Song: Mr. Rock and Roll
Artist: Amy MacDonald, Scotland
Album: This Is The Life, 2007
Notes: The first single by the talented Scottish lass who wrote the percolating nugget when she was just 18. Amy hails from Bishopbrigg, a wee town in the Scottish highlands. A couple of sterling follow-up folk-pop/rock albums since her booming maiden CD.
Artist: Family of The Year, Los Angeles
Album: Loma Vista, 2012
Notes: One of the best indie-pop numbers of the year, in danger of being lost. Highly harmonic outing by Welsh brothers Joseph and Sebastian Keefe from their recently issued sophomore album which is bursting with smart hook-filled West Coast indie pop/rock.
Song: Forgotten Town
Artist: Christians, England
Album: The Christians, 1987
Notes: A sorely under-appreciated corker by a soulful British pop rock combo who were around from 1986 through the early '90s. Three brothers in the lineup, Garry, Russell and Roger Christian - though the distinctive lead singer was Henry Priestman.
Song: Back Then
Artist: Citizen Cope, Washington, DC
Album: One Lovely Day, 2012
Notes: Another treat from his ace new album which is his most laid-back outing to date. Real name is Clarence Greenwood, originally a DJ for the DC hip-hop combo, Basehead but went solo around 2000.
Song: I Was Only Joking
Artist: Rod Stewart, England
Album: Footloose & Fancy Free, 1977
Notes: A fab almost 'Layla'-ish guitar solo gracing this lost gem, recorded back in the days when he actually wrote his own songs rather than lazily plundering the great American Songbook. Originally released as a double A-side with the 'Hot Legs' hit.
Song: Nowhere To Run
Artist: Swimwear, Australia
Album: The Kissing Machine EP, 2012
Notes: A fresh dance pop curiosity from an intriguing EP released in February. Based in Sydney, Swimwear is the band name of one chap, Tim Derricourt. Extremely obscure but rather worthwhile: more on him at www.swimwear.bandcamp.com.
Song: Slow Down
Artist: Angela McLuskey, Scotland
Notes: Such an engaging, ethereal vocal delivery on this ballad accompanied by an upright show-hall piano. Angela frequently graces recordings by French combo, Telepopmusik and her own Wild Colonials band.
Song: I'll Be Your Man
Artist: Any Trouble, England
Album: Any Trouble, 1983
Notes: An insistent Modern Rock winner by Clive Gregson and his underrated Any Trouble combo from the early '80s. An L&F exclusive, this cracker can't be bought for love or money. Long since a solo performer, the revered British newspaper, 'The Independent' described Gregson as as fine a singer-songwriter as anyone has a right to expect. He does the lot. More at www.CliveGregson.com.
Song: Everlasting Kind
Artist: Poco, Los Angeles
Album: Under The Gun, 1980
Notes: Superb close-harmony jangler, pure country rock vocals from some 30+ years ago. Poco came up around the same time and in the same scene as the Eagles, but never quite hit the same heights.
Artist: Augustana, Greenville, IL
Album: Can't Love, Can't Hurt, 2008
Notes: A tad over two minutes, a lovely lost pearl from their sorely overlooked album. Currently celebrating ten years together, formed at Greenville College by lead singer, Dan Layus - they nearly split up in 2011 but found a way to carry on with a new lineup and are currently completing their fifth album.
Song: It Must Be Love
Artist: Madness, England
Album: Total Madness, 1997
Notes: Why is it that most US radio stations only play 'Our House'? - so much more to the wacky English troupe than that - including this crisp, clipped, cover version of an old 1971 Labi Siffre chestnut. Their 11th studio album, 'Oui Oui Sii Si Ja Ja Da Da' due any day.
Song: Got A Hold On Me
Artist: Christine McVie, England
Album: Christine McVie, 1984
Notes: Rarely played these days, but a delightful outing from the solo canon of the ex-Fleetwood Mac pianist/vocalist. She retired from the Mac in 1998 after 28 years in the seminal lineup, returning to live more quietly in her native country settling down in Kent, England.
Song: Please Don't Go
Artist: Barcelona, Seattle
Album: Absolutes, 2009
Notes: An exceptional ballad, haunting, uncluttered from a remarkable but underrated album. A tight trio of lead singer Brian Fennell, guitarist Chris Bristol and Rhett Stonelake on the skins: more at facebook.com/barcelona.
Song: Gimme All Your Lovin'
Artist: Long Winters, Seattle
Notes: Rather clever, a way stripped down treatment of the ZZ Top rock classic by the rather obscure Long Winters (song is a musical orphan from an excellent various artists collection of covers on Starbucks' record label). Performing name of John Roderick.
Song: Going Somewhere
Artist: Gareth Dunlop, N. Ireland
Album: Devil Mocks Me EP, 2011
Notes: Another winner from L&F preferred vendor, the blue-eyed soul tunesmith from Northern Ireland. He's opened for the likes of Jeff Beck, Nanci Griffith and Imelda May - and Snow Patrol have performed his song 'Firefly' in concert.
Artist: So Manys, Nashville
Notes: Their upcoming single and a promising slice of melodic pop-rock from the duo of Luke Brown and Chuck Butler. Just two albums to date they've only been together for a couple of years, but a sharp exuberant sound. More at www.thesonmanys.com.
Artist: Toni Braxton, Severn, MD
Album: Secrets, 1996
Notes: The sweet soul stirrings of Ms. Braxton with an absolute pearl of a ballad which somehow slipped through the cracks. An impeccable arrangement by (Eric Clapton's chum), Babyface - who also co-wrote this diamond with Toni.
Artist: Primal Scream, Scotland
Album: Screamadelica, 1991
Notes: Extraordinary musical stew with a perfect shuffling groove, strong bassline hooks, piano rolls, and loaded horns, gospel vocals, they really threw the kitchen sink at this one. The long-standing and uncompromising Scottish rockers were founded by lead singer Bobby Gillespie in 1982 (he was also briefly the drummer for the Jesus & Mary Chain in the early-'80s).
Song: Tomorrow Begins
Artist: Richard Walters, England
Album: Regret Less, 2012
Notes: Haunting, new music which shouldn't get lost, the art and craft of a British tunesmith described by influential UK rock magazine 'Mojo' a 'something extremely special'. More at www.richardwaltersmusic.co.uk.
Song: Next To Me
Artist: Em�li Sand�, Scotland
Album: Our Version of Events, 2011
Notes: A rare acoustic treatment of her own original. She was originally set on a career in medicine before thankfully committing to music instead. Already a successful songwriter for other British acts including Leona Lewis and (the overrated Cheryl Cole), but now flying under her own steam.
Song: Go Jetsetter
Artist: Postmarks, Pompano Beach, FL
Notes: Airy '60s-influenced guitar pop with a nice splash of horns lurking in the background. Combo hails from south Florida, been around for some eight years. More at www.thepostmarks.com.
Artist: Cure, England
Notes: The lost B-side on the old 45 vinyl release of their evergreen end-of-the-week hit, 'Friday I'm In Love'. if this flip-side was released today by a new alt-rock band they'd be hailed as the saviors of rock - but this was just a throwaway track by Robert Smith and the boys from 1992.
Song: We'll Meet Along The Way
Artist: Hem, New York
Album: Funnel Cloud, 2007
Notes: A tender two-minute treat from the eight-member alternative folk combo, led by the sweet vocal stylings of Sally Ellyson.
Song: Dirty Paws
Artist: of Monsters & Men, Iceland
Album: My Head Is An Animal, 2012
Notes: After two breakout alt-rock hits will the label release the best track from their rock solid debut album? Highly creative six-piece from Iceland who helpfully record entirely in English, fronted by a glorious lead singer, Nanna Hilmarsdottir.
Song: Bottom of the Sea
Artist: Matt Nathanson, Lexington, MA
Album: Modern Love, 2011
Notes: A sweet ditty about a serious eco-topic, the poor state of our oceanic world from top tunesmith Matt's most consistently strong album to date.
Song: Your Love
Artist: Fay Wolf, Los Angeles
Album: Your Love EP, 2012
Notes: A superb reimagining, a live cover of the Outfield's 1986 rock smash, unrecognizably reversioned by Ms. Wolf. A first-rate balladeer, but conversely also a bit of a stand-up comedienne in concert, great sense of humor - a sorely underrated singer-songwriter, pianist who is also a classically-trained actress.
Song: To Protect
Artist: MacKintosh Braun, Portland, OR
Album: Where We Are, 2010
Notes: Electro-pop corker from a grossly overlooked album by the synth pop-rock duo of Ian Mackintosh and Ben Braun.
Song: Chosen One
Artist: One Eskimo, England
Album: One Eskimo, 2010
Notes: One of several cuts from their sterling freshman album which slipped through the cracks. Formed in 2005 and best known for their infectious 'Kandi' hit , group, fronted by the cool vocal stylings of Kristian Leontiou, are polishing off their sophomore set, 'Faster Than Turtles'.
Song: Keep On Walking
Artist: Passenger, England
Album: All The Little Lights, 2012
Notes: Michael Rosenberg aka Passenger with another literate extract from his fabulous recent album. Recently opened on some US Autumn dates for another L&F preferred vendor, Ed Sheeran. More on Mike at www.passengermusic.com.
Artist: Jenny Owen Youngs, Montclair, NJ
Album: Not available
Notes: A clever stripped-down recasting of the 1980 AC/DC heavy metal classic by a superb composer in her own right, who has recorded three ace CDs since bowing in 2005.
Song: Too Happy
Artist: Tracey Thorn, England
Album: A Distant Shore, 1982
Notes: Too sad for words, a couple unable to communicate effectively through their ups and downs, trying to cope with a relationship heading south, turning molehills into mountains. A plaintive acoustic gem recorded at the very beginning of her career before she formed EBTG with Ben Watt.
Song: Do You Love Me
Artist: Amanda Jenssen, Sweden
Album: Killing My Darlings, 2008
Notes: Percolating pop/soul gem by Swedish chanteuse (sounding similar to Amy Winehouse). Just 24 years old, she frequently collaborates with songwriter/producer Peter Bjorn (from the Peter Bjorn and John indie-rock duo).
Artist: James Morrison, England
Album: Undiscovered, 2007
Notes: First class blue-eyed soul from English singer-songwriter James Catchpole - who chooses to use his middle name as a surname when performing. None of his superb 15 singles to date has yet cracked the Billboard Hot 100 - criminal.
Song: World Without End
Artist: A.A. Bondy, Birmingham, AL
Album: American Hearts, 2007
Notes: A quiet lost gem from a minimalist folk tunesmith originally from Alabama. Former lead singer and guitarist with Verbena, he's cut a solo path since 2007. More at www.aabondy.co.
Artist: Keith Harkin/Tom Waits, N. Ireland
Album: Keith Harkin, 2012
Notes: A reverential update by Belfast chappie, Keith Harkin of an old Tom Waits chestnut, seamlessly segued into the gruff but timeless original by Sir Tom from his seminal album of the same name.