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

Bernard Allison,"Songs From The Road" (Ruf Records)- The latest addition to Ruf Records' excellent series of audio-visual packages focusses attention on a typically soulful show from Chicago bluesman Bernard Allison. The highly impressive contents were captured for posterity at Dortmund's Musiktheater Piano Club in October 2019, where the son of the late great Luther Allison was operating in his natural element as he regaled his receptive German audience with freshly minted new arrangements of some choice extracts from his illustrious back catalogue, including crowd pleasers such as "Call Me Momma," "Something's Wrong" and "Feels Kinda Funny."

Beans On Toast,"The Inevitable Train Wreck" (Bot Music)-For the past decade this admirably warm and open-hearted performer has maintained the tradition of releasing a new album each year on his birthday, and this year is thankfully no exception to the rule. Maverick singer-songwriter Jay McAllister continues to muse on contemporary politics and the vagaries of the human condition via his alter ego of Beans on Toast, drawing inspiration from such unlikely bedfellows as Chuck Berry and Greta Thunberg as he serves up affecting ditties such as "On & On," "World Gone Crazy" and "England I Love You" for your listening pleasure.

Pet Shop Boys,"Hotspot" (x2 Records)-It would be totally unrealistic to expect Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe to spring any major surprises on their devoted listeners at this advance stage of their career, but the pop veterans can always be relied upon to deliver the goods in no uncertain fashion whenever they venture into the recording studio."Hotspot" completes the duo's trilogy of Stuart Price produced albums, partially recorded in Berlin and referencing the unique ambiance of the German capital via the excellent "Will-O-The-Wisp" and "You Are The One," with guitarist Bernard Butler of Suede fame guesting on another of the stand-out tracks, "Burning The Heather."