Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week's CD releases The Sallyangie,"Children of the Sun" (Talking Elephant)- This fascinating period piece first saw the light of day in 1969 and marked the recording debut of Mike Oldfield of "Tubular Bells" fame, who joined forces with his older sister Sally to deliver this winsome exercise in English folk-rock . The album was produced by Transatlantic founder Nathan Joseph, with flautist Ray Warleigh and percussion wizard Terry Cox both making telling contributions to an unashamedly poetic and uncommercial package which perfectly captures the innocent,questing spirit of acoustic music-making in those far off times.

Ashley Hutchings,"A Midwinter Miscellany" (Talking Elephant)- This enchanting seasonal offering was the brainchild of English folk luminary Ashley Hutchings, who joined forces with Becky Mills and his son Blair Dunlop to capture an evocative blend of poems,stories, songs and spoken word pieces drawn from impeccable sources such as George Eliot's "The Mill on the Floss." Ashley's exploits with the Albion Christmas Band have become a much loved feature of the folk scene during the Yuletide period but Covid 19 has put paid to his plans for 2020, leaving a gap in the Christmas market which "A Midwinter Miscellany" fills quite admirably.

The Texas Gentlemen,"Floor It!!!" (New West Records)- This five piece outfit cut their teeth as the studio backing band for country luminaries such as George Strait and Kris Kristofferson, but these consumate professionals are now firmly established as a major performing unit in their own right. The Texas Gentlemen may be loosely pigeonholed as practitioners of Americana, but frontmen Nik Lee and Daniel Creamer lead an eclectic line-up whose genre busting sound effortlessly fuses elements of funk,soul, country and gospel to create a life enhancing hybrid which has prompted favourable comparisons to such illustrious names as Little Feat, Booker T. & the M.G.'s and Bob Dylan's former sidekicks The Band.