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

Oysterband,”Read The Sky” (Running Man Records)- This British folk rock institution’s eagerly anticipated follow up to 2014’s “Diamonds On The Water” was captured for posterity in the uniquely difficult circumstances created by the current pandemic, and the finished product must rank as one of the Oysterband’s most accomplished offerings to date.Emotionally charged roots music doesn’t come any better than this as John Jones and company explore their social and environmental concerns via rousing creations such as “Born Under The Same Sun,” “The Corner of the Room” and “The Time Is Now.”

The Matthews Baartmans Conspiracy,”Distant Chatter” (Talking Elephant)- Many of Iain Matthews’ musical contemporaries from the early seventies may have fallen by the wayside over the years but the veteran singer-songwriter has still to lose his creative spark, and he’s recently been fronting the latest incarnation of Matthews Southern Comfort alongside multi-talented Dutch musician BJ Baartmans. The two friends have now taken to the recording studio as a subtly memorable duo to record “Distant Chatter” as they celebrate the healing power of music in these troubled times. “I’ve Gone Missing,” “Is This It” and “Here’s Looking At You” capture the essence of their mature and reflective approach to the art of music-making.

Krissy Matthews,”Pizza Man Blues” (Ruf Records)- Anglo-Norwegian singer-guitarist Krissy Matthews makes his Ruf Records debut with a deliciously bluesy package which also dabbles with the delights of rock,funk and country. When the Covid 19 pandemic temporarily put paid to Matthews’ hopes of earning an honest living from his dayjob as an integral member of Germany’s Hamburg Blues Band alongside rock luminaries such as Maggie Bell and Clem Clempson he has been forced to take up a variety of occupations in order to keep body and soul together, including working as a tree surgeon’s assistant and pizza delivery driver. The latter job description inspired the title of this excellent CD, which was written and recorded during the lockdown and is well worth forty minutes or so of anyone’s time