Review: Peter Green Splinter Group – The Very Best Of

Posted on: Tuesday, Oct 1, 2013

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Peter Green Splinter Group – The Very Best Of

(Madfish)

The re-emergence of Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green in the mid-90s was one of that decade’s greatest musical surprises, as for the 20 years or so preceding it, Greeny had been the subject of endless speculation. So eagerly awaited was his comeback that he was given a standing ovation at his group’s debut show in Buxton just for walking on the stage.

That is quite revealing, as the early recordings prove – when viewed dispassionately – that Peter was not really anywhere near the standard of the guy recognised as one of the world’s best blues guitarists at his peak.

That was the problem – on his return to the public eye, he needed and took time to build and his voice initially sounded tired, so that the live recordings and Robert Johnson covers are just, well, OK (and Peter plays harp a lot of the time, leaving guitar duties to his buddy Nigel Watson).

But then, from the 1999 remake of “The Green Manalishi” onwards, he hits form. The band seems to really connect with him, guests include Doctor John, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Otis Rush and Snowy White, and Peter sounds as convincing as he ever did right through to the end of this compilation.

Drawing 32 tracks from seven albums issued between 1997 and 2003, when the group dissolved, this double CD is ultimately an excellent, admittedly slightly flawed but instructive collection of modern blues that will do Peter Green’s formidable reputation no harm whatsoever.

NORMAN DARWEN

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