Arts and Entertainment Glory days: US singer Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen has scored his tenth UK number one album with High Hopes, beating the likes of David Bowie and Michael Jackson.

Album: Neil Young, Dreamin' Man Live '92 (Reprise/WEA)

The Harvest Moon album done solo and acoustically (guitar and piano) in front of an attentively reverent audience.

Album: Deer Tick, Born on Flag Day (Partisan Records)

With the 1980s "new country" stalwarts a distant memory and the alt-country scene now diversified to the point of distraction, the door is open for a new breed of cowboy… Enter Deer Tick, a bunch of young gunslingers from, of all places, Rhode Island.

Album: Neil Young, Dreamin' Man Live '92 (Reprise)

"It's just the feeling behind this song," murmurs Neil Young, introducing "Dreamin' Man", "there's nothing literal in here".

Album: AA Bondy, When the Devil's Loose (Fat Possum)

Too understated and unoriginal to find its way on to anyone's albums of the year lists, the second solo effort from the former Verbena (nope, never heard of them either) singer will, none the less, tickle these ears more frequently than many a "worthier" contender. It'sa gentle work of simplepleasures: Bondy's bruisedbut never broken voiceproviding the perfect foilfor his melancholic butnever miserable songs.Think Ryan Adams' Heartbreakerif it had songsabout vampires andwerewolves. True Bloodmakers take note.

Album: John Fogerty, The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again, (Universal)

A "lifetime" of songs – 12 of 'em – constitutes this rare solo outing by the former Creedence grump. And you can see what he's getting at.

John Dawson: Leader of the country-rock pioneers New Riders of the Purple Sage

John Dawson was the acknowledged leader of the prototypical country-rock group, New Riders of the Purple Sage – often referred to as NRPS or simply New Riders. He was their principal songwriter and was notably active during the band's initial burst of creativity, writing all 10 songs on their debut album. The flaxen-haired Dawson was the only member of the original line-up to stay the entire course of the band into the 1990s. Like the Byrds, The Band and the Flying Burrito Brothers, they reflected a hippy open-mindedness towards country music, with the environment, touring adventures and dope-smuggling songs acting as potential springboards for their work.

Album: Reckoning – 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, R.E.M., I.R.S./Universal

Reckoning was the album that confirmed R.E.M. as a special group, with reserves of creativity way beyond their peers in the US indie scene.

Album: Elvis Presley, From Elvis in Memphis, (RCA Legacy)

Following the success of the 1968 “comeback” TV special, the Great Galoot returned to his hometown and recorded two albums’ worth of material with local musicians – back in the Memphis pocket, as it were.

Bon Iver, Hyde Park, London

The back story that accompanied Bon Iver's debut album For Emma, Forever Ago has already made the 28-year-old star from Wisconsin a legend in contemporary folk-rock. After a relationship breakdown, Justin Vernon retreated to his father's log cabin in wintry Wisconsin for three months, killing deer to feed himself, and in seclusion wrote the record that topped critics' lists of albums of last year.

Album: The Lemonheads, Varshons, (Cooking Vinyl)

Some 99 per cent of the justification for The Lemonheads' existence is predicated on the idea that their lead singer is inherently charming.

Album: J D Souther, If the World Was You (Slow Curve/Rhino)

Having re-established the Eagles connection that made him one of the most successful songwriters in America, John David Souther returns as a performer with his first solo album in 25 years.

Neil Young: After the gold rush, the harvest

Sixties hippie, country-rock superstar, grunge godfather, modern protest singer... Neil Young's career is remarkable. Andy Gill gives thanks that the first segment of his huge retrospective is here at last

Album: Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest, (Warp)

With the word-of-mouth buzz surrounding their first two albums still approaching its crescendo, the Brooklyn quartet resurface with a third which could see them do a Bon Iver or a Fleet Foxes.

Album: Steve Earle, Townes, (New West Records)

It was a matter of time before Earle recorded a tribute album to his friend and mentor, the late Texan singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt.

Album: Willie Nelson, Stripped (RCA)

While his growing success as a songwriter – thanks to hits like Patsy Cline's "Crazy" – was enough to win Willie Nelson a recording contract of his own in 1964, it wasn't enough to secure him control over the way his songs were treated.

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