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

Peter Skellern,”The Complete Island and Mercury Recordings” (Mint Audio Records)- Commercial success came Peter Skellern’s way very early in the Bury born singer-songwriter’s career, with huge hits such as “You’re A Lady” and “Hold On To Love” providing ideal vehicles for his distinctive, genuinely nostalgic sound. This deeply unfashionable character never seemed particularly comfortable with the trappings of seventies pop stardom however, and his public profile gradually receded as he embraced life as a mildly quirky MOR balladeer. This easy on the ear 3CD anthology focusses attention on the six albums that Skellern recorded for the Island and Mercury labels, including 1975’s excellent “Hard Times,” boasting guest appearances from luminaries such as Pirates’ guitarist Mick Green and the late great George Harrison.

Jeremiah Johnson,”Unemployed Highly Annoyed” (Ruf Records)- The Covid 19 pandemic has effectively halted the careers of a whole host of rock musicians around the globe, as most of them were reliant on the income generated by live performances in order to keep body and soul together. Singer-guitarist Jeremiah Johnson has responded to these months of enforced quarantine by assembling a concept album capturing his response to the crisis, with drummer Tony Antonelli and bass and keyboards wizard Paul Niehaus IV stepping up to the plate to underpin his stunning fusion of rock,country and Mississippi river blues. The finished product must rank as Jeremiah’s finest offering to date, showcasing some highly topical self penned material alongside a splendid revamp of Luther Allison’s “Cherry Red Wine.”

Stevie Palmer,”We Become The Sunshine” (Greentrax)- The latest offering from multi-award winning acoustic tunesmith Stevie Palmer draws on contributions from fellow Scottish folkies Phil Cunningham, Karine Polwart and harpist Mary MacMaster, who all play their part in creating a subtly memorable collection which provides an ideal follow-up to Palmer’s critically acclaimed Greentrax debut,”Heartprint Shadow.” It’s a measure of Stevie’s natural eclecticism that the singer-songwriter is able to cite musical influences as diverse as Nick Drake,Paul Weller and Dick Gaughan, and the latter is such an admirer of his compatriot’s work that he personally volunteered to lend a hand in the creation of this excellent addition to Greentrax’s recorded repertoire.