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

The Mavericks,"Play The Hits" (Mono Mundo Recordings)- The easy on the ear country rockers celebrate their 30th anniversary as a band with the release of a collection of tuneful covers which pays a heartfelt tribute to some of the artists who've inspired them over the years. If hard edged social commentary is what floats your particular boat "Play The Hits" may not be the album for you, although Mavericks devotees should welcome this heaven sent opportunity to hear frontman Raul Malo emoting his way through timeless tear-jerkers such as Freddy Fender's "Before The Next Teardrop Falls" and Willie Nelson's "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain."

Christy Moore, "Magic Nights" (Sony Music)- Christy Moore has made a point of recording all his live gigs for many years now, and the Irish troubadour's producer Jimmy Higgins has selected 26 atmospheric performances from this invaluable archive to populate "Magic Nights." This absorbing 2 CD package provides an ideal introduction to Christy's distinctive brand of music-making, drawing on long term staples of the acoustic bard's live set such as "A Pair of Brown Eyes" and "Before The Deluge" alongside a batch of newly discovered gems led by Albert Niland's eminently singable "Sail On Jimmy" and the bittersweet imagery of Sean Mone's "Rosalita and Jack Campbell."

Steep Canyon Rangers, "North Carolina Songbook" (Yep Roc)- Steep Canyon Rangers have become a regular fixture at Merlefest, the North Carolina roots music festival over the years, and their latest appearance at the prestigious event found this eclectic bluegrass outfit paying homage to some of the state's musical icons via a quite extraordinary live set. It's now available in CD and LP form for the benefit of those poor unfortunates who weren't able to attend the show in person, showcasing their unique revamps of such diverse ditties as Ben E.King's "Stand By Me," James Taylor's "Sweet Baby James," and, most surprising of all, maverick jazz man Thelonious Monk's "Blue Monk." Splendid stuff.