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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Jeremy Spencer

Coventry Blue

Review by Gary Hill

The latest by Jeremy Spencer, this is a bit of mixed bag. Spencer is probably best known for his work in the early incarnations of the blues based Fleetwood Mac. One can find quite a bit of music here that fits near the territory of that group. This stretches well beyond that, though. Some songs are more effective than others and there are some that are just about masterpieces. Nothing here is really a “skip this track” piece, but there are definitely some weaker ones, too. Still, the whole thing flows well and this is a good release. The guitar playing is stellar throughout and perhaps the one real unifying force on this set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Happy Troubadour

A funky bass line opens this and the cut works out from there in a rather country meets folk and blues type jam. This instrumental is a lot of fun.

Go To Keep Movin’
Acoustic guitar based, but still featuring plenty of electric instrumentation, this is a great blues rock number. It’s definitely something that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Fleetwood Mac catalog when Spencer was part of that band.
Dearest ... ummm, yah
I’m not overly crazy about this one. It’s got a real old time vibe to it and just seems a little odd to me. There is definitely a lot of folk music built into this thing.
Send an Angel
Now, this, on the other hand, is bluesy folk rock done right. It’s one of the best cuts here. It’s just got a lot of class and style. It feels quite dramatic and rather magical. It’s another that’s not far removed from the old Fleetwood Mac kind of sound.
Sounds like Paris
Jazz, folk and world music merge on this killer instrumental. This is fun and playful and just classy.
Blind Lover
With a lot of classic rock in the mix, this feels a bit like Roy Orbison and also like something Jeff Lynne might write.
Open the Door
The slide guitar soloing on this is just great. The song has a great retro rock vibe with lot of blues in the mix. It’s a real classic sounding tune that feels like it might have come out in the 1970s.
Sweet Were the Days
This instrumental has a lot of jazz, fok and even some classical in the mix. It’s overall not far removed from progressive rock. It’s also very classy.
Letting Go of the Past
Female vocals are featured here. It’s a killer bluesy classic rock number that’s among the highlights of the set.
Coventry Blue
The title track is a real downhome blues tune. It’s got some great slide guitar, but isn’t one of my favorites here. It’s much like something Robert Johnson might have done.
Nightingale’s Pledge
This instrumental has a lot classic rock in the mix along with some jazz. The guitar playing is very expressive on this number.
Durango
As one might guess from the title, there is a lot of country music in this. It’s got a real old time bluesy country vibe to it. It feels like it could have come out in the 1960s.
Moonshine Slide
Old-time music, this makes me think of Country Joe and the Fish.
The World in Her Heart
Although this does rock, it’s a very melodic piece. It seems to have equal parts classic rock and progressive rock. It’s also another instrumental.
Endlessly
A mellower number, this is very much in a 1950s style. It’s another that makes me think of Roy Orbison. It’s not one of my favorites and I’m not sure I would have put it in the closing position. It feels too small and vulnerable to hold that position in my book.

 

 
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