b. Paul Kopasz, USA. Kopasz won a debating scholarship to Kentucky University in 1981. Following a fallow period dominated by an increasing reliance on drugs and crime, he issued his first songs on cassette in 1983. He has not stopped since - estimating his total output at over 1, 000 songs by the mid-90s. However, it was only in the late 80s that the singer-songwriter finally broke his heroin dependency, partially through his conversion to Christianity. Free from chemicals, his energies were profitably transferred to his muse, as he wrote an incredible five albums’ worth of material in a 14-month period. His work for labels including Homestead, Fiasco and MMG Records produced a succession of highly literate albums, many inspired by pulp fiction authors such as Jim Thompson. 1995’s Achilles Heel was the first Paul K. album to be recorded in a single session, again featured his backing band the Weathermen. The presence of these additional musicians was made financially viable through Kopasz’s publishing royalties (several artists including the Afghan Whigs have recorded covers of his songs). Achilles Heel featured familiar Kopasz subjects such as economic injustice (‘Add Up The Bills’) as well as a cover version of Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Tecumseh Valley’, an artist with whom he has often been compared.