Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week’s CD releases Jennifer Nettles,”Always Like New” (Concord Records)- The latest offering from multiple Grammy Award winner Jennifer Nettles finds the larger than life country vocalist immersing herself in the delights of some classic creations from the American Songbook. The Sugarland frontwoman has been delighting country audiences with her musical exploits for the past two decades or so but she’s also harboured an unrequited passion for musical theatre since childhood, and this collaboration with orchestrator Alex Lacamoire gives her an opportunity to breathe new life into some choice extracts from perennial Broadway favourites such as “Guys and Dolls,” “Oklahoma” and “My Fair Lady.”

Hardin & York, “Can’t Keep A Good Man Down” (Cherry Red)- This expansive 6 CD set shines a welcome spotlight on the musical output on one of the most attractive musical partnerships to ply their trade during the late sixties and early seventies.The duo liked to describe themselves as “the world’s smallest big band,” and the melodically inventive sound created by singer and keyboard ace Eddie Hardin and drummer Pete York certainly repays closer investigation, with the former prompting comparisons with Traffic’s Steve Winwood as his vocals and organ work embellish soulful gems such as “Tomorrow Today.”

Ben de la Cour,”Shadow Land” (Flour Sack Cape Records)-This darkly memorable offering was the brainchild of New York based troubadour Ben de la Cour, who continues to battle his own personal demons as he unleashes albums of rare depth and intensity on an unsuspecting world. “Shadow Land” captures Ben at his most thought provoking and poignant as the balladeer who’s been variously compared to the likes of Nick Cave, Townes van Zandt and Steve Earle in the past unveils exquisitely crafted ditties such as “Swan Dive,” “From Now On” and “Amazing Grace (Slight Return)” for your listening pleasure.