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Reaching the Cold 100

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Album Review

Reaching the Cold 100 is the final Peter Green Splinter Group recording. It is polished, warm-toned British blues-rock in a mode that literally puts anything Eric Clapton's done in the last 20 years to shame. Peter Stroud, Nigel Watson and Roger Cotton composed most of the material here separately; yet they have figured out a way to sound like a single songwriter reflecting Green's voice and musical persona. This record has a ton of spiritual themes attached to it, many of them spooky — and not in that clichéd way people have been imitating Robert Johnson in either. Whether they are mid-tempo, minor-key rockers like "Needs Must the Devil Drives," the slower, Chicago-styled "Spiritual Thief," that walks the line between blues and soul, or the downright hunted "Dangerous Man," that theme underlies much here. Other standouts on this set are the snarling, funky "Cool Down," the smoldering "Look Out for Yourself," the soul-blues, of "When Somebody Cares," and the minimal blues funk in "Smile." As a bonus, there are new renditions of Green's "Black Magic Woman," "It Takes Time," "Green Manalishi," and "Albatross." Certainly they don't replace the originals, but they are nonetheless captivating moments, especially "Black Magic Woman" which has been redefined in light of the Santana version, combining the best elements of both. "It Takes Time" is a natural for this band, but the vocal suffers a bit, like it's a demo vocal attached to a finished track. "Green Manalishi" feels and sounds like a demo jam, but it's a good listen, and "Albatross," is simply one of the most gorgeous guitar instrumentals ever, and Green playing acoustic on it is simply stunning. This is it, the end of this short-lived band's recorded history, and they go out on a high note. Who knows what Green will do next? Let's just hope it's something.

Reaching the Cold 100, Peter Green Splinter Group
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