View Full Version : Hidden Gems. Recommendations please

22-09-08, 04:39 AM
Recently I've found it a bit of an effort to choose an album from my collection to listen to - too many evenings have been wasted with an early night when I should be pouring myself a generous single malt and settling down to some tunes. I'd love to hear some suggestions from fellow music lovers since the critics tend to regurgitate the same albums over and over, and there must be hundreds of classic albums that have fallen off the critical radar.

To give an idea of my tastes, I love Dylan, Van Morrison, Tom Waits, early Stones, a lot of Blues stuff, Doors, early Neil Young, The Band, Joni Mitchell, John Martyn, later period Richard Thompson, etc... Desert island discs would have to include Kind of Blue, Moondance, Exile on Main St and Rain Dogs. Recent stuff I've enjoyed includes Fleet Foxes, Ray LaMontagne, Felice Brothers & Ry Cooder's latest.
I have an aversion to prancing cock-rockers, dance, hip-hop or commercial pop, and to try and narrow things down a bit let's avoid Classical and Jazz.

So many albums out there, so little time (especially with an expanding family). So is anyone on my wavelength and can they recommend something that I may not necessarily stumble across myself? Nothing too esoteric please, and preferably fairly easy to obtain on CD format.


22-09-08, 05:17 AM
Steely Dan surely and Josh Rouse certainly

22-09-08, 05:18 AM

Dust down 'Hawks & Doves' by Neil Young, if you haven't already. One of the most unregarded of his LP's - I think it's great. Especially 'The Old Homestead'.

If you love Joni (and, lets face it, who doesn't) you might appreciate Judee Si (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judee_Sill)ll. Her first, self titled LP, is easily available from Amazon and is very good indeed.

edit: Judee Sill Live MP3's here (http://www.webnoir.com/bob/music/)

22-09-08, 05:26 AM
Cheers fellas, not heard the Neil / Joni albums or any Josh Rouse - will investigate.

Recently discovered Steely Dan after getting into (and loving) Fagen's The Nigthfly!

22-09-08, 05:31 AM
Why not try to get over some of your aversions? It's the way forward.

22-09-08, 05:39 AM
Why not try to get over some of your aversions? It's the way forward.

Thanks Doc, but I've tried most things and know what I like.

Feel free to recommend though..!

22-09-08, 05:39 AM
I'm on that wavelength too. The bands I've enjoyed most over the past few years which you may not have on your list I would suggest (pretty much in order):

Soft hearted scientists
Low (Secret name, Things we lost in the fire, The great destroyer)
Flotation toy warning
Neutral milk hotel
Andrew Bird
Jim White

22-09-08, 05:52 AM
may i suggest Fountains of wayne two albums both have bought a lot of joy here

Utopia parkway

welcome interstate managers



fow live


22-09-08, 06:02 AM
Thanks both, most of those names are new to me. Will check out the clips later since I can't access youtube at work.

Norman Green
22-09-08, 06:06 AM

If you love Joni (and, lets face it, who doesn't)

I doesn't.


22-09-08, 06:28 AM
Josh Rouse, Natalie Merchant, Elliott Smith and Sufjan Stevens ...

22-09-08, 06:29 AM
Neil Young at Massey hall if you don't have it.
Seasick Steve.
Richmond Fontaine (kinda M wardy)
Elliot Smith
Feist, (could be abit pop for you.)
Ffion Regan
Joe Purdy,
Fiona Apple, (youtube her)

22-09-08, 07:59 AM

Ever listened to Little Feat?

22-09-08, 08:09 AM
Blues influenced rock (Not Cock Rock ;-)).....Black Keys
Folk (y) Nick Drake (If not owned already).....Kings of Convenience, Scott Matthews (New album due)
Ray Lamontagne new album out soon....Yippee
I second Seasick Steve.....Dog House music ...havent heard his most recent one yet.
Ben Haper, personally I think his first album 'Welcome to the cruel world' is the best.

22-09-08, 08:12 AM

Ever listened to Little Feat?

Nope, but I suspect I may like them. Any particular albums?

22-09-08, 08:26 AM
Nope, but I suspect I may like them. Any particular albums?
'Feats Don't Fail me now', 'Dixie Chicken' and 'Sailin' Shoes' are all great. All cheap through Amazon resellers, too. Might be worth giving one of them a go. Sorta swampy, funky, bluesy, rock with great, often genuinely witty, lyrics. They have this kind of slinky vibe all their own (possibly due to the enormous amounts of drugs they consumed).

22-09-08, 09:09 AM
Kings of Leon (any), Lucinda Williams, Wilco.

22-09-08, 09:24 AM
Nope, but I suspect I may like them. Any particular albums?

Last record album for this track http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP74pylM8v4&feature=related

Norman Green
22-09-08, 10:01 AM
Re. Little Feat , It's 'Time loves a hero' and 'Down on the farm' for me. Over the years I've managed to obtain the Japanese and special Nautilus Superdisc pressings of 'Time loves a hero'. I'd put it on a list of all - time favourites; I love the cover art work too.


22-09-08, 10:20 AM
Good stuff! Just the kinda recommendations I'm after. Particularly like that Long Distance Love track - very soulful voice.

Lots more to check out, cheers everyone!

22-09-08, 10:26 AM
and Little Feat wrote my favourite rock line

'two degrees in be-bop, a Phd in swing, he's the master of rythm, he's the rock 'n roll king'

(Rock 'n roll doctor)

22-09-08, 05:05 PM
Try poco to You have Timothy B Smit in this band

The essential collection a nice album . On Rose of Cimarron one of the best tracks. (why oh why do they do this) it is spoilt by the engineers turning up the volume louder and louder and louder at the end . My only gripe.

Poco are an eagles type band which never really had the sort of commercial material the eagles had. There good but the Eagles had the edge. Worth a listen and are noteworthy

samples poco



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flj8LQi7uww&feature=related great song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWnBD6n9j74&feature=related classic poco

Simon Dawson
23-09-08, 02:25 AM
How about some Calexico - I have not heard all of their most recent, but "A Feast of Wire" is a good place to start.

23-09-08, 02:26 AM
Yes Poco.....Good feeling to Know album.

Ever try Timbuck 3? It`s got all the poignant lyrics with simple clever ballad rock`n roll style. Kind of sounds like a fourtrack mix a la Richard Thomson "Strict Tempo"

23-09-08, 02:29 AM
Should it not be .....The Eagles are a Poco type band:D

23-09-08, 04:24 AM
Cheers guys, clearly got some research to do - my musical horizons aren't as broad as I thought..! Only been able to have a quick look at some of the previous recommendations but will def be ordering some Little feat and Seasick Steve today.

James Evans
23-09-08, 04:49 AM
Got any of the below?

Jason Molina/Songs Ohia/Magnolia Electric Co (all jason projects)
Kate Walsh
Richard Hawley
Bon Iver
Bonnie Prince Billy
Damien Rice (actually very good)

May be worth sampling a few.


23-09-08, 05:00 AM
Will do James, thanks. Outta that little lot I have 'yankee hotel foxtrot' and 'the great destroyer', and have liked Richard Hawley from the couple of songs I've heard.

23-09-08, 05:09 AM
Try Hazmat Modine

23-09-08, 06:35 AM
another from me

try the cosmic rough riders to To close to see to far is an excellent album here is the first track play loud




Patrick Dixon
23-09-08, 07:27 AM
You should try Fairport Convention.

Many incarnations, so this is a good place to start



23-09-08, 11:15 PM
If you like Joni
This person has a even sweeter voice , and its a covers lp ,covers include leonard cohen,martin stephenson,reef,talking heads

For me its the best lp in the last five years
Carol laula to let


Also i would like to back up some other suggestions
Little feat feat dont fail me now
nick drake any
black keys particually rubber factory & thickfreakness

24-09-08, 12:33 AM
Thanks to those who've posted recent recommendations and links.

Woody - Carol Laula sounds interesting, will check her out. One female vocalist I'm into at the moment and would recommend is Cat Power (Jukebox, The Greatest), more smokey than sweet but with loads of soul. Already a fan of Nick Drake (of course!), and loved Black Keys' Thickfreakness, so pretty good recommendations!

Uncle Ants
24-09-08, 01:09 AM
Jimbob, Have you ever listened to any Gene Clark's stuff after he left the Byrds?

With The Gosdin Brothers (a bit Byrdsy), The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark (twangin Country Rock), White Light (I think it's officially just called "Gene Clark", acoustic introspection)) and No Other (the big production number).

All absolute classics of that late 60s early 70s West Coast Countryish Rock sound and well worth a spin

24-09-08, 01:37 AM
That may be a good call, thanks.

I have one track of his on a compilation (if memory serves), Because of You (may be a demo because it sounds very rough), and I've been meaning to track down his album(s)

24-09-08, 01:38 AM
All absolute classics of that late 60s early 70s West Coast Countryish Rock sound and well worth a spin

Not exactly hidden gems, but as you did not mention them: early seventies Grateful Dead (Workingman's Dead, American Beauty, Europe '72).

24-09-08, 01:46 AM
I would also recommend Little Feat. Other than most here I prefer their early allbums (Little Feat, Sailin' Shoes). Lowell George and his (slide) guitar playing was the driving force then. Later the became slicker, funkier and more keyboard driven. Not a bad thing, it is just that i like their early raw music much more. BTW i always felt that their first album was a huge influence on Exile on Main Steet.

24-09-08, 02:02 AM
I've delved into the Dead with varying degrees of success. More of a live (and mind altered) experience I reckon, and I'm afraid I was wasn't conceived till the mid-70s.

Regarding Little Feat, I have ordered Dixie Chicken with the intention of buying more, and I'm definitely with you on the 'raw' feel rather than slick production.

24-09-08, 02:39 AM
Iron and wine, Decemberists, Calexico, Kelley Stoltz, Wilco, Dungen, Ed Harcourt, the Kooks...
Some of them can be had at a couple of $ at jayandmarie on ePay...

24-09-08, 02:54 AM
Dixie Chicken is their third, and especially the title track is great. It is also the first album where the above mentioned tendencies (keyboard, slicker production etc.) slightly set in.

The Dead a live and mind altered experience :) ... True, but Workingman's Dead and American Beauty are completely different albums. Different from their live albums with long jams and their earlier psychedelic allbums (Anthem of the Sun, Aoxomoxoa). Accessible and song-oriented. As I came from the psychedelic, jamming Dead I did not like the then new Dead sound at first...

24-09-08, 02:57 AM
no one's recommended Government mule. In the mold of littlefeat.

Uncle Ants
24-09-08, 03:05 AM
I have one track of his on a compilation (if memory serves), Because of You (may be a demo because it sounds very rough), and I've been meaning to track down his album(s)

The version I know was on White Light, though I wouldn't have said it was particularly rough, so you may be right about a demo version. Its fairly representative of the style of thing on that album.

If you look on YouTube you will find that someone or several someones has uploaded a fair few tracks of his.

24-09-08, 03:22 AM
Fair points FranzD - I have (and like) American Beauty. Anthem of the Sun I couldn't really get into, but then I'm not really into psychedelic stuff.

UncleAnts - White Light now on my list thanks.

24-09-08, 05:16 AM
You might want to try some Spirit. Start with "The 12 dreams of Dr. sardonicus".

Also, try the Zombies "Oddysey & Oracle". Now that truly is a hidden gem.


24-09-08, 05:35 AM
You might want to try some Spirit. Start with "The 12 dreams of Dr. sardonicus".

Also, try the Zombies "Oddysey & Oracle". Now that truly is a hidden gem.

Seconded. Two of the best LP's by rock bands ever. Not sure they quite fit with the OP's criteria, though. I'd add 'Spirit of '76' as being as good as 'The 12 Dreams...'.

Re The Dead, my fave studio LP of theirs, and I seem to be in a minority of one on this, is 'Blues for Allah'. Full of crystalline and precise blues and jazz improvisations. Really good and mellow.

24-09-08, 05:40 AM
More modernly I can really recommend the latest Elbow CD 'Seldom Seen Kid'.

24-09-08, 05:55 AM
I often return to John Hiatt when in this kind of mood. There's a "Best of" if you're too short of time ;-)

Also second Jason Molina (Songs Ohia) All pretty good and lots on vinyl (Secretly Canadian)

Out of Leftfield and not in the sphere you ask for try Leftism by Leftfield, simply for its all round brilliance.

24-09-08, 06:06 AM
I have the Zombies singles a's and B's i can only play care of cell 49 and the obvious hits which amount to 3 songs why i cant personaly get my head round with it its this trying to sound sweet vocals blokes do..... Bit like listening to scritti politi and the korgies yuk
its my problem i like men to sound like men like john forgerty doing born on the buyou i guess.

Listen lads real man singing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8JPIlrDb3c

24-09-08, 06:56 AM
More interesting suggestions, thanks.

btw - Leftism already in my collection (used to enjoy a bit of ambient for certain 'moods')