Tracy Chapman
Whatever
Affordable Art
Norah Jones

Pop/Rock » Singer/Songwriter » Contemporary Singer/Songwriter

As the '70s came to a close, the first wave of singer/songwriters had dispersed into soft rock (James Taylor), more experimental avenues (Joni Mitchell), or straight-ahead mainstream pop (Carole King, Paul Simon) and rock (Jackson Browne). Apart from the occasional appearance of an artist who showed some influence from the classic singer/songwriter era, such as Joan Armatrading or Rickie Lee Jones, and a stream of "new" Dylans like Steve Forbert and Loudon Wainwright, there was no large audience for singer/songwriters. In the late '80s though, a new crop of singer/songwriters emerged that recalled the introspection and intimacy of the classic singer/songwriter era but added some modern pop production techniques. Heralded by the success of Suzanne Vega's 1988 hit "Luka," many female artists (Tracy Chapman, Michelle Shocked, Shawn Colvin, Edie Brickell, and the Indigo Girls to name a few) used a similar blend of folk, pop and solid songcraft to follow Vega to the charts. The style remained popular as many male artists such as Luka Bloom and Freedy Johnston found success using a similar formula. The high point of the style's popularity was the late '90s, as the huge success of Sarah McLachlan's singer/writer-oriented Lilith Fair showed. It remained a very viable sound into the mid-2000s.

Contemporary Singer/Songwriter Artists Highlights

Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman
Norah Jones
Norah Jones
Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad O'Connor
Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett
David Gray
David Gray
Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow

More Contemporary Singer/Songwriter Artists

Contemporary Singer/Songwriter Album Highlights

Whatever
Aimee Mann
Whatever
Affordable Art
Steve Goodman
Affordable Art
Track Record
Joan Armatrading
Track Record
Can You Fly
Freedy Johnston
Can You Fly
Living With Ghosts
Patty Griffin
Living With Ghosts
Collection
Tracy Chapman
Collection

More Contemporary Singer/Songwriter Albums

Contemporary Singer/Songwriter Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
My Father's Shoes Cliff Eberhardt
City of New Orleans Steve Goodman
You Never Even Call Me by My Name Steve Goodman
West Texas Waltz Butch Hancock
Sensitive New Age Guys Christine Lavin
Letter from Heaven Bill Morrissey
Driving Home Cheryl Wheeler
Rule Number One David Wilcox
How Will I Ever Be Simple Again Christine Collister
Flaming Red Patty Griffin

More Contemporary Singer/Songwriter Songs

Other Styles in Singer/Songwriter