Route to the roots: Robert Randolph & The Family Band’s ‘Have Mercy’ from the band’s forthcoming studio album, Brighter Days is a bit of a must, a heartfelt gospel vocal on top of a laidback groove to die for. The sacred steel specialist and his band worked with producer Dave Cobb on Brighter Days. The Family Band features Robert’s cousins bassist Danyel Morgan and drummer Marcus Randolph along with his sister, vocalist Lenesha Randolph. The album also includes a cover of Pops Staples & the Staples Singers’ ‘Simple Man.’

Well this is a surprise bittersweet treat from Laura Zakian: a very late night kind of record brief as it is contained in a five song EP. With Steve Lodder, bassist Simon Thorpe, drummer Nic France and Laura’s husband baritone saxophonist Paul Bartholomew and percussionist/composer Martin Pyne whose tunes Laura writes lyrics for, the pervasive style lands somewhere between the atmosphere of an Anthony Newley or Fran Landesman song, thoughtful and melancholic and above all full of a certain regret. Well worth your time.