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

Ryan Bingham,"American Love Song" (Axster Bingham Records)- Ryan Bingham's eagerly awaited sixth studio album finds the award winning singer-songwriter working in close collaboration with one-time guitar prodigy and current Dylan sideman Charlie Sexton in a gritty celebration of the resilience shown by ordinary Americans in times of great adversity. The finished product is a compelling affair which strikes an appealing balance between the rampaging rock of "Jingle and Go" and "Pontiac" and some much more reflective musings on life, love and loss led by "Wolves,""Lover Girl" and "What Would I've Become."

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, "Live at Iowa State University" (Wienerworld)- John Mayall may not be a particularly impressive performer in his own right but the Macclesfield born bluesman has played host to a vast array of fledgling luminaries in his various Bluesbreakers' line-ups over the years, including Eric Clapton, Peter Green and former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor to name but a few. This fine live DVD captures Mayall's show at Iowa University in 1987 ,with guitarists Walter Trout and Coco Montoya in fine fettle throughout a nine song set featuring a blend of freshly minted new material and old favourites such as "Room To Move" and Mose Allison's "Parchman Farm."

The Byrds, "Byrdmaniax" (Floating World)- This patchy offering received domething of a critical pasting when it first saw the light of day in 1971, largely because of producer Terry Melcher's rather bizarre decision to overdub strings, horns and a gospel choir onto many of the tracks without the band's consent. When viewed with the considerable benefit of hindsight "Byrdmaniax" emerges as a more than halfway decent collection however, with Roger McGuinn's "I Trust" and "Pale Blue" emerging as musical highlights alongside Clarence White's cover of a song penned by the then uknown Jackson Browne, "Jamaica Say You Will."

Matthew Sweet, "Blue Sky On Mars / In Reverse" (Floating World)- This effortlessly memorable 2 CD set provides an ideal introduction to the work of under appreciated alternative rocker Matthew Sweet. Sweet cut his musical teeth in the creative hotbed that was Athens, Georgia during the early eighties, and "In Reverse" is arguably the pick of his illustrious back catalogue , blending elements of baroque chamber pop and melancholy psychedelia to create an engaging throwback to the golden age of the concept album, liberally peppered with gems such as "Split Personality," "Trade Places" and the epic ten minute closer, "Thunderstorm."