“High in the Morning- The British Progressive Pop Sounds of 1973” (Grapefruit / Cherry Red)- This nicely packaged 3 CD set must rank as one of the most impressive archive anthologies that I’ve come across recently. The contents range far and wide in their choice of subject matter, reflecting the startling breadth and diversity of the musical landscape almost half a century ago. Bona fide chart successes such as Mott the Hoople’s “All The Way From Memphis,” Nazareth’s “Broken Down Angel” and Medicine Head’s “Rising Sun” sit snugly alongside a wealth of superior album tracks from the likes of Procol Harum, Al Stewart and Thin Lizzy and the astute compilers have also found space for a string of fascinating obscurities from aspiring outfits who were probably never even household names within their own households. Lend it an ear and immerse yourself in the melodic charms of a bygone era.

KB Bayley, “Flatlands” (Self Released)- The vast majority of the eminently listenable roots music and Americana releases that I come across these days seem to emanate from the other side of the Atlantic, so it makes a pleasant change for me to be able to extole the virtues of an excellent homegrown talent this time around. “Flatlands” is Bayley’s eagerly awaited follow up to 2021’s critically acclaimed “Little Thunderstorms,” and devotees of superior singer-songwriter fare should find it a well nigh indispensible purchase. KB’s enduring love affair with his hand crafted Weissenborn guitar is plain for all to hear,embellishing his intimate vocal delivery as he lends his simple, unadorned charm to a beguiling blend of freshly minted material and covers of songs by some of his favourite tunesmiths, including Tom Waits’ “Johnsburg Illinois” and Jean Ritchie’s “The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore.”

Gun, “The Calton Songs” (Cherry Red)- Scottish rockers Gun seemed to have signalled their permanent demise when they disbanded in 1997 but they were eventually tempted to return to the fray a decade or so later with Toby Jepson guesting on vocals in place of founding member Mark Rankin. Their line-up seems to have been in a state of constant flux since those days and former bassist Dante Gizzi now occupies the frontman’s role as the current incarnation of the band unveil “The Calton Songs,” delving deeply into Gun’s back catalogue to deliver stripped down versions of the cream of their recorded output from the Rankin days.These semi-acoustic reimaginings of the Glasgow outfit’s early repertoire find them breathing new life into gems such as “Money ,” “Shame On You” and “Higher Ground” as well as their cover of Cameo’s “Word Up,” which soared into the higher reaches of the singles charts in 1994.