Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week’s CD releases Joe Danks,”Seaspeak” (English Folk Dance and Song Society)- Singer, musician and inveterate morris dancer Joe Danks hails from Nottingham, and “Seaspeak” captures his reponse to the twelve months that he spent in residence at Greenwich’s National Maritime Museum.This evocative and eminently tuneful collection thankfully steers well clear of the recent rather bizarre flurry of interest in the delights of the sea shanty,opting instead to regale listeners with haunting renditions of Ewan MacColl’s “Sweet Thames Flow Softly” and a beautiful setting of John Masefield’s much loved poem,”Sea Fever.”

Rod Picott,”Wood,Steel,Dust & Dreams” (Welding Rod Records)- This consistently excellent singer-songwriter has pursued a frutiful creative partnership with his childhood friend and musical soulmate Slaid Cleaves for the past three decades or so, and Rod’s new 2 CD set draws on reimagined new recordings of all the songs that the two men have penned together over the years. Picott’s mesmeric fusion of Americana, alternative country and folk always repays closer investigation, and the former construction worker is captured at his intimate and unadorned best here as he unveils a limited edition package of just one thousand signed copies which will never be made available digitally as this uncompromising character adopts a defiant stance against the contemporary scourge of steaming. Invest in the CD instead while stocks last, and you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the charms of stand-out tracks such as “Dreams” “Broke Down”and “Wrecking Ball” to your heart’s delight. Honey and the Bear,”Journey Through The Roke” (Self released)-East Anglia based roots music duo Lucy and Jon Hart have been plying their trade as Honey and the Bear at gigs and festivals in the UK and continental Europe for the past seven years. The recent enforced lockdown gave the husband and wife pairing the opportunity to conceive and complete their second album, whose unusual title references “roke,” the Suffolk dialect word for the mist that rises from the marshes in their home county. The multi-instrumental songwriters serve up a fresh and innovative folk based package dominated by freshly minted new material with the notable exception of Lucy’s haunting version of the only traditional song on the album, the perennially popular  Irish ballad,”My Lagan Love.”