Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week’s CD releases Paul Handyside,”Loveless Town” (Malady Music)- This interesting solo offering is the brainchild of folk and roots singer-songwriter Paul Handyside, who first cut his teeth as a performer as the creative mainstay of eighties indie rockers Hurrah!.”Loveless Town” is a nicely varied package which captures this multi-faceted character’s wide ranging approach to music-making at its most appealing as he blends elements of Americana, folk and pop to excellent effect. Paul’s eclectic songwriting style has prompted comparisons with such unlikely bedfellows as Chris Difford, Jeff Buckley and veteran folk legend Martin Carthy in the past and his fourth solo album provides an eloquent vehicle for Handyside’s affecting sound, with invaluable instrumental support supplied by his perennnial cohorts Dave Porthouse on double bass and melodeon and producer Rob Tickell on guitar and dobro. “Lord,Show Yourself,” “Not in my Name” and the poignant, folk inspired “Hartley Pit Catastrophe” are the best of the bunch.

Afton Wolfe,”Kings For Sale” (Grandiflora Records)- The first full length solo album from Mississippi born musical adventurer Afton Wolfe is a genuinely fascinating affair, rooted in the authentic spirit of Americana but liberally peppered with tempting forays into the enticing worlds of jazz and the avant garde. Wolfe apparently spent his formative years as an aspiring performer plying his trade in the environs of New Orleans, and the influence of this legendary musical melting pot informs many of his most compelling creations here. This eagerly anticipated follow-up to the gruff vocalist’s long delayed 2020 debut EP, ”Petronius’ Last Meal” features sterling contributions from some of the finest roots musicians that the states of Mississippi and Tennessee have to offer, with the excellent Cary Hudson deserving a special mention in dispatches for his sublime harmonica and bottleneck guitar work on the first single to be extracted from the album , “Dirty Girl.”

Kevin Burt,”Stone Cold Crazy” (Gulf Coast Records)- Iowa born Kevin Burt has been energising audiences in America’s Midwest with his visceral brand of electric blues for the past quarter of a century or so,and his latest album for Mike Zito’s Gulf Coast Records provides an ideal introduction to this larger than life artist’s no frills approach to music making. Label supremo Zito chips in on guitar here as well as handling the production duties but Burt is very much the star of the show, and this self-taught performer’s vocals are strangely reminiscent of the late lamented Bill Withers as he serves up soulful gems such as “Something Special About You,” “Stone Crazy” and “Same Old Thing” for your listening pleasure.