BLUE MOON MARQUEE, Bare Knuckles & Brawn (Factor/Creative BC): ***½

A crisp showcase of the Canadian gypsy blues duo’s stylish meld of pre-WWII blues, New Orleans ragtime, big band jazz and Western swing. Guitarist A.W. Cardinal growls like Tom Waits and quotes Howlin’ Wolf during slinky opener “Big Black Mamba,” about the “dirty mis-treater from the stars of Texaco” —oil — while bassist Jasmine Colette gives a sultry spin to the Billie Holiday-inspired “52nd St. Strut.” Drummer Jimmy “Hollywood” Badger, trumpeter Jack Garton and organist Darcy Phillips drape standout “Hard Times Hit Parade” in atmospheric allure. bluemoonmarquee.com

THE ALLMAN BETTS BAND, Down to the River (BMG): ***

Devon Allman, Duane Betts and Berry Oakley Jr. proudly recall their fathers’ blues-soul-rock style, if not the Allman Brothers Band’s exploratory verve. Rocker “All Night” and an emotive cover of Tom Petty’s “Southern Accents” claim their generation and roots-spanning heritage. Compositionally it’s more reassuring than challenging; fans may hunger for more of Johnny Stachela’s slide or the double-guitar spark of “Shinin’,” or jams like the “Melissa”-evoking one stretching Charles Williams’ “Autumn Breeze” well past eight minutes. Allman’s throaty baritone contrasts strikingly with Betts’ reedier vocals and they play with familiar warmth, like a band with nothing to prove. allmanbettsband.com

THE OCEAN BLUE, Kings and Queens/Knaves and Thieves (Korda): ****

Cue up these Pennsylvania veterans if you’re jonesing for a smart dream-pop fix. “All the Way Blue” and the thrumming “Paraguay My Love” sound as hopeful as “Sublime” from 1992’s “Beneath the Rhythm and Sound” or 1996’s transporting “See.” A hooky guitar riff and pulsing synth buoy the dark title track (“I feel like the world could end/ In a flash/ No more to depend on the things I thought were to last”), while frontman David Schelzel’s rueful wit surfaces during “Therein Lies the Problem With My Life.” RIYL the Smiths, War on Drugs. theoceanblue.com

CHARLIE CHAPLIN, Film Music Anthology (PIAS): ^^^^

Sixty-seven tracks of music from silent film icon Charlie Chaplin’s decades-spanning oeuvre. A handful feature vocals, including still-timely speeches from 1940’s anti-fascist “Great Dictator” and 1947’s “Monsieur Verdoux.” But the music’s winsome escapism charms unadorned; listen to the romantic clarinet and violin solos composed by Chaplin for 1931’s “City Lights”; the horn- and string-stoked exuberance of “Jazz” from 1919’s “A Day’s Pleasure”; the pop-parodying “Mandolin Serenade” from 1957’s “A King in New York”; and the dramatic orchestration of “Smile” from 1936’s “Modern Times.” It sparkles most when, like Chaplin’s expressive Tramp, it’s free from words. charlie-chaplin.com