“The Blues of Tombstone Dunnery Vol.1” (Self released)- Cumbrian singer and guitarist Francis Dunnery is probably best remembered these days for his musical exploits with prog pop merchants It Bites during the latter half of the eighties, most notably their Top 10 singles success from 1986,”Calling All The Heroes.” This brief glimpse of fame and fortune wasn’t destined to last too long however, and the original incarnation of the band finally gave up the ghost in 1990. Dunnery has occupied himself since then by tackling a variety of interesting solo projects as well as working as a trusted sideman. with rock luminaries such as Robert Plant and Carlos Santana. This eclectic character’s latest album serves up his sublime celebration of the delights of the blues genre via twelve freshly minted tracks led by “Take My Joy Away,” “She Left Me With The Blues” and “Riding On The Blues Train.”

Kate Rusby, “Light Years” (Pure Records)- The release of a new Christmas album from Kate Rusby is now firmly established as one of the major musical events in the festive calendar, and the excellent “Light Years” is the seventh Yuletide offering that the ” Barnsley Nightingale” has captured for posterity since “Sweet Bells” set the ball rolling in 2008. The musical content is typically eclectic too, running the gamut from Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” to Chris de Burgh’s “A Spaceman Came Travelling” via “Rusby Shepherds,” an interesting variant on the theme of “While Shepherds Watched.” Bluegrass specialist Alison Krauss also makes a guest appearance on “The Moon Shines Bright” alongside her banjo wielding sidekick Ron Block, who has already contributed to several Rusby albums in the past.

Malcolm MacWatt, “Dark Harvest” (Need To Know Music)- This critically acclaimed Scottish multi instrumentalist follows up his excellent 2021 album,”Settler,” with a beautifully sombre set which provides an eloquent vehicle for his distinctive blend of Americana and Celtic folk. MacWatt’s compelling poetic narratives are delivered with spontaneity, delicacy and compassion, and if you’ve never come across any of his work before you’d be well advised to lend an ear to compelling creations such as “Strong Is The North Wind,” “Out On The Western Plain” and the epic “The Last Bowman” to gain an insight into this richly rewarding performer’s timeless brand of music making.