RANKY TANKY, Ranky Tanky  (Resilience Music Alliance): 4 stars

An ear-refreshing surprise from a South Carolina Low Country quintet mixing the Gullah heritage that inspired the band’s name (“get funky”) with gospel and folk traditionals and West African polyrhythms. Inventive arrangements revive chestnuts like “O Death” and “Turtle Dove,” and make room for vocalist Quiana Parler’s soulful interpretations (“Been in the Storm’”s a highlight). A laid-back funk groove takes the Fred McDowell-associated blues “You Gotta Move” to New Orleans, while bandleader Charlton Singleton’s trumpet and Quentin Baxter’s drum trade “Knee Bone’”s call-and-response chorus before Clay Ross’ guitar skips from church to jazz parade and back again. rankytanky.com

FOY VANCE, Live in London  (Atlantic/Gingerbread Man): 4 stars

Following 2015’s “Live at Bangor Abbey” (not to mention two live EPs in the preceding decade), the sonic immediacy of this 21-track digital release, recorded during a three-night stand at London’s Union Chapel, heightens the intensity of the Irish troubadour’s cathartic balladry, rendered with only his soulfully expressive singing and piano or acoustic guitar. It feels viscerally satisfying in a season of emotional connections. Irreverent stories, a nuanced reading of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” and new compositions complement fan favorites like “Closed Hand, Full of Friends” and audience sing-along “Upbeat Feelgood.” foyvance.com

BEDOUINE, Bedouine (Spacebomb): 3 STARS

Adopting a stage name inspired by her nomadic heritage, the Aleppo-born singer-songwriter (nee Azniv Korkejian) performs a compelling set informed by contemplation, extensive travels, and the kind of self-contained poise typical of those who’ve roamed the globe (and, in this case, lived in Saudi Arabia, Austin, Boston, Houston, Kentucky, and now LA). Beck/Norah Jones producer Gus Seyffert complements Korkejian’s calm, smooth tones and astute lyrical observations with tasteful orchestrations and instrumental flourishes (baritone guitar, flute) evocative of 1960s-’70s folk. Highlights: the hummable “One of These Days,” “Dusty Eyes,” “Solitary Daughter.” bedouinemusic.com

JOHN BAUMANN, Proving Grounds  (self-released): 3½ STARS

The beefy troubadour’s fourth album positions him more firmly as a truth-telling craftsman who knows the map of his musical heritage (he namechecks the Flatlanders and Terry Allen during the intention-setting “Here I Come”) as well as the Texas backroads he tours regularly. Fingerpicked melodies prettify ballads like “Old Stone Church” and “Pontiacs,” while “The Trouble With Drinkin’” and “When Ophelia Comes to Town” rumble at the roadhouse before pivoting to the contemplative “Lonely in Bars” (“I can’t make up your mind for you but you know just where I stand/ Across the table with an offer the embarrassment be damned”). RIFL Slaid Cleaves, Brent Cobb, Chris Knight. johnbaumannmusic.com