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

Hayseed Dixie,"Free Your Mind... And Your Grass Will Follow" (Hayseed Dixie Records)- John Wheeler's inspired decision to set out to reinvent a string of classic rock creations using bluegrass instruments has certainly been vindicated with the passage of time , and the prolific Hayseed Dixie have now recorded 14 albums since their AC/DC tribute set first saw the light of day in 2001. The eclectic outfit's latest album features infectious hillbilly orientated covers of such unlikely bedfellows as Elvis Costello's "Oliver's Army," Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" and Sam Cooke's majestic civil rights anthem,"A Change Is Gonna Come," all of them delivered with a commendable disdain for the niceties of fad or fashion.

Old Blind Dogs, "Room With A View" (OBD Music)-Scottish roots music specialists Old Blind Dogs return to the fray after a six year absence from recording with a revamped line-up and a splendid new album which serves up an appetising assortment of ballads and instrumental pieces both ancient and modern. The two songs penned by Moffat poet Lionel McLelland, "Sawney Bean" and the beguiling "Earl O March's Daughter" are genuine show-stoppers , and the entire package is delivered with an infectious life-affirming energy that's all the more impressive when you bear in mind that fiddler Jonny Hardie and his gifted cohorts have now been plying their trade on the concert stages of the world for a quarter of a century or more.

Tim Grimm and the Family Band, "A Stranger In This Time" (Cavalier Recordings)- This Indiana based singer-songwriter has been hailed as "The Poet Laureate of the rural Midwest," and for the past few years he's skilfully married a successful acting career with the creation of a string of emotionally resonant songs whose narrative power should be well nigh irresistible to perceptive listeners everywhere. Various Grimm family members supply the compelling musical backdrop as Tim unveils his freshly minted observations on the state of contemporary America , excelling with trenchant gems such as "Black Snake" and the darkly brooding , Dylanesque "Gonna Be Great."

Julian Sas, "Feelin' Alive" (Cavalier)- The latest album from award winning Dutch bluesman Julian Sas finds the commanding singer and guitarist operating in his natural element in a series of concert recordings culled from last year's "Coming Home Tour." Julian's studio work has been showered with critical acclaim but the interaction with a live audience always brings out the best in this highly expressive performer and he's in particularly fine fettle here as he launches into soulful gems such as "Fear of Falling" and "Did You Ever Wonder" before closing proceedings with searing renditions of Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" and the old Rory Gallagher favourite, "Bullfrog Blues."