BETH HART, Fire on the Floor

(Provogue): 3.5 Stars

After leashing her primal vocal force for some collaborations with guitarist Joe Bonamassa, the LA rocker’s in peak solo form with a generous set of soul, blues, playful jazz and ballsy rock. Producer Oliver Lieber surrounds her with keyboardist Ivan Neville and A-team guitarists Michael Landau, Dean Parks and Waddy Wachtel (plus Jeff Beck for bonus track “Tell Her You Belong to Me”). But every guitar riff and organ swell serves the raw emotion of Hart’s songs and singing. Highlights: “Coca Cola,” the scorching title track (“Love is a lesson you were born/ To never learn/ And your soul will beg to burn”), aching “Woman You’ve Been Dreaming Of.” Bethhart.com

ROSE COUSINS, Natural Conclusion

(Old Farm Pony): 3.5 Stars

Producer Joe Henry’s fine taste can be felt in the spare arrangements — brushed drums, a roll of pedal steel here, a swelling viola and piano solo there — that complement the shivery earth-and-air turn of this Nova Scotia singer-songwriter’s vocals. She’s most effective when savoring words and space (“Grace,” “Donoughmore”); the weakest track is the most rocking (“Chains”), and her voice registers more than her melodies. Like Patty Griffin, Cousins conveys eerie calm and deep emotion, a seemingly contradictory and riveting combination. Rosecousins.com

AUSTIN HANKS, Alabastard

(self-released): 3.5 Stars

The wiry Alabaman declares Southern rock and roadhouse allegiances upfront, with Tom Petty engineer David Biano behind the board and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons executive producing and raising hell on guitar (“Risin’ Water Blues”). Hanks plays his solidly written songs like it’ll hurt if he doesn’t; “Toughest Part of Me,” the horn-punched “Alive & Untied” and greasy barroom boogie “Lakeside” stand tall in a good bunch. He gets terrific support from Petty drummer Steve Ferrone, Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Rickey Medlocke, Wet Willie vocalist Jimmy Hall, John Mayer/Lucinda Williams steel player Doug Pettibone, and bandmates from his Kalifornia Kingsnakes residency at Hollywood’s Piano Bar. Should attract Delbert McClinton fans. Austinhanks.net

JOHN MAYALL, Talk About That

(40 Below): 3 Stars

Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood and Mick Taylor are just some of the rockers who paid dues in Mayall’s legendary Bluesbreakers. They all graduated to greater fame; the Blues Hall of Famer remained a roadhouse star. At 83, with less vigorous but smartly phrased vocals, he retains fine taste in players. “Gimme Some of That Gumbo” is slippery with New Orleans grooves, and guest Joe Walsh’s guitar solo adds meat to the angry bones of “The Devil Must Be Laughing.” Johnmayall.com