Blu Sanders: Meditative, folk-inspired poetry set to music. Love's hangups, love's better moments. All catalogued in this guy's discography. For fans of Matt Nathanson and Toad the Wet Sprocket. http://www.blusanders.com
Marty Lloyd: There's a bit of country twang in Marty's vocal delivery, and a bit of a weathered troubador, but the music is pretty awesome. The songs are safe, and simple. Nothing too overwhelming just good roots-based Americana rock. The Bruce Springsteen fan in all of us will dig this CD. His song American Dream off his CD Marigold is a must have for your iPod.
Angie Aparo: An Atlanta songwriter who released a CD "The American" on a major label that was brilliant. One song from that CD "Cry" became one of Faith Hill's biggest hits. Angie Aparo knows how to write good songs. His live set is nothing short of stunning and is often hilarious and entertaining. An absolute and definite must listen just be prepared for a high pitch and tons of falsetto. http://www.angieaparo.com
Gabe Dixon Band: This is smoky barroom, piano-based jazz/blues rock. Dan Wilson, singer of the once great Semisonic produced this band's latest effort, Live from the World Cafe. Their major label debut never made a big splash but it should have. This is seriously good music and is awesome for chilling out and relaxing. http://www.gabedixonband.com
Rockwell Church: Not sure if these guys are still kicking it. A duo from the DC area, virtuoso musician Joti Rockwell and smooth, soulful vocalist Nathan Hubbard write breezy, bristling pop/rock gems that venture somewhere between John Mayer and the Lemonheads. Very good stuff. http://www.rockwellchurch.com
Ike: Former Caulfields singer John Faye's latest project is nothing short of astounding. Faye's vocals are on par with some of the better singer/songwriters out there. The confidence and sincerity in both his words and his crooning is always worth a listen. http://www.itkeepsevolving.com
Matthew Ryan: This guy has one of the most recognizable voices around. Jagged, crackling, smoke-induced grovel that is highlighted by caustic, witty lyrics and truly driving, rocking music. Sometimes sparse, other times blistering, Matthew Ryan should be on everyone's radar screen. His new band Strays Don't Sleep is getting some good press. Check them out. http://www.myspace.com/straysdontsleep
Peter Mayer: Not related to John, Peter is a simple folk-based singer/songwriter who has a pleasing voice and pleasing tunes. This isn't exactly stuff that will make you stop the car and rush to the nearest CD store, but his songs are worth hearing. http://www.petermayer.com
Jim Henry: One of the most talented instrumentalists I've ever known (and I don't even know him personally) Jim Henry has put out some great instrumental CD's, and also some great folk records. Honest, beautiful songs that bring back memories of the great 70's songwriters, Jim Henry will never make it big, and he's ok with that. I just think he's worth at least a few listens. He writes some really really moving songs. You'd have to be from another planet to not appreciate his songs. http://www.jimhenrymusic.com
Knee Deep Shag: This music is all out fun. They have a confident, charismatic frontman/vocalist and a total party, jam rock vibe that has me anxious to see them live. One of the better colege-rock/frat-rock sounding bands I've heard from in awhile. http://www.kneedeepshag.com
Rebeecca St. James: Christian artist, whose voice is worth listening to and her songs are worth playing loud in your car. It's hard to go wrong with her stuff, and it's worth checking out.
Brazil: This band qualifies as "scene" but does so in a Mars Volta-Coheed and Cambria kind of way. Blurring the lines between prog-rock and emo, Brazil writes some amazing songs that more people should be listening to. http://www.braziltheband.com
The Fingers: This is fun, good rock from San Francisco (I think) At some time it's ambient, artsy and vibey, othertimes it's downhome, ass-kicking and chill. A band I think could make a big impression if enough people get into them. http://www.thefingers.com
The National: A Tom Waits kinda sound with sandpapery vocals, not too far off that Matthew Ryan sound, but a little different. They've played some tours with some big bands, so I think that says something to their credit. http://www.myspace.com/thenational
Denison Witmer: One of the few signer/songwriters out there who stays true to who he is. This guy is a Jackson Browne clone who keeps the 70's singer/songwriter vibe going. You'll be hard pressed to find a song of his that doesn't move you. A definite add to your iPod playlist and someone to keep on your radar screen for years to come. http://www.denisonwitmer.com
Sunday Runners: Their song Elected is so good radio stations should be playing it. This band has everything there is to love in a rock band. http://www.sundrayrunnres.com
Braddigan: Former dude from Dispatch doing his own thing. This time the songs are more acoustic-based and folkier. These are rootsier songs that show a different side you never saw in Dispatch. Definitely good stuff. http://www.braddiganmusic.com
Peter Katz: A folksinger to the core that features very sparse songs, and wistful harmonies. He is however an An amazing lyricist with a decent voice and something worth storing away.
Blue Merle: Another band that breaks the laws of this blog. A major label band. However they arent nearly popular as they should be. Their lead singer sounds strangely similar to Chris Martin. They have the same kind of songs, a bit rootsier, they feature a violin and more stringed arrangements. But the songs have the same movement, and I personally like his voice better. They played Lollapalooza last year, and are from Charlottesville, VA. Great band. http://www.bluemerle.com