Demons, by Cowboy Junkies

Vic Chesnutt, who died of an overdose in 2009, was one of the best and most unusual songwriters of his generation. Country-rock veterans Cowboy Junkies are far more conventional. So Chesnutt diehards might not find much to like in this collection of his songs, but the album may provide newcomers a bridge to his work.

In the Cool of the Day, by Daniel Martin Moore

Nostalgic country-gospel records inhabit a liminal space between personal-historical document and genuine religious statement. Daniel Martin Moore's latest follows this path but enlivens it a bit.

Spectified, by Dave Specter

It's fashionable for 21st-century blues guitarists to blow you away with fretboard pyrotechnics. But Dave Specter harkens to the previous century, when players like Steve Cropper and B. B. King moved listeners with a handful of heartfelt notes. The horns, smoky organ and sublime guitar on "Stick to the Hip" suggest Booker T.

The Mystery and the Hum, by Peter Himmelman

Peter Himmelman's gifts for melody, lyrical poignancy and spiritual depth are rare among singer-songwriters. He can also rock: "Motel Room in Davenport" chugs like a freight train, while "Good Luck Charm" mixes white-boy rapping and an anvil-heavy beat into a solid groove.