Medicine Head,”Heartwork” (Talking Elephant)- John Fiddler and Peter Hope-Evans enjoyed a brief flirtation with chart success when their single “(And The) Pictures in the Sky” soared into the lower reaches of the U.K. singles charts in 1971 and more hits followed in subsequent years in the shape of “One & One Is One,” “Rising Sun” and “Slip and Slide.” The mass audience for Medicine Head’s delightfully organic brand of blues rock gradually drifted away however, and Hope-Evans departure in 1977 has left Fiddler ploughing a lone furrow as he’s striven to keep the band’s name alive for the last forty odd years alongside assorted like minded musical cohorts. “Heartwork” is the latest addition to John’s illustrious back catalogue, a deliciously understated affair recorded in close collaboration with multi instrumentalist Dzal Martin, whose eloquent guitar work underpins fine tracks such as “Love Is Not A Dream,” “Alibi” and “Blue Eyes.”


Canned Heat,” Finyl Vinyl” (Ruf Records)- The incarnation of Canned Heat which recorded “Finyl Vinyl” at Paul and Mike’s studio in Burbank, California recently bears very little similarity to the trailblazing outfit which made such a telling impact on the blues and rock scenes during the late sixties and early seventies. Veteran drummer Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra is the only member remaining in the band’s line up from those heady days, and he plays his part in the success of what could possibly be Canned Heat’s musical epitaph, joining forces here with guest musicians Dave Alvin of Blasters fame and guitarist Joe Bonamassa, who chips in on an excellent revamp of “So Sad (The World’s In A Tangle),” which first appeared on the band’s 1970 album, “Future Blues.” The genre busting delights of the instrumental “East West Boogie” are also well worth a few minutes of anyone’s time.


Eric Bibb,”Live at the Scala Theatre, Stockholm” (Repute Records)- New York born acoustic bluesman Eric Bibb has been based in Scandinavia for the vast majority of his performing career, so it seems only natural that he should have chosen to record this richly resonant live set on home territory in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Eric’s compelling set list blends a selection of perennial crowd pleasers with some tantalising extracts from his recently released studio albums,”Dear America” and the Grammy nominated “Ridin’. The finished product supplies an ideal introduction to the warm hearted and deeply authentic brand of the blues which he’s been cultivating during an illustrious career which now spans a little over half a century. “Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie,” “Rosewood” and “Things Is ‘Bout Comin’ My Way” capture the essence of Bibb’s distinctive brand of music making.