07/03/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT
>ROYAL BLUE Koko Taylor (Alligator) Belting the blues Chicago-style, Koko is joined by royals old (B.B. King) and young (Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Keb' Mo') on her first CD in seven years.
NYC GHOSTS & FLOWERS Sonic Youth (Geffen) Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon and mates release another wildly noncommercial yet compelling experiment in rock-poetry fusion.
THEN AND NOW Lynyrd Skynyrd (CMC) The unapologetic redneck rockers reprise "Free Bird," "Sweet Home Alabama" and the rest, with Johnny Van Zant taking late bro Ronnie's vocals.