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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Peter Green

Splinter Group – Time Traders

Review by Gary Hill

Time Traders was originally released in 2001. It was out of print for a time and this is a reissue. Peter Green is best known as a blues artist and the era in which he was part of Fleetwood Mac saw them performing as a blues rock band. For that reason it should be no surprise that a lot of this disc is blues related. Still, there are things that move pretty far away from blues. What never changes, though, is a commitment to quality music. All in all, this is a strong disc and it’s good to know that it’s available again.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Until The Well Runs Dry

A killer blues number, this makes good use of backing vocals and harmonica to fill out the arrangement. It’s a smoking hot tune and a great way to start things in style. There’s a tasty harmonica solo mid-track.

Real World
Here we get a slower, mellower blues number that’s just plain cool! If the opener was the flashy appetizer to get you in the mood, then this is a down home meal delivered with all kinds of flair. Green’s guitar playing is extremely tasty and this is a great tune anyway you slice it. Interestingly enough, there’s a cool bridge that’s almost progressive rock in nature and calls to mind some of the Trevor Rabin era of Yes.
Running After You
There’s a bit of a jazz and zydeco flavor to this old school sounding blues number. It’s tasty and a change up from either of the cuts that preceded it, while still feeling like it fits. Green gets in some killer guitar soloing. The down home blues guitar solo section in particular is worth mentioning.
Shadow on My Door
The opening section here is stripped down and very much in a down-home, old school blues style. As it powers out into the more electrified section, this feels very much like something the Rolling Stones might have done, but the pure blues side of The Stones. It’s another great song that shows yet another side of the blues stylings of Peter Green.
Lies
There’s a more modern blues rock sound to this cut, perhaps a bit like Robert Cray, but the horn section also brings some real jazz to the table. It’s another great song that keeps the basic premise in place while changing the general mode. This is definitely not an album that has any kind of monolithic nature. The guitar soloing on this one is particularly tasteful.
(Down the Road of) Temptation
While the blues is still present on the nearly spoken vocal line, this one is more of a pure rock sound.
Downsize Blues (Repossess My Body)
Based on a blues piano and vocal motif, this has a lot of old school Dixieland jazz built into the arrangement.
Feeling Good
A mellow, fairly old-school sounding blues number, this more guitar oriented than the previous piece and has some 1950s stylings.
Time Keeps Slipping Away
This starts tentatively and then moves out to a tune that’s more rock based than pure blues. There are definite blues elements, but really this is a rock song. The chorus, though, has more real blues built into it.
Wild Dogs
There’s a lot of funk on this gritty bluesy rocker. It’s got some of the tastiest guitar work of the whole set, and that says a lot. There’s a cool melodic segment that ends this that has some jazz and even a little bit of space rock built into it.
Home
Here we get a bluesy rocker that’s quite melodic and has some progressive rock and folk within its structures and sounds. There are some moments in this cut that even call to mind prog rock like Yes.
Underway
This instrumental is melodic and mellow are more like a cross between space rock and jam band music (ala The Dead) than the blues. It’s a nice change of pace.
Uganda Woman
Combining the world music suggested by the title with more of that Grateful Dead kind of song, this is closer to something you might expect from Paul Simon. It’s a good tune and a nice change of pace and has some elements that call to mind some of Jon Anderson’s solo work, too.
 
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