Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week's CD releases.

Steve Goodman,"Jessie's Jig & Other Favourites / Words We Can Dance To" (Cherry Red)- The early seventies singer-songwriter boom may have spawned a whole host of superlative performers,but few were more affable or life-enhancing than the sadly short-lived Steve Goodman. The Chicago born tunesmith is best remembered these days for his classic train song," City of New Orleans" but this amiable character actually recorded a string of excellent albums for a variety of labels before his untimely death in 1984, when he finally succumbed to the leukaemia which had been first diagnosed when he embarked on his musical career many years earlier. It's a tribute to Steve's tenacity and will power that he was able to go about his business for so long and with such evident good humour and charm despite these debilitating health issues and his Asylum Records debut set ,"Jessie's Jig," is a particularly fine piece of work,showcasing his touching versions of timeless gems such as John Prine's "Blue Umbrella" and Mike Smith's richly evocative "Spoon River."

Dave Swarbrick & Simon Nicol,"When We Were Very Young" (Talking Elephant)- The excellent Talking Elephant label remains a rich source of archive material from the folk and acoustic roots genres, and their latest batch of CD re-issues includes this rewarding 2CD set from Fairport Convention stalwarts Swarbrick and Nicol. The contents were recorded at various venues on both sides of the Atlantic during the early eighties, including highly serviceable renditions of old Fairport favourites such as "Rosie" and "Sloth" and stylish covers of everything from The Eagles' "After The Thrill Is Gone" to "Carolan's Farewell," an exquisite piece penned by the man widely regarded as Ireland's national composer, the blind harper Turlough O'Carolan.

Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado,"Come On In" (Ruf Records)-Denmark's finest musical export in recent years, singer and guitarist Thorbjorn Risager is rightly acknowledged as one of the hardest working performers on the European blues-rock circuit, delivering his grittily memorable musings on the human condition in a deliciously lived-in voice which has frequently prompted favourable comparisons with luminaries such as Bob Seger, Ray Charles and Joe Cocker. Risager's latest collaboration with his finely honed backing band The Black Tornado maintains the exemplary musical standards which they've set during the past decade or so, with the haunting presence of several melancholy ditties dominated by acoustic guitar lending an added dimension to their already compelling sound.