Long before Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks took Fleetwood Mac to multi-platinum status on the pop charts, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac were major contributors to the British Blues invasion in the mid-sixties. While the group only had moderate success they did provide Santana with their first hit, Black Magic Woman. Still regarded by countless fans as the best white blues guitarist, aside from Eric Clapton, Peter Green has been an undeniable force in blues since his days with John Mayhall's Blues Breakers. With an eerie Green instrumental called The Supernatural, he demonstrated the beginning of his trademark fluid, haunting style on the Blues Breakers album A Hard Road in late 1966. Green's band, Splinter continue to set the standard of Contemporary Blues with their latest release, Time Traders.
The Peter Green Splinter Group formed in 1996. The 1997 self-titled debut was met with mixed reviews and was to be the band's last recording of the decade. Green continued as a solo artist until 2000 when the Splinter Group released Hot Foot Powder. The disc was a follow-up to the 1998 release, The Robert Johnson Songbook and now Green had recorded every song that Robert Johnson was known to have composed and recorded. With such notable artists as, Nigel Watson, Dr. John, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin, and Joe Louis Walker, contributing to the project, blues fans were delighted with the recording.
The self produced Time Traders is a diverse mix of musical styles. Blues is the main course on this disc, but elements of Soul, Funk, and even touches of Ethnic rhythms are thrown into the mix. While all but one song on Time Traders were written by band mates Nigel Watson, Rodger Cotton, and Peter Stroud, Green's presence and influence is apparent on each and every track.
The recording opens with a hidden track, Well Runs Dry, which showcases Peter Green's well-traveled vocals and notable harp playing. Running After You is a classic shuffle that generates a brilliant solo from Hammond player Roger Cotton as well as tasty harmonica and guitar solos from Green. With lead vocals by Nigel Watson, Downsized Blues (Repossess My Body) has a Dr. John feel, complete with Louisiana style piano, flugelhorn and trumpet. Peter Green's Underway is another masterful guitar instrumental reminiscing of his classic Albatross. Uganda Woman has a soothing and entrancing quality with a Sting-like characteristic (Nigel's vocals even sound a bit like Sting) in the midst of African rhythms and chanting.
With an eclectic mix of musical styles coupled with masterful musicianship, Time Traders is evidence that Peter Green continues to grow as an artist nearly 35 years after joining up with John Mayhall while other blues veterans continue to flounder in the past.
Click on the CD cover to order this CD!
This review is copyright © 2002 by Tony Engelhart, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission.
For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.