Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week's CD releases Anna Elizabeth Laube,"Annamania" (Ahh...Pockets! Records)- This beguiling showcase for the creative talents of nomadic American songstress Anna Elizabeth Laube draws on material from the singer-songwriter's last four studio albums, fleshed out a little here with the inclusion of three new tracks, most notably a heartfelt cover of Tom Petty's "Time To Move On" recorded with John Turman of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Laube's intimate and eclectic brand of Americana has already helped her to accumulate over twenty million streams on Spotify as she mines a rich vein of understated melodicism via effortlessly memorable ditties such as "Oh My," "Sunny Days" and "Already There."

"Down Home Blues:Miami,Atlanta & The South Eastern States-Blues in the Alley" (Wienerworld)- The latest addition to Wienerworld's splendid series of blues anthologies is a lovingly assembled and beautifully packaged 3 CD set focussing attention on the work of 29 performers who helped to keep the genre alive in America's south eastern states.The legendary Ray Charles makes a brief appearance with a couple of early recordings from the archives but the vast majority of the tracks are supplied by artists who were probably never even household names within their own households, with the likes of Frank Edwards, Curley Weaver and Rudy Greene stepping up to the plate to deliver their message with power,passion and conviction.

Mary Chapin Carpenter,"The Dirt and the Stars" (Lambent Light/Thirty Tigers)- "The Dirt and the Stars" is Mary Chapin Carpenter's first collection of freshly minted new material since 2016's critically acclaimed "The Things That We Are Made Of," and a more impressive introduction to her thought-provoking brand of music-making would be difficult to imagine. The five time Grammy Award winning artist's latest batch of musings on the human condition were recorded live at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in Bath, giving them a warmth and immediacy which sets them apart from the work of many of Carpenter's contemporaries in the singer-songwriter field.