Review by David Bowling
Jeremy Cedric Spencer has been a member of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for over 15 years. He was an original member of Fleetwood Mac and remained with the band from its formation in 1967 until 1971, when he quit in the middle of a tour to join a religious cult. While he continued to perform, except for three albums released in the 1970’s, he did not return to the recording studio until 2006.
He has now released his third album in seven years. Coventry Blue follows on the heels of 2012’s excellent Bend In The Road. In many ways his new album is an extension of its predecessor. He has settled into a laid back bluesy groove that highlights his technical expertise and ability to explore a melody from a number of angles. His voice has aged but he does not over-extend himself and it fits his music well.
He is one of those guitarists who have always had a distinct sound. One you hear him play, whether acoustic or electric, you will instantly recognize his music in the future.
The first several tracks set the tone for what follows. “Happy Troubadour” is an instrumental on which he explores the main melody in a number of ways. “Got To Keep Movin’” is a smooth blues performance that re-introduces his under-stated vocal ability. “Dearest … Umm Yah” and “Send Me An Angel” find him settling into the smooth blues groove that dominates much of the material.
He reaches back into his past for two of the tracks. “The World In Her Heart” is an instrumental remake of a track from one of his early 1970’s solo releases. The poignant track is his take on “Open The Door,” which was penned and performed by him and Danny Kirwan back in their Fleetwood Mac Days. It evolves from a straight blues tune toward a rock/pop sound.
Coventry Blue finds Spencer not only producing a mature album of laid-back blues but one that seemingly finds him content.