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

Iain Matthews & The Salmon Smokers,”Fake Tan” (Talking Elephant)-Lincolnshire born Iain Matthews is probably best remembered these days for his musical exploits during the late sixties and early seventies with outfits such as Fairport Convention and Matthews Southern Comfort, the latter collaboration yielding a major singles success in the shape of their chart-topping 1970 interpretation of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock.” Iain has slipped from the public eye in the interim but he remains a vocalist of rare taste and charm, and this new recording with Norwegian quartet The Salmon Smokers reimagines some timeless gems from the great man’s back catalogue, including “If You Saw Thro’ My Eyes,” Richard Farina’s “Reno,Nevada” and a soulful new version of the aforementioned “Woodstock.”

Dando Shaft,”Shadows Across The Moon” (Talking Elephant)- Dando Shaft were one of the most interesting and inventive outfits to emerge from the sixties folk boom, but this eclectic Coventry band were sadly never able to translate the critical acclaim that they received for their all too meagre vinyl output into solid record sales, and they finally gave up the ghost in the early seventies. They were tempted to reform briefly in order to play a few Italian dates two decades later however, minus vocalist Polly Bolton but with the presence of dazzling guest fiddler Chris Leslie, and this excellent Talking Elephant CD captures their sole performance there in 1989, where Dando Shaft regaled their audience in Bergamo with the cream of their subtly memorable back catalogue.

Jon Anderson,”Olias of Sunhillow” (Esoteric/Cherry Red)- The latest addition to Cherry Red’s impressive roster of quality CD re-issues focusses attention on this 1976 solo set from Yes frontman Jon Anderson. This unashamedly ambitious concept album recounts the tale of an alien race who are compelled to search for a new home after a volcanic catastrophe on their home planet. This was a solo project in the fullest sense of the word ,with the self-taught Anderson handling all the vocals and instrumentation himself as he spent four months in his home studio concocting the complex arrangements which helped to make “Olias of Sunhillow” such an appealing proposition for Yes enthusiasts everywhere.