Artist: Dan Fogelberg, Peoria, IL
Album: The Wild Places, 1990
Notes: Autobiographical, ancestral-themed lost pearl, top-tier slice of vintage singer-songwriting from his 11th album. Fogelberg was given his first guitar by his grandfather and this number references his Scottish mother and Swedish father. Gone too soon at just 56.
Artist: Emeli Sande, Scotland
Notes: L&F was the first show in the US to ever feature this superb new talent. Radio at large now playing catch-up with 'Next To Me' - but so many worthwhile, soulful cuts on her maiden album including this diamond. Emeli is in her early '20s and sports a shocking blonde punkish hairstyle. One of the best albums of the year to date.
Song: As Lovers Do
Artist: Any Trouble, England
Album: Wheels In Motion, 1981
Notes: Another winning new wavish lost gem from songwriter Clive Gregson's early career post-punk combo which he formed in Crewe in the north of England in the late '70s. They recorded five horribly overlooked albums before Clive went solo in 1985.
Song: State of Art
Artist: Friends Again, Scotland
Album: Trapped and Unwrapped, 1984
Notes: Jangly guitar pop-rock nugget, extremely rare can't be bought for love or money and never released digitally. Short-lived, plucky five-piece fronted by Chris Thomson and James Grant, based in Glasgow, only released one album but influential in pioneering similarly jangly modern pop-rock which emerged from the region.
Song: Reaching The Potential
Artist: A Silent Film, England
Album: Sand & Snow, 2012
Notes: Anything but silent, a new anthemic pop-rock corker by a seven-year old band from Oxford in the UK, favorably compared to Coldplay and Keane.
Song: I Don’t Worry
Artist: Bess Rogers, Brooklyn, NY
Album: Not available, 2012
Notes: Exuberant, indie-pop, folk-laced strummer by a spunky singer-songwriter who often tours and records with Ingrid Michaelson and another L&F favorite artiste, Rachel Platten. More at www.bessrogers.com.
Song: The Sheffield Song
Artist: Soul Family Sensation, England
Album: New Wave, 1991
Notes: So many clever moving parts to this creative lost corker, pop/soul/rock meld. SFS were a short-lived British alt-rock quartet comprising Johnny Male, Guy Batson, Jhelisa and Pete Z - they cut one glorious album.
Artist: Regina Spektor, Russia
Notes: Rather sad, a typically quirky but top-drawer ballad from her new album. Spektor spent the first nine years of her life in the Soviet Union - and learnt to play the piano on an upright given to her mum by her grandfather.
Song: Father and Friend
Artist: Alain Clark, Netherlands
Album: Live It Out, 2007
Notes: An affectionate and soulful song for Father's Day about the relationship between dad and son - recorded by Dutch singer-songwriter, and a duet with his actual father, Dane Clark. Big hit in his home country.
Artist: Kiki Dee, England
Album: Kiki Dee, 1977
Notes: Lost, uptempo pop pearl - the string arrangement is so unfashionable it's now fashionable. Real name is Pauline Matthews, she's from Yorkshire in the North of England, had a huge global smash with Elton John on 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart' in 1976.
Song: I Need
Artist: Maverick Sabre, Ireland
Album: Lonely Are The Brave, 2011
Notes: Such an original artist with a marvelous stew of sonic ideas, mixing R&B, folk, electronica, vintage blue-eyed soul and a hint of hip-hop. Anglo-Irish singer-songwriter Michael Stafford aka Maverick Sabre. Why did radio let this one get away?
Song: Broken Glass
Artist: Mayaeni, New York
Album: Cold Love EP, 2011
Notes: Earnest organic strains of a songstress who's the daughter of a Jewish father and a West African mother, but based in NY. Got a break when she teamed up with producer/songwriter Toby Gad (who's blessed with some of the best ears in the business).
Artist: Peter Sarstedt, India
Album: Peter Sarstedt, 1969
Notes: The hard-to-find the original 1969 recording by the Indian-born singer-songwriter, featured a couple of years ago in the Wes Anderson-directed movie, 'The Darjeeling Limited'. Lovely French chanson swing, replete with cheesy accordion rolls, it remains an intriguing oldie about a mythical ex-girlfriend, Marie Claire, who lives the high-life as a member of the jet-set - but who actually came from humble beginnings.
Song: Freezing Rain
Artist: Hurricane Bells, New York
Album: Tonight Is The Ghost, 2009
Notes: Splendid indie-Americana rock from the New York based Steve Schiltz, aka Hurricane Bells. Written, recorded, and mixed entirely on his own using only his MacBook. More of Steve's work at www.hurricanebells.com.
Song: Not Cause I Wanted To
Artist: Bonnie Raitt, Burbank, CA
Album: Slipstream, 2012
Notes: Clearly trying to emulate her signature ballad, 'I Can't Make You Love Me' - and coming damn close, the unmistakable tender soul of Miss Bonnie, the standout cut on her latest offering.
Song: Coming Home
Artist: Mt. Desolation, England
Album: Mt. Desolation, 2010
Notes: Lovely understated piano-led nugget with beautiful melodies and harmonies by an alt-country duo of British musicians, Jesse Quinn and Tim Rice-Oxley, who are better known as full-time members of? - Keane.
Artist: Keane, England
Album: Strangeland, 2012
Notes: Title cut from a strong album featuring the distinctive vocal style of Tom Chaplin. At least five A-list songs on their latest long-player which marks a return to the rich, highly melodic, simple structure of their early work.
Artist: S.O.S. Band, Atlanta
Album: On The Rise, 1983
Notes: Mighty slice of overlooked soul, written and produced by the best of the best in R&B circles, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, who also helmed hits for the likes of Janet Jackson, George Michael and even 'Human' by the Human League.
Song: Born To
Artist: Jesca Hoop, Los Angeles
Notes: Too good, one of the best percolating cuts of the year. Singer-songwriter guitarist Jesca managed to break away from a strict Mormon upbringing in Northern California, began her recording career in 2004 - Tom Waits and Peter Gabriel are big fans. More at www.jescahoop.com.
Song: Something In The Water
Artist: Foy Vance, N. Ireland
Album: Melrose EP, 2012
Notes: So restrained, understated and yet rewarding, a fine quiet number from his ace new EP. Belfast tunesmith influenced by the likes of Tom Waits and fellow Belfast native Van Morrison. Foy recently moved to Scotland to find new inspiration. Check our his blog at foyvanceofficial.tumblr.com.
Song: I Need Something
Artist: Newton Faulkner, England
Album: Built By Robots, 2007
Notes: A neat shuffler from the grossly overlooked British folk-rocker who's a bit of a rootsy chap, starting growing dreadlocks at the age of 15. In addition to his deft talent on the guitar he's also rather a dab hand on the sitar. New album due in July.
Artist: Christina Aguilera, Staten Island, NY
Album: Back To Basics, 2006
Notes: Perfect ballad for Father's Day, a sorrow-saturated tale about deep regret from a daughter to a father. Although a power pop ballad, it's a substantial cut above similar sounding fare: authentic lyrics, sweeping melodies, kissed with bittersweet tenderness - easily Aguilera's finest vocal performance.
Song: Annie You Save Me
Artist: Graffiti6, England
Album: Colours, 2010
Notes: Another emerging act first championed by L&F more than a year ago, now finally making waves with two other cuts from their excellent debut set - but this track is the best of the bunch: listen up Capitol Records and release this as a single.
Artist: Tyler Lyle, Atlanta
Notes: A relationship-ending Americana nugget from his sophomore album. Grew up in Carollton, GA and says" The soil here in Georgia is red rich with melody and song." A few self-released EPs and two albums thus far.
Song: Sweet About Me
Artist: Gabriella Cilmi, Australia
Album: Lessons To Be Learned, 2009
Notes: Completely overlooked self-deprecating nugget by Australian songstress, Gabriella Cilmi - a huge international hit, number 1 in her home country and the most-played song in Britain in 2009 - but not a whisper in the US.
Artist: Bill Withers, Slab Fork, WV
Notes: Simple, unmatched sincerity in his voice, the old school genius of the great Withers with a lost jewel, one of several superb gems buried on his very last album from 1985. So disgusted was Bill with the music industry machine he hasn't released anything in nearly 30 years. Check out a wonderful documentary on Mr. Withers called 'Still Bill'.
Song: Forbidden City
Artist: Electronic, England
Album: Raise The Pressure, 1996
Notes: How on earth was this not a hit?. Biting breakup lyrics, perfect slice of Modern Rock from one of the coolest ad-hoc bands, based around New Order's lead singer, Bernard Sumner and former Smiths guitarist, Johnny Marr.
Artist: Train feat. Ashley Monroe, San Francisco
Album: California 37, 2012
Notes: They've done it yet again, the band's new album is just stuffed with hook-filled pop rock delights including this melodic toe-tapper. Featuring a guest female vocal by Ashley Monroe, a top-drawer country singer-songwriter in her own right.
Song: Come Back Down
Artist: J. Viewz, Brooklyn, NY
Album: Rivers and Homes, 2011
Notes: Outstanding, rolling electronic/acoustic meld by. J Viewz, the project name of a chap named Jonathan Dagan who works out of New York as a one-man band/producer. More at www.jviewz.com.
Song: My Father
Artist: Nina Simone, Tryon, NC
Album: Baltimore, 1978
Notes: The Saddest Song of All Time - especially for Father's Day. Heart-wrenching vocals, superb piano playing by Nina, and a gorgeous strings arrangement . A timeless lost pearl buried on Nina's truly amazing lost album.
Song: Midnight In Chelsea
Artist: Jon Bon Jovi, Sayreville, NJ
Album: Destination Anywhere, 1997
Notes: Bizarrely overlooked nugget shuffler from the best businessman/performer in rock history. It was produced and co-written by ex-Eurythmic, Dave Stewart.
Song: O God
Artist: Jenny Owen Youngs, Montclair, NJ
Notes: A cleverly composed (non-religious) number by the frequently under-appreciated songstress from her horribly overlooked recent long-player. The New Jersey native formerly in a side-project band, The Robot Explosion with her friend Bess Rogers (see above).
Song: 14 Karat Gold (live)
Artist: Gordon Lightfoot, Canada
Album: All Alive, 2012
Notes: Still in fine voice after all these years after nearly dying a few years ago from an aneurysm. Recorded earlier this year in concert at the age of 73. Just part of his DNA to write and perform such simple, emotive material.
Artist: Yuna, Malaysia
Album: Yuna, 2012
Notes: Another top track from Malaysian songstress from her first English-language release. Yunalis Zarai is 25 began recording in her home country in 2008; has a wonderful talent for crafting smooth, engaging indie-pop, bit like Dido. More at www.yunamusic.com.