#1
There are so many artists out there, but it takes some searching to find the real talent. Some friends in the LA area have said good things about Jonathan Clark’s upcoming album. I guess he does vocals and plays bass, guitar, piano and percussion on it--gotta love a multi-talented musician. It looks like he’s been a session player for years and years with some big names (Dwight Yoakam, Don Henley, Glen Frey and Joe Walsh from the Eagles) too. Maybe take a listen to his stuff (www.myspace.com/jonathanclarkmusic) and let me know of anyone similar to him. I love discovering new music.
#2
As far as modern singer-songwriter types -

Andrew Bird
Jesca Hoop
Fionn Regan
Ryan Adams, a bit more rock n roll than the others

There are more, but those are some of the finest recent singer-songwriters imo.
Number 9
Number 9
Number 9
Number 9
Number 9