipped, rock-tinged treatment of the old Ben E. King soul classic, his last hit before taking a five-year hiatus way from the music business. Co-written by the great Jerry Leiber who passed away a few months ago.
Song: Nicest Thing
Artist: Kate Nash, England
Album: Made of Bricks, 2007
Notes: Haunting songcraft, pleading with the object of her affection to desire her more on this affecting ballad. Highly original songstress.
Song: Be Good Or Be Gone
Artist: Fionn Regan, Ireland
Album: The End of History, 2006
Notes: Plaintive, remarkable maturity belying his age, Fionn is from County Wicklow in Ireland, a real critics' darling though yet to have a major breakthrough.
Song: Impossibly Beautiful
Artist: Julie Feeney, Ireland
Album: Pages, 2009
Notes: Too good. Yet another under-appreciated Irish performer from her second self-produced album. Julie is a ridiculously talented composer, singer, educator, theatrical performer with a choral background. She also runs her own record label with the marvelous name, 'Mittens'.
Song: True Companion
Artist: Marc Cohn, Cleveland, OH
Album: Marc Cohn, 1991
Notes: The typically reflective final track from his self-titled debut album from some 20 years ago (which also included his signature hit, 'Walking In Memphis').
Song: Into The Mystic
Artist: Van Morrison, N. Ireland
Album: Moondance, 1970
Notes: The soothing genius of Mr. Morrison with a timeless chestnut from an epic album. Much used by surgeons while operating on patients (seriously). One of his most enduring recordings.
Artist: Sade, England
Album: Lover's Rock, 2000
Notes: Unmistakable vocal stylings of Sade Adu and her backing band with a delicate, tender and outstanding lost pearl from one of her finest CDs.
Song: The Walk
Artist: Mayer Hawthorne, Ann Arbor, MI
Album: How Do You Do, 2011
Notes: A fab authentic groove from the 32-year old performer's new Motown-flavored, old-school retro album. Big-time collector of vintage records, heavily influenced by the likes of Smokey Robinson and Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting/production team.
Song: Falling Star
Artist: Karla Bonoff, Santa Monica, CA
Album: Karla Bonoff, 1977
Notes: Too sad for words, an extremely depressing but beautiful lost diamond by one of the most consistent female singer-songwriters of the '70s and '80s.
Song: Driver’s Seat
Artist: Sniff 'n' The Tears, England
Album: Fickle Heart, 1979
Notes: Infectious roller which never gets tired. Unsurprisingly featured in a number of car commercials over the tears (even though, surprisingly, the song wasn't written about driving!)
Song: Something To Live For
Artist: Tawgs Salters & Sabelle Breer, Canada/New York
Album: Not available, 2007
Notes: Extraordinary ballad duet: Tawgs is a producer up in Canada, she's a musician based in New York. He's never released a solo album, most of his work is behind the scenes as a top producer.
Song: Wild Horses
Artist: Sundays, England
Album: Blind, 1992
Notes: Harriet Wheeler's crystal clear soprano makes this dreamy indie-pop cover of the Rolling Stones' classic so worthwhile. Never released as a single - should've been.
Song: Memory Motel
Artist: Rolling Stones, England
Album: Black and Blue, 1976
Notes: One of the very few Stones recordings to feature both Mick and Keith sharing the lead vocal - and what a song. Full seven-minute version, bloody superb.
Artist: Elbow, England
Album: The Seldom Seen Kid, 2008
Notes: Another slowly building lost corker from sterling rockers who are big in Europe, but not yet made it in the US. Lead singer Guy Garvey credits three music acts as major influences: Peter Gabriel, Radiohead and Talk Talk.
Song: Cheaper Than Free
Artist: Stevie Nicks & Dave Stewart, US/UK
Album: In Your Dreams, 2011
Notes: Great lyrics, simple sentiment, old fashioned chops by two musical veterans. The title of this duet was given to them by actress, Reese Witherspoon.
Song: Tell Me I’m Wrong
Artist: Justin Hines, Canada
Album: Days To Recall, 2011
Notes: Lovely string arrangement, this splendid single is currently getting a few spins. Justin has a rare disability, suffers from Larsen's Disease which confines him to a wheelchair - does tons of work for charity, and now getting well-deserved attention for his excellent songcraft.
Artist: Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, England
Notes: Bowie-esque sound, bizarre but evocative lyrics and a reggae-laced chorus intro, great collage from band who were flavor of the week across the pond during the mid-'70s, led by the irrepressible and outspoken Steve Harley.
Song: What I Wouldn’t Give
Artist: Holly Brook, Mazomanie, WI
Album: Like Blood Like Honey, 2006
Notes: Holly changed her performing name to Skylar Grey last year and reinvented herself big-time - not least co-writing Eminem's huge hit 'Love The Way You Lie' which nabbed her a Grammy nomination.