Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week's CD releases Strawbs,"Heartbreak Hill" (Esoteric / Cherry Red)- This welcome CD re-issue serves up a newly remastered and expanded version of the great "lost" Strawbs album,"Heartbreak Hill." The inimitable Dave Cousins and his gifted cohorts captured the contents for posterity at Ringo Starr's Startling Studios in 1978, but various management difficulties meant that the original master tapes didn't find their way onto record until 2006. This stylish prog rock offering now boasts four bonus tracks in the shape of a couple of Cousins home demos from the late seventies and live recordings of "Heartbreak Hill" and "Starting Over" culled from the Strawbs' 40th anniversary celebrations in September 2009.

Mike Zito,"Quarantine Blues" (Gulf Coast Records)-When Royal Southern Brotherhood co-founder Mike Zito found his recent European tour cancelled because of the Covid 19 pandemic the highly regarded bluesman hit upon the bright idea of utilising his unexpected free time by writing ,recording, mixing and mastering an album during his 14 days in quarantine. His regular band recorded their individual contributions from the comfort of their own homes and the finished product is now available as "Quarantine Blues." This hastily assembled collection is a visceral and life-enhancing affair , showcasing energised gems such as "Don't Let The World Get You Down," "Dust Up" and "After The Storm."

The Magpies,"Tidings" (Self Released)- Yorkshire folk quartet The Magpies have made quite an impact on the British roots music scene since their formation a year or so ago, and the four ladies now feel that the time is right for them to unveil their eagerly anticipated debut album. The CD's compelling subject matter draws on homegrown traditional ballads and some choice examples of the finest Americana, with Gillian Welch's "Rock of Ages" sitting snugly alongside some sprightly instrumental pieces and the haunting narratives of "The Two Magicians" and "Run River Run," with eloquent fiddler Holly Brandon in particularly fine fettle throughout.