Steeleye Span,”The Green Man Collection” (Park Records)- This venerable British folk-rock institution have gone through quite a few line-up changes over the decades but the current incarnation of the band still go about their business with a flair and energy which sets them apart from many of their contemporaries in the field. Maddy Prior’s instantly identifiable vocals are obviously one of the prime selling points as Steeleye serve up a rumbustious set which features sprightly revamps of old favourites such as “New York Girls” and “Hard Times of Old England,” the latter featuring a rather unexpected guest appearance from Francis Rossi of Status Quo fame. Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson also chips in on the showstopping ballad “Old Matron” and a fine version of Elvis Costello’s sadly still all too topical “Shipbuilding” is give an airing amongst the Child ballads and traditional English folk songs.

Mike Hugg,”The Solo Recordings” (Umbrella Music)- This interesting new 2 CD set shines a welcome spotlight on the relatively meagre solo output of Gosport born Mike Hugg. This gifted drummer and keyboards player is best remembered these days for his lengthy stint with Manfred Mann and as the co-composer of the theme tune from much loved BBC sitcom, “Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads.” He also found time to record a couple of solo albums for the Polydor label during the early seventies in the shape of “Somewhere” and “Stress and Strain,” both revived here in their entirety. This understated character’s tuneful and reflective brand of music making is captured at its most appealing on subtly memorable ditties such as “Bonnie Charlie” and “Blue Suede Shoes Again.”

Francis Rossi & Hannah Rickard,”We Talk Too Much” (earMUSIC)- Francis Rossi joined forces with singer and violin ace Hannah Rickard in 2019 to deliver an easy on the ear package which reflected the Status Quo frontman’s enduring love of the country music and Americana genres. The radio friendly contents are now available in vinyl form to satisfy the needs of newcomers to this increasingly popular format and “We Talk Too Much” should appeal to anyone who finds themselves susceptible to the homespun charms of generic country tinged tearjerkers such as “But I Just Said Goodbye” and “I’ll Take You Home.”