Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week's CD releases Michael McDermott,"What in the World..." (Pauper Sky Records)- Chicago born McDermott's poetic reflections on the parlous predicament of American politics and humanity in general always repay closer investigation, and "What in the World.." must rank as his most compelling offering to date. The Dylanesque title track points an accusing finger at the inhumanities perpetrated by the Trump regime via a tumbling flood of memorable lyrical images, contrasting beautifully with the much more low key charms of "Positively Central Park" and "New York,Texas," a subdued gem strongly reminiscent of "Nebraska" era Springsteen at his brilliant best.

WKW,"Men of Steel" (Self Released)- This rousing rock package unites the talents of Big Country founder member Bruce Watson and his guitar playing son Jamie, who join forces here with American multi-instrumentalist Thomas Kercheval in a glorious celebration of their rabble rousing musical roots. The spectre of Bruce's late lamented creative cohort Stuart Adamson looms over the proceedings throughout, and the trio tackle a couple of the great man's songs along the way in the shape of "Troubled Man" and "Nationwide," their heartfelt take on a song which Stuart penned during his stint with The Skids in 1977.Splendid stuff.

Robert Cray,"That's What I Heard" (Nozzle Records / Thirty Tigers)- Robert Cray's impeccable fusion of blues, soul and eloquent guitar work is underpinned here by guest performers such as Steve Perry and Ray Parker Jr. as he celebrates the music of Curtis Mayfield, Bobby "Blue" Bland and gospel quartet The Sensational Nightingales to name but a few. Cray describes his latest eclectic package as "funky,cool and bad," and the contents showcase several fine new self-penned songs, including "To Be With You," which the soulful singer-guitarist originally penned for his old friend, the late great Tony Joe White.