The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

Colin Hay, "Fierce Mercy" (Compass Records)- Former Men at Work frontman Colin Hay of "Down Under" fame has since gone on to carve out a creatively satisfying solo career as a writer and performer of intimate and emotionally involving songs dealing with the eternal themes of love, loss and mortality. Much of his current repertoire was penned in close collaboration with musical soulmate Michael Georgiades, who also chips in on acoustic guitar on one of this fine CD's  stand-out tracks, "Come Tumblin' Down,"  which shares top billing  with "Frozen Fields of Snow" and the elegaic "She Was The Love Of Mine."

Derringer, "The Complete Blue Sky Albums 1976-1978" (Cherry Red / HNE)- Rick Derringer's musical career now extends back over more than half a century, beginning in a blaze of glory when he tackled lead vocals on The McCoys' 1965 chart topper , "Hang On Sloopy." The diminutive singer and guitarist went on to work with  Johnny and Edgar  Winter and several other rock luminaries before assembling his own band in 1976, and this excellent 5CD anthology brings together all the albums that they recorded  for the Blue Sky label during the next few years, including the rare, previously  promo only "Live in Cleveland" set. It's splendid stuff, including energised revamps  of  Rick's 1973  solo hit, "Rock'n'Roll Hoochie Koo" and the late Warren Zevon's "Lawyers, Guns and Money."

Elizabeth Kenny / Theatre of the Ayre, "The Masque of Moments" (Linn Records)- This absorbing new Linn CD finds lutenist Kenny and her musical associates tackling a varied assortment of early 17th century ayres and dances. Delightfully arcane instruments such as the  cittern, viol and theorbo provide the exquisite instrumental backdrop  for a recital which blends passages of  courtly elegance with the much more earthy  delights of  Ben Jonson's "From the Famous Peak of Derby" and "Tho' It May Seem Rude."

Status Quo, "Under The Influence" (Demon / Edsel)- This archetypal Status  Quo offering was hailed as a welcome return to form from the band when it first saw the light of day in 1999, and  this  CD  re-issue also  boasts four enjoyable  bonus tracks, including covers of Frankie Ford's "Sea Cruise" and Nick Lowe's  "I Knew The Bride" and  a re-recording of their 1968 debut hit, "Pictures of Matchstick Men."  Quo's  trademark no nonsense  boogie approach  is also well represented here  by robust creations such as  "Round and Round," "Keep 'Em Coming" and "Making Waves."