Son Little. Things I Forgot. Los Angeles-born Son Little (aka Aaron Livingston) debuts with a six-track EP that paints him as a respectful student of blues and soul, majoring in contemporary translation.
After 40 years in the music industry, the only further element Petty can add to his repertoire is accumulated wisdom.
Henry Wagons and his band pay a couple of visits to the gates of hell, deal with various devils along the way and drain untold glasses of the hard stuff to gain the requisite Dutch courage to deal with snake-haired women, carousing and consoling in the way that tough men do.
With contributions to the likes of Guided By Voices, Nada Surf and Death of Samantha under his belt, Brooklyn-based Doug Gillard can point to plenty of evidence of his chops as a guitarist.
Nick Mulvey, former percussionist with jazz and ethnic fusion ensemble Portico Quartet, has traded hang drum for acoustic guitar, and along with it the relative anonymity of the instrumentalist for the spotlit realm of the singer-songwriter.
Today, any musician contemplating playing every instrument and singing every part on a rock album will be stretched by the task but will at least have unlimited-take digital technology as a safety net.
Liverpool-based Dan Croll has turned the promise he showed as winner of a national Songwriter of the Year award into an opportunity to blend like melted butter into the worldwide stew of friendly-geek performers.
Athens, Georgia's Drive-By Truckers have taken new shape, with Mike Patton recruited as cover for departed bass player Shonna Tucker, and keyboardist Jay Gonzales playing more guitar.
Joan Wasser's 2011 album The Deep Field, with its mix of contemporary soul and brooding electronica, was one of that year's best.
Annie Clark's fourth solo album, which follows last year's Love This Giant collaboration with David Byrne, will do little to shift the perception of her music as art for the arty.
North London band the Bombay Bicycle Club has all but shed the skin it was born in: the one-time indie-rock guitar outfit now presents as an electronic-pop group with arty leanings for its fourth studio album.
In the age of the single download, Jeff Harford rediscovers the album. This week: Last Splash, from The Breeders