Peter Green With Nigel Watson/Splinter Group
Peter Plays The Blues
The Classic Compositions of Robert Johnson
(Eagle Records (2002) WK 24254)
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: November 2002
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
The re-emergence of Peter Green seems to have been both a blessing and something less of one depending on where you sit. Some see his soulful way of reading blues as a welcome return while others wish for a more dynamic artist, much like what Green stood as during his tenure with Fleetwood Mac in the later 1960's. Considering his well-publicized problems, the fact that he's even playing guitar is near miraculous. Gathered from 1998's "The Robert Johnson Songbook" and 2000's "Hot Foot Powder," the 45 minutes of material here is a fine introduction to one side of what Peter Green is today. Ably supported by Nigel Watson's tasteful guitar and that of his own, in addition to the Splinter Group, Green tackles 14 tracks written by Robert Johnson himself, and with assistance from a fine cast, the results are satisfying indeed. Buddy Guy has a guest slot on "Cross Road Blues," Otis Rush hands in some fine guitar for "Little Queen Of Spades" and "I'm A Steady Rollin' Man," and Hubert Sumlin is aboard for a top-shelf version of "Dead Shrimp Blues." Superb takes of "Ramblin' On My Mind," "Preachin' Blues," "Stones In My Passway," and others are also featured. Green's voice has aged nicely, and when compared to his earlier, swaggering work, there's less youthful urgency and more refined maturity. Still managing to muster moments of brilliance today, although they tend to come less frequently than 35 years ago, he can still traverse rocking, electric blues, but Peter Green seems to prefer the more reserved and pared back approach nicely shown on this introductory set. One slight disappointment is the lack of any session details or listed personnel and unless one is familiar with this recent work, it's impossible to know who's where throughout the program. You can go to www.bluestormmusic.com for more details.
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