Reviews of the latest music releases

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Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Old Yellow Moon **** 

Emmylou and Rodney have been musical soul-mates ever since she recruited the singer and guitarist to join her Hot Band in 1974, but "Old Yellow Moon" represents the first collaboration where the duo have received equal billing on an album.

The veteran performers explore the themes of mortality, age and friendship via a finely judged blend of reflective balladry and up-tempo country rock, breathing new life into  an updated re-vamp of Crowell's Bluebird Wine alongside some underrated gems from the repertoires  of Kris Kristofferson, Matraca Berg and Patti Scialfa.

Out now (Nonesuch Records : £9.99)

Hits of '62 - Original Artists ****

This enjoyable  31 track anthology captures  the astonishing breadth and diversity which was such a feature of the British singles charts in the early sixties.

Record buyers in those  far off  days seemed quite willing  to invest their hard-earned cash in everything from Kenny Ball's trad jazz romp Midnight In Moscow to The Tornados' futuristic instrumental Telstar, and Hits of '62 also features  tuneful gems from  the likes of Ray Charles, The Crystals, Frank Ifield and Elvis Presley,who chips in with  no less than five contributions , including Return To Sender and Can't Help Falling In Love.

Out now (Retrospective RTR 4210 : £4.99)

Todd Rundgren, State ****

The multi-talented Mr.Rundgren has never been afraid to explore interesting new musical avenues during a lengthy recording  career which began with superior  garage band  the Nazz in the late sixties,and the great man's  latest Esoteric offering maintains his reputation for eclecticism as it serves up a heady blend of rock,soul  and electronica. 

Instrumental pyrotechnics are reduced  to a bare  minimum as Todd's 24th solo album concentrates on the tuneful charms of infectious ditties such as Party Liquor, Angry Bird and  Collide-A-Scope.

Released on April 8th (Cherry Red / Esoteric EANTCD 1017 : £10.16)

Bromheads, Choro ****

Choro marks a concerted effort on the part of Sheffield's  Bromheads to capture the  raw energy of their live act in a studio recording, and the results are  certainly never less than  compelling.

Bromheads'  almost naively uncomplicated  approach to music-making often prompts  comparisons with  fellow South Yorkshire  indie rockers the Arctic Monkeys, and  the duo's  recent single, Gonna Let You Melt captures  the essence of their unashamedly rough and ready appeal.

Released on April 15th (Townsend / Universal : £9.99)

Amplifier, Echo Street *** 

Intelligently crafted and expansive prog-rock is the order of the day as Kscope unveil the follow-up to Amplifier's highly acclaimed 2011 opus The Octopus. 

The finished product marks a distinct progression from that self released 2 CD set, although the injection  of a little more light and shade into the proceedings certainly  wouldn't have gone amiss.

Echo Street is a much more song based and spacious  offering than its illustrious predecessor, with Between Today and Yesterday and Paris in the Spring emerging as the best of the bunch.

Out now (Kscope KSCOPE250 : £10.74)

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