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

Martyn Joseph, "Here Comes The Young" (Pipe Records)- Penarth born singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph has been hailed as a Welsh national treasure after devoting his considerable creative energies to the cause of social justice during a richly rewarding career which now spans more than 35 years of exemplary music-making. Martyn's latest offering is an emotionally charged collaboration with producer and multi instrumentalist Gerry Diver, whose telling interjections on fiddle and guitar lend added impact to stand-out tracks such as "Take Back The Sky," "Summer Has A Way Of Finding You" and "Here Comes The Young" itself.

J.P.Soars, "Southbound I-95" (Soars High Productions)- This eclectic performer cites musical influences as diverse as Django Reinhardt, Willie Nelson and Black Sabbath , and "Southbound I-95" finds the singer-guitarist applying his gruff growl of a voice to a memorable melange of blues, rock, country and soul . Albert King's "When You Walk Out That Door" and Muddy Waters' "Deep Down In Florida" are both given an airing in the process, and Soars' eloquent guitar work also underpins the free flowing melodicism of the excellent "Shining Through The Dark."

Dudu Tassa & The Kuwaitis,"El Hajar" (Nur Records)- This fascinating offering was the brainchild of Dudu Tassa, the gifted Israeli singer-songwriter whose music first reached a wider audience when he landed the prestigious support slot on Radiohead's U.S.tour a couple of years ago. "El Hajar" finds Tassa offering a contemporary take on the mesmeric music created by his grandfather and great-uncle in Iraq between the 1920s and 1950s, and although it's unlikely to attract a mass audience over here the album's unique cross-cultural charms should appeal to open minded roots music enthusiasts wherever it's heard.

"School Days-The Ultimate Collection" (Union Square)- Here's another delightfully random assortment of pop classics and orchestral oddities from the good people at Union Square, with 100 musical contributions of wildly varying quality squeezed into an inexpensive 5CD set.Squeeze,Thin Lizzy,Stealers Wheel and the irrepressible Toots and the Maytals provide four of the musical highpoints and make it much easier to forgive the baffling inclusion of a string of bland easy listening fillers from the likes of The Saint Orchestra and Alan Hawkshaw.