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  1. #1

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    In another thread a few of us had a common interest in Mark Knopfler. So, this thread where you can pick a favorite, perhaps one favorite per post.

    I'll start with Mark Knopfler who has continued to be a prolific songwriter. I was thinking Sailing To Philidelphia which is a great example. But, I'm going with Montelone because it is about a luthier that makes hollow body guitars. Check it out:


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    My favorite current songwriter is without a doubt Christopher Cross!

    I heard him play live in a small venue about 10 years ago and he had just released a new album called Red Room.

    Some of the most creative, beautiful, and unique songs I've ever heard - the kind of songs that you hear once and remember them forever.

  4. #3

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    Mark Knopfler is one of those rare artists who A) has never made a bad record and B) just keeps getting better and better. His last few albums are as good as anything he's ever done. I particularly like his duet albums with Emmylou Harris.

    Despite what I sometimes say about how bad music is nowadays compared to when we were younger, there are still a LOT of great artists. I like my songwriter's work to stand out like poetry--it should be as meaningful printed on a piece of paper as sung.

    I will throw out a few artists who fit that criterion:

    Brandi Carlisle
    Kacey Musgraves
    Lucinda Williams (personal fave)
    Tash Sultana
    Gillian Welch
    Sturgill Simpson
    Jeff Tweedy
    Kendrick Lamarr--yes he deserved the Pulitzer prize...

    And of course let's not forget Bob Dylan (78!), who has kind of moved away from recording his own songs lately, and the late Tom Petty, whom I have come to appreciate more and more as kind of the Raymond Carver of Rock N Roll--short but sweet.

  5. #4

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    Sting comes to mind. Dylan's early stuff (the only person to ever win a Nobel Prize for Literature for song lyrics). I guess McCartney is still writing. Bacharach/David. Brian Wilson. John/Taupin. I stopped listening to popular music a long time ago. It's like slogging through a sewer in search of a flower. And I'm old, and grumpy.

    Sting - Shape Of My Heart - YouTube

    And Paul Simon, of course...
    Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas - Graceland (Paul SImon and Friends DVD - 2007) - YouTube

    Donovan. If I had a band, I would want it to sound like this, but with a good singer...
    Young Girl Blues (Live) - YouTube
    Last edited by strumcat; 05-31-2019 at 06:47 PM.

  6. #5

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    Lucinda Williams is still near the top of my list after very long time.

  7. #6

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    Buddy Cannon co-wrote this one with Willie.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by strumcat
    Sting comes to mind.
    TED talk with Sting:

  9. #8

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    Fagen and Becker, another favorite. Fagen is still writing and producing music "in the new millennium" so he get's the current label in my mind.

    For a Jazz forum I pick - Parker's Band

    "Bring your horn along and you can add to the pure confection
    And if you can't fly you'll have to move in with the rhythm section"


    Be riding by bareback on your armadillo
    Be groovin' high or relaxin' at Camarillo

    ha ha

  10. #9

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    Like Fep, I'm a big Becker/Fagen fan. As for Fagen's solo work, here are two of my favorites (in markedly different moods)

  11. #10

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    Richard Thompson, who's only been writing great songs since his days with Fairport Convention in the late '60s, and continues to do so at present. One of his more popular (at least among his legions of fans) tunes, "1952 Vincent Black Lightning":

  12. #11

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    Tom Waits is another favorite, and I have a great apreciation for much of Canadian Bruce Cockburn's songwriting.

  13. #12

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    David Rawlings, Robert Pollard, Steven Malkmus, Will Olham, Gregory Porter, Liz Vice, Jeff Tweedy, Michael Kiwanuka, Kadhja Bonet, Thundercat, Corinne Bailey Rae, Lianne LaHavas, off the top of my head type list...

  14. #13

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  15. #14

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    Joni Mitchell

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Joni Mitchell

    Not current, but the heck with arbitrary rules. She is definitely in my top 5 favorites list. Surprising that she just gave up music many years back, with all that Talent

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Not current, but the heck with arbitrary rules. She is definitely in my top 5 favorites list. Surprising that she just gave up music many years back, with all that Talent
    She suffered a stroke a few years ago, a brain hemorrhage as I recall. Almost died, and I think is pretty much disabled at this time.

    Before that I believe she had moved toward painting away from music.

    But yes, great songwriter. I play her song River on fingerstyle guitar, and it's just a wonderful melody. Heck, all her songs are great.

  18. #17

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    In terms of reasonably current writers -- the guys from Los Lobos are still writing great songs. A few more: Norah Jones, Inara George, Shawn Colvin, Rick Holmstrom, Robbie Fulks.


  19. #18

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    Thinking of John Hiatt today. Yesterday I started a thread about Nathan East (bassist) recalling sessions for the BB King / Eric Clapton summit "Riding With The King." John Hiatt wrote the song and I included a YouTube clip in the thread. Since then several of John's songs have run through my head.

    A few are fairly popular (because of covers by other singers, mostly): Have A Little Faith In Me and Thing Called Love most notably.

    But here are a couple of my favorites, as Hiatt recorded them. The first is my favorite, "Tennessee Plates" (w Sonny Landreth on slide guitar).

    A bit of fun: "Since His Penis Came Between Us"

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Joni Mitchell
    Yes a superb songwriter ....

    she wrote "both sides now" when she was about 23
    by my reckoning ....

    some kinda genius

  21. #20

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    I guess it depends how we define "current". Knopfler's been a favorite of mine for over 40 years now. As someone said he hasn't made a bad album, but I don't think of him as part of the current crop.

    Surprised no one mentioned a Jason Isbell. He's by far the best song writer I've heard in decades. Anything of the album Southeastern is just gold.

    Jason Isbell - Cover Me Up (w/ Lyrics) - YouTube

    Jason Isbell - Elephant (w/ Lyrics) - YouTube

  22. #21

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    Also debatable how well this translates to current, but I will mention David Sylvian. I like Japan and his solo work up until the mid-90s or so. After that he loses me somewhat with his work with Derek Bailey etc. He is at his best making adventurous but accessible songs or ambient-ish music. I wish he would go back to the basics, although this is presumptuous of me.

    Also this, partially because of Mick Karn:

    Sylvian has chosen to work with very interesting sidemen, and that is a great mark in a songwriter IMO. Here with Robert Fripp and Michael Brook among others.

  23. #22

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    Alasdair Roberts writes amazing songs. Seems strange to call him a contemporary singer-songwriter as his songs sound as if they were written in the 18th century, not the 21st. But there you go:

  24. #23

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    Another contemporary favourite Bill Callahan

  25. #24

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    Dylan is, what, 79? Yet his new album speaks to me.
    A tribute to Jimmy Reed.

  26. #25

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    Hmm, loads of oldies come to mind. Three of my favourites who are young (it's all relative) and still at it would be Jeffrey Foucault, Willie Tea Taylor, and John Moreland.

    Quite sad really, because writing this and watching those videos reminds me of how much I love this style of music but I've sort of immersed myself into swing / gypsy jazz at the moment and I'm scared that if I relent I'll lose what tiny gains I've made...