Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week’s CD releases Steve Dawson,”At The Bottom Of A Canyon In The Branches Of A Tree” (Pravda Records)-This subtly memorable offering is the brainchild of the highly regarded Chicago based singer-songwriter Steve Dawson, who has already made quite an impression on discerning punters via his musical exploits with criminally under-rated outfits such as Americana specialists Dolly Varden and folk/jazz combo Funeral Bonsai Wedding. Steve’s exquisitely crafted solo output repays closer investigation too, drawing inspiration from the eclectic delights of early seventies California folk-rock and the smooth melodicism of classic Chicago blues, gospel and soul. It’s inspiring atuff, and there was any justice in this benighted world I’d like to think that the richly resonant charms of stand-out tracks from his Pravda Records debut such as “Hard Time Friend,” “Forgiveness Is Nothing Like I Thought It Would Be” and “Beautiful Mathematics” would be required listening for open minded music lovers everywhere.

Jan Schelhaas,”Ghosts of Eden” (Talking Elephant Records)- Talking Elephant’s commendable programme of Jan Schelhaas re-issues continues with the appearance of this 2018 outing from the Camel and Caravan keyboards ace. The Liverpool born musician joined forces with like minded musical cohorts Jimmy Hastings,Doug Boyle and Andy Latimer to deliver an often rather melancholy and sombre package which should appeal to anyone who’s ever enjoyed the work of similarly polished and intelligent practitioners of crossover prog such as the Alan Parsons Project.

Paul Brett,”Stone Survivor” (Cherry Red / Lemon)- Paul Brett’s exquisite guitar work has graced a whole host of interesting recording sessions and critically well received solo offerings during the past half century or so but he remains a fairly shadowy figure as far as the mass of the general public are concerned, an unfortunate state of affairs which the appearance of this well researched 4 CD retrospective should help to rectify a little.. The contents include delightfully obscure offerings from long forgotten outfits such as The Union and Tintern Abbey as well as the debut single from The Crazy World of Arthur Brown,”Devil’s Grip” and a generous selection of tracks from the three albums that he recorded with the excellent Paul Brett’s Sage for the Pye / Dawn label during the early seventies.The entire collection provides an eloquent vehicle for Paul’s rare prowess on both electric and acoustic guitar.