DUETS with Joan Baez and Billy Bragg and a full collaboration with The Waterboys mark Thea Gilmore's latest album out as something really special.

She is back with the new single Coming Back To You, and the brand new album Ghosts & Graffiti, which made the UK album chart Top 40 and has so far proved to be her biggest selling album of her 15-album-long career. Her single Live Out Loud was one of BBC Radio 2's most played records of the summer.

And when she appears at the Town Hall, High Wycombe next week performances of some of her most famous, well-loved and socially conscious songs will feel special for her too.

It's a homecoming of sorts. She says: "Apart from the being at a wonderful venue, the High Wycombe gig is especially dear to my heart because it's the closest Im playing in all of 2015 to my home patch of Oxfordshire.

"It's been a thrilling year for me with my Ghosts & Graffiti album becoming my second consecutive top 40 hit.

"And having toured with an eight-piece band in spring, for these November shows I've stripped it back down to the roots, it's an intimate acoustic show - me plus two musicians on stage - which, as well as making me feel like I'm closer to the audience, gives me license to be spontaneous and throw in songs I maybe haven't played for a while."

Expect to hear old favourites such as London Town from her 2012 album Don't Stop Singing and used extensively in the BBC's coverage of the Olympic Games, as well as Radio 2 favourite You're the Radio and many others from her extensive back catalogue.

Thea has gained a very loyal and prestigious following - Bruce Springsteen regularly uses her work as play-on music at shows. She was described by Mojo magazine as "the most coherent, literate and charged British singer-songwriter of her generation..."

Indeed, throughout her 17-year career normal rules have never applied. This most gifted and fiercely independent singer/songwriter threw out the career book from day one.

Ghosts And Graffiti is a retrospective with a difference, a 20-track double album where Thea Gilmore looks both forward and back. It includes all her best-known songs on one record for the first time.

John Cooper Clarke also appears, reading one of Thea’s poems. Neil Gaiman, the iconic fantasy novelist, contributes the sleeve notes and Joan As Policewoman collaborates on one of Thea’s defining songs. There are also special collaborations with John Bramwell (I Am Kloot) and with King Creosote.

All the above signed up quickly when Thea started planning – testimony to her reputation among her peers, but scarcely surprising as a glance at her career shows. She has duetted with Sting, and Martha Wainwright and the depth and breadth of her fans is extraordinary and includes Richard Thompson, Neil Gaiman, Steve Earle, David Baddiel, Stephen Mangan, William Boyd and David Morrissey.

She was the artist chosen by Sandy Denny's estate to set some of that late great writers unfinished lyrics to music, and in the process she created a hit album and the song London which became the TV theme to the 2012 Olympic Games.

Thea recorded an entire Bob Dylan album in celebration of the great man's 70th birthday and was promptly invited by Dylan's management to contribute to a special charity album of Dylan songs they were curating that same year.

Since being described in Q magazine in 1999 - whilst still in her teens - as "already in a league of her own among UK female singer/songwriters" Thea has released 14 albums.

Most strikingly, her work includes a series of socially conscious songs with subjects as diverse as the Stephen Lawrence murder, the war on terror, racism and sexism in celebrity culture, the pre- Iraq war jingoism, the dumbing down of mainstream TV, and her own generation's political apathy.

Her show promises to be a thought-provoking and entertaining night.

Thea Gilmore, Town Hall, High Wycombe, Tuesday, November 24. Details: 01494 512000