Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week's CD releases Simply Red,"Blue Eyed Soul" (BMG)-Mick Hucknall and company have returned to the recording studio after a four year hiatus with their leader's creative energy renewed, fuelled by a determination to ensure that Simply Red's twelfth album makes much more of an instant impact than some of its immediate predecessors. The emotionally charged contents of what is essentially a Hucknall solo set were apparently influenced by soul luminaries such as Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes and Tower of Power, recorded as live with minimal overdubs and blessed with some fine additions to the Simply Red canon such as "Thinking Of You" and "Shine On."

The Hairy Bikers Road Trip" (Universal Music on Demand)- The powers that be at Universal Music have rounded up many of the usual suspects to populate their latest foray into the rock anthology market, drawing on classic contributions from the likes of Blue Oyster Cult, Free, Motorhead and The Allman Brothers to name but a few. Television chefs Si King and David Myers of Hairy Bikers fame have given their blessing to the finished product, and this radio friendly 3 CD set should find a receptive audience amongst rock enthusiasts everywhere.

The Local Honeys,"Sing The Gospel" (June Appal Records)-Kentucky duo Montana Hobbs and Linda Jean Stokley were the first women to graduate from their homestate university's degree programme in traditional "Hillbilly" music, and they've been delighting audiences and critics alike with their beguiling brand of bluegrass ever since. The duo's admirable determination to keep the traditional culture of the southern Appalachians alive informs this infectious celebration of the delights of old-time Gospel music as they deliver life enhancing ditties such as "I'm Going Home On The Morning Train" and "Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven" for your listening pleasure.