Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week's CD releases Sunbirds, "Cool To Be Kind" (Nectar Records)-Beautiful South founder member Dave Hemingway has kept a pretty low public profile since turning his back on live performance in 2016 but he's been far from idle during the past few years, and "Cool To Be Kind" marks the recording debut of his fine new band Sunbirds. Dave and his creative collaborator Phil Barton have assembled a memorable collection of songs rooted in the everyday English experience whose lyrical content reflects their firmly held belief that " you're going to feel a bit daft singing about pick-up trucks and low down honky-tonks when you live in Yorkshire." "Gene Kelly," "Longcuts" and Hemingway's heartfelt homage to his Hull roots,"Meet You On The Northside" capture the essence of Sunbirds' refreshingly honest and uncomplicated approach to music-making.

Carla Thomas,"Let Me Be Good To You" (Cherry Red)- This splendid 4 CD box set from the good people at Cherry Red focusses attention on the hugely impressive body of work that Carla Thomas assembled for the Atlantic and Stax labels during her musical heyday in the sixties. She have faded rather alarmingly from the limelight since those distant glory days but "Let Me Be Good To You" captures Carla at the peak of her performing powers as the " Queen of Memphis Soul " serves up a string of compelling solo offerings and duets with the late great Otis Redding and her ebullient father Rufus Thomas of "Walking The Dog" fame.

"Evangeline Gentle" (Sonic Unyon Records)-The vast majority of the gifted young singer-songwriters that I come across these days seem to hail from the other side of the Atlantic, but Evangeline Gentle represents a welcome,albeit partial, exception to the rule. This sweetly expressive performer was born in Peterhead on the Northeast coast of Scotland but relocated to Canada as a child ,where her creative musings finally found a receptive audience after years of uncertainty and self doubt.Evangeline's eagerly anticipated debut set was three years in the making as she joined forces with producer Jim Bryson to assemble a roots music package of rare depth,subtlety and charm. "Sundays," "Neither of Us" and "Good and Guided" are the best of an excellent bunch.