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

"Patty Griffin" (PGM Recordings / Thirty Tigers)- The contents of Patty Griffin's first album since 2015's Grammy Award nominated "Servant of Love" were penned during a profoundly troubling period in the singer-songwriter's personal life which found her confronting and ultimately overcoming the debilitating effects of cancer. I'm pleased to be able to report that Patty is now back in fine fettle once again as she serves up an affectingly intimate exercise in understated Americana which boasts vocal contributions from former soulmate Robert Plant on two of the album's stand-out tracks, "What Now" and "Coins."

Ally Venable, "Texas Honey"(Ruf Records)- Singer and guitarist Ally Venable follows in the illustrious footsteps of fellow Texan Stevie Ray Vaughan as she unveils her eagerly anticipated third album, building on the solid foundations laid by its' well received predecessors, "No Glass Shoes" and "Puppet Show." Ally's gritty brand of roots rock may be steeped in the timeless spirit of the blues but she's not averse to conjuring up the odd memorable chorus either, as listeners will discover for themselves if they lend an appreciative ear to the anthemic delights of prime cuts such as "Long Way Home" or "Broken."

"Guitar Maestro-The Juan Martin Collection" (Flamenco Vision)- This richly rewarding 4 CD retrospective focusses attention on the cream of Juan Martin's recorded output from the years between 1974 and 2015. This Spanish flamenco guitarist has been based in London for much of his performing career and the impressive repertoire that he's assembled during the past four decades has found Martin exploring the musical culture of his native Andalusia alongside some fascinating forays into the world of jazz and a very successful collaboration with the massed ranks of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Splendid stuff.

"The Anniversary Edition-The Golden Age of Shellac" (Deutsche Grammophon)- The prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label has been at the forefront of recording technology ever since it began operations long long ago in 1898, and this fascinating collection showcases some of the historic performances which they captured for posterity on 78rpm discs during the early decades of the 20th century. The list of participants is certainly a diverse one, ranging from the composer Pietro Mascagni to Czech violinist Vasa Prihoda and legendary jazzman Louis Armstrong, who struts his stuff on two vibrant 1934 recordings, "Tiger Rag" and "On The Sunny Side of the Street."