Vanessa Peters, “Flying On Instruments” (Idol Records)- This pleasing throwback to the golden era of singer-songwriter rock in the early seventies is the melodic brainchild of Dallas born Vanessa Peters, who originally attended Texas A&M University twenty years or so ago with the intention of pursuing a career as a novelist. The lure of music making eventually proved too strong however, and Vanessa now employs her undoubted narrative skills in penning some of the most thoughtful and genuinely affecting songs that you could ever wish to hear in this or any other year..”Flying On Instruments” is a much more stripped down and introspective affair than its immediate predecessor, 2021’s “Modern Age,” with pianist Matteo Patrone playing a much more central role in proceedings as Peters serves up expertly crafted creations such as “Halfway Through,” “Better” and “Pinball Heart” for your listening pleasure.

Joe Jackson,”What A Racket” (earMUSIC)- The late seventies and early eighties hitmaker has never had any qualms about exploring new musical territory over the years, and his latest project purportedly explores the long forgotten output of obscure music hall performer Max Champion, whose burgeoning career was apparently cut short by the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. In reality Champion is clearly a figment of Joe Jackson’s imagination , but his affectionate pastiche of the bawdy culture of a byegone era is well worth investigating nonetheless. The unashamedly peculiar contents benefit greatly from Jackson’s Gilbert and Sullivanesque patter as he delivers boisterously risque ditties such as “The Bishop and the Actress” and “The Shades of Night” alongside several songs which could clearly never have seen the light of day during the Edwardian era, most notably “The Sporting Life” and “Health & Safety.”

Brinsley Schwarz,”Thinking Back-The Anthology 1970-1975” (Cherry Red)-The latest archive anthology from the good people at Cherry Red extends over seven CDs as it focusses attention on the entire recorded output of the excellent Brinsley Schwarz. This eminently tuneful outfit were one of the leading lights of the relatively short lived pub rock movement during the early seventies and boasted two exceptional songwriting talents in the shape of Nick Lowe and Ian Gomm. “The New Favourites of Brinsley Schwarz” album from 1974 features the original version of Lowe’s much covered classic “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace ,Love and Understanding.” “Thinking Back” also benefits from the inclusion of a whole host of bonus tracks which have never seen the light of day on record before, including live versions of crowd pleasers such as “Country Girl” and “Surrender To The Rhythm” from their gig at London’s Roundhouse in February 1972.