Music you might have missed

Category: Music

I've been wanting to do this for awhile now. Everyone has in their music collection some real sonic gems that for whatever reason have remained relatively unknown. I've got several in my collection most people have never heard of and thought I'd share a few here. Hopefully others will let us in on some of their own little-known jewels as well. In no particular order...

Joanne Shenandoah--Matriarch
Overheard this gem in an audio store where a guy was auditioning some Wilson speakers. Joanne has taken Native American songs and polished them up for us. Fairly simple, straightforward and maybe a bit repetitive at times, but Joanne's lilting siren voice is wonderful. Check this one out.

Loreena McKennitt--The Book of Secrets
Ok, maybe this one is well known. But if you haven't heard it, you're missing out. In the same genus as Enya but is its own species (and probably better). Just discovered this one and have really enjoyed it.

Fred Benedetti and Peter Pupping--Here Comes the Sun
These two guitarists have put together all-guitar arrangements of popular songs from the 60's and 70's (Beatles, Cat Stevens, Simon & Garfunkel and more). They have a couple different CD's out. This just happens to be one. Great guitar work and well recorded. And the songs are played straight up; they don't try to mess with a good thing.

John Denver--The Wildlife Concert
We've all heard Denver before, but this dual CD is something special. I wasn't a fan of his at all until I heard it. The backup musicians are all top drawer and these renditions of almost all his hits surpass the original versions in every way. This is also available on DVD. I've got both and have really enjoyed them.

Crash Test Dummies--God Shuffled His Feet
Don't let the quirky name fool you. This is good stuff. The lyrics are bizarre but lead singer Brad Robert has a rich baritone voice that makes it all work. I turned my fifty-something-year-old mother into a convert.

Mecano--entre el cielo y el suello
Mecano hail from Spain, and they're virtually unheard of in America unless you happen to speak Spanish. If you don't, you'll miss out on some very unique and poetic lyrics. But the music alone might make it worth it for you. Hard to nail them down, but in general they're sort of a sophisticated Pop sound. Mecano is one of my all time favorite bands.

Soundtrack to The Power of One
If you like Hans Zimmer's The Lion King, you'll enjoy his earlier work here. The Lion King was good, but this is considerably better. It's African choir music with a western touch. Very nice.

Of course, music is a very individual thing, so your mileage may vary. I recommend you log on to a site like or and listen to snippets of these CDs before you lay down the long green. But I've enjoyed each of these quite a bit. Hopefully, some of you will find these right up your alley. I'd love to hear recommendations from others. Enjoy!
I forgot to mention The Phil Collins Big Band- “A Hot Night In Paris” Phil’s music played by his big band, style and sound. Loaded with brass and percussion.
At the Drive-In's 'Relationship of Command' is sort of like Rage Against the Machine's albums, except that it is good. Then there is Curve. Curve is a band that rules (icy female vocals with semi/experimental guitar and cool bass lines). Butch Vig riped off thier sound for his band Garbage, so it may sound it bit like that to someone, but I think there are some large differences, the biggest being talent. Curve's first three albums: Pubic Fruit, Doppelganger and Cuckoo are my three favorite albums. You should buy them.
Jeff - I agree with you on The Tragically Hip, except I usually recommend Fully, Completely as the CD that'll spur somebody to buy the whole collection.

Jeff Saphin - This

The only CD he's put out, it's a rock album that reminds me of Bowie in a lot of places - a bit spacey, lots of different sounds. Definitely more of a fun album than a work of art, but I find it very enjoyable.

Nevermore - Dreaming Neon Black

Hard Rock, probably some would consider it metal but I don't think of it that way. Very atmospheric, a pretty good recording for a rock CD. Closer to Tool than Metallica.

The Rainmakers - Skin

Actually, they remind me a lot of The Tragically Hip. Guitar and vocals, rock. A lot of fun live, they've never been big stateside but apparently are big in Europe. You can't get many of their CDs here without special ordering.

Several Titles - Mapleshade records

Mostly jazz and blues titles, with some small scale classical. Most are excellent recordings and very reasonably priced compared to most audiophile recordings - about $10 if you buy 4 or more. (No, I don't work for them - I just like their music and it's price!)

Galactic - Crazyhorse Mongoose

Sort of jazz funk, straight from New Orleans I believe. They have three studio albums out and just released a live album (which I haven't heard yet), but I like this one the best of the three.

The Meters - The Meters Anthology

You probably haven't missed this one, but on the chance you haven't listened to The Meters and their rhythmic New Orleans' style playing, this is a great anthology (2CD).

The Isley Brothers - It's Your Thing Anthology (3CD)

I'm sure the Isley's haven't slipped by anyone, but this is the best 3CD compilation of any group I've come across. There's little to no filler here, and you're content to listen straight through.
If you ever liked Emerson, Lake and Palmer you may just like Synergy aka Larry Fast. Starting in 1975 with "Electronic Realizations for a Rock Orchestra" he created a series of solo moog/syn albums. The CD's were resently re-engineered and remastered by Mr. Fast. Check out his web page
Sean,The Division Bell by Pink Floyd is a real sleeper! This album IMO is one of their best! It sounds very,very good also.I picked up a still sealed copy on eBay that is blue,transparent vinyl a while back for $ gets lots of spin time!