Vance Gilbert and Michael Doucet with the new and noteworthy 

Vance Gilbert, Good Good Man (Disismye Music) — Vance Gilbert has been a staple at the Lyons Folks Fest for many years, often performing with fellow Boston bard Ellis Paul. Gilbert’s latest studio effort reinforces the notion of melded elements of Bill Withers and Keb’ Mo’, while reminding us in cruel times that it is necessary to be kind. There are many gems here, like the spoken-word Halloween memory “The Day Before November,” and the cover of the little-remembered R&B hit “Wildflower” by Skylark. But the centerpiece is the mysterious “Hitman,” telling a story of an octogenarian with a career of evil.

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Michael Doucet, Lâcher Prise (Compass Records) — Doucet is a centerpiece vocalist and fiddle player for Beausoleil, yet he wanted to make his first solo work in three decades a broader palette than Cajun/Zydeco. With guests such as Jim Hoke of NRBQ and Sarah Dugas of The Duhks, Doucet has conjured 10 tracks of fun. A few tracks are pure laissez les bons temps rouler, but the album also features the hilarious sendup “Lula Lula Don’t You Go to Bingo,” and the cowboy-influenced “Dites Moi Pas,” that almost sounds like Wilco at times. It all makes for a nourishing gumbo.


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