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Spencer; Jeremy: Coventry Blue

When you initially read that an album is the second to come from a set of four year old sessions, then it doesn't really breed a huge amount of confidence for what sounds it may contain. However weigh that against the fact that the first release from said sessions, Bend In The Road, was an unsung joy and my interest for what original Fleetwood Mac guitarist Jeremy Spencer has created with his Coventry Blue, was officially piqued. Thankfully it was right to be, for not only does Coventry Blue prove that the session from which it came was positively overflowing with poised, perfectly pitched fare but I'd be as bold as to suggest that this selection of tracks actually outshines its predecessor.

Spencer, if you haven't encountered his playing before, is a classy guitarist capable of gently reaching across a variety of styles, while always remaining steeped in the blues. Some moments are more overtly country in origin, some both rock and roll. Others provide Cajun flavours and some, well they simply keep it simple and as bluesy as can be. Coventry Blue also mixes a variety of vocal and instrumental selections; Spencer's voice fitting his music perfectly, that of Rachel May oozing a controlled seduction. However, whether through words or music, this album is one which tells stories and evokes images. "Happy Troubadour" opens proceedings in a jaunty poetic fashion, engaging from the off, before "Got To Keep Movin'" slides and soothes with authentic passion. "Sounds Like Paris", ummmm, sounds like Paris, accordion setting a Gallic scene, "Blind Lover" combines a touching lyric to swinging themes, reminding of Roy Orbison as it does so; a less exuberant Elvis Presley even springing to mind in certain places across this album. However what strikes homes hardest across the gentle eclecticism displayed, is the quality and care behind each and every performance; Spencer's slide-work being simply captivating, while his co-guitarist Brett Lucas matches him throughout.

In a time when bombast and technical prowess often rule over poise and emotion, it is a pleasure to ease back and relax to an album confident enough to sit in easy grooves while still sounding vibrant and fresh as it does so. Something Coventry Blue achieves with room to spare.

Track Listing
1. Happy Troubadour
2. Got To Keep Movin'
3. Dearest...umm,yah
4. Send An Angel
5. Sounds Like Paris
6. Blind Lover
7. Open The Door
8. Sweet Were The Days
9. Letting Go The Past
10. Coventry Blue
11. Nightingale's Pledge
12. Durango
13. Moonshine Slide
14. The World In Her Heart
15. Endlessly

Added: June 4th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Jeremy Spencer online
Hits: 1479
Language: english

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