Speaking of new talent, I'm excited for two of my good friend: Amy Molewski and Jesse Brickel. They're both incredibly talented musicians and songwriters, and they're both (I hope) on the road to success.
I was lucky enough to meet Amy when she first started seriously working toward becoming a singer/songwriter, so I've gotten to see her grow as an artist. She's a real poet, but her melodies are singable and accessible in a way that I think many singer/songwriters struggle with. Be sure to check out her YouTube page or Myspace. I highly recommend "Half the Time" - which has my hands-down favorite lyric ever ("I throw mental flower petals ahead of you on the block"). She's pretty fantastic.
Then, there's Jesse and Young Yeller. He's got a great sensibility that - in my opinion - has just enough mid-90s influence to be AWESOME. It's plain fun, but still smart. When I listen to his stuff, it's more than a little difficult to keep myself from dancing in place (which is probably something that the people around me find a little scary... so I should probably get more control over myself).