Album review: PETER GREEN SPLINTER GROUP – The Very Best Of

Snapper Music (double CD)

Peter Green was a founding member of Fleetwood Mac (having previously been in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers) and he was a key driver in that band’s early blues rock sound. He left Fleetwood Mac in 1970 due to ill health and was not seen again fully until 1995 when the Splinter Group was formed by fellow guitarist and Peter Green fan Nigel Watson. The Splinter Group saw Peter Green back onstage and the band released a series of albums between 1995 and 2004 when Green left the band. This two CD covers the Splinter Group’s history nicely and goes in chronological order, although as many of the songs were reinterpreted blues classics the music has that classic blues backbeat and there a lot of songs from Robert Johnson, one of Peter Green’s big influences.

The early Splinter Group line-up has a distinctive rock feel as joining Green an Watson were drummer Cozy Powell, bassist Neil Murray and keyboards Spike Edney (later to find fame running the SAS Band and its admirable series of charity gigs and previously the live keyboards player for Queen). As a result the earlier blues classics like ‘Look On Yonder Wall’ have a real rocking feel to them. The band quickly changed into a more classic blues band when Roger Cotton replaced Spike Edney and they added sax and trumpet to the later albums, plus included more original material. Listen out to for the harmonica playing of Green, which is both powerful and a touch sorrowful at the same time.

Two definite highlights are the Fleetwood Mac covers ‘The Green Manalishi’ and ‘Man of the World’, which is played as a lovely instrumental version. Even if you don’t fancy the album do grab a listen to this song. ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ sees Green team-up with guest Paul Rodgers. Now that would have been some pairing back in the day had it happened. Other guests include Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and Snowy White.

A perfect overview of Peter Green’s comeback, aided by the Splinter Group. Hopefully this won’t be the last we see of his talented playing, even if he just comes back for the odd live appearance. A true British blues legend.

****

Jason Ritchie


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Power Plays w/c 2 September (Mon-Fri)

BAD WOLVES Killing Me Slowly (Eleven Seven Music)
THE DEAD DAISIES Righteous Days (SPV)
DEEP DEEP WATER Something In The Water (indie)
MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST Sleeping With The Light On (Nuclear Blast)
GHOSTS OF MEN Crooked Back (Regent Street Records)
ANNIE HASLAM Blood And Water (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 2 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MICK DEVINE Here Now (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 MOB RULES Beast Over Europe (SPV)
14:00-16:00 THE PORTRAITS For Our Times (indie)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

STACKRIDGE A Victory For Common Sense (2009)



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