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

Fruup,"Made in Ireland-The Best of Fruup" (Esoteric / Cherry Red)-This newly re-mastered anthology brings together an appetising selection of tracks from the four musically ambitious albums that Belfast band Fruup recorded for Pye's prog-rock offshoot Dawn Records during the genre's creative heyday in the early seventies. Viewed with the considerable benefit of hindsight their consistently inventive output should certainly have brought Fruup much more in the way of solid commercial success than they were actually able to achieve during their sadly all too brief existence, and tracks such as "Sheba's Song," "Graveyard Epistle" and "Prince of Heaven" still repay closer investigation almost half a century after they were first captured for posterity.

Charley Crockett,"Welcome To Hard Times" (Son of Davy / Thirty Tigers)- A distant relative of the legendary Davy Crockett, Texan country troubadour Charley Crockett survived a major health scare early last year when the discovery of a congenital heart condition necessitated open-heart surgery from which he's now thankfully fully recovered. This life changing experience has obviously informed the lyrical content of "Welcome To Hard Times," which represents a conscious attempt on Charley's part to create a "dark gothic country record." This delightfully eclectic offering is the result,blending elements of Americana, pure Nashville balladry and the finest psychedelia to create a heady hybrid which finds its most compelling expressions in "Rainin' In My Heart" and "Welcome To Hard Times" itself.

Cormac O Caoimh,"Swim, Crawl, Walk, Run " (Self Released)- Skilfully crafted and inventive folk pop is the order of the day as Cormac O Caoimh unleashes his latest long-playing extravaganza on an unsuspecting world. "Swim, Crawl, Walk, Run" mines the same rich vein of subtly memorable melodicism which has carried the Cork troubadour through five exemplary albums to date, and newcomers to Cormac's refreshingly adult brand of music-making would be well advised to lend an ear to deftly constructed gems such as "Pocketful of Doodling," "When Did I Get So Cold?" and "Building My Ark."