Monday, March 31, 2014

CD Review: Classic Rock Artists Peter Hammill, Gary Lucas and Jeremy Spencer Return With New Music

English singer/songwriter Peter Hammill became one of the founding members of the late-sixties progressive rock band Van Der Graaf Generator. He released his first solo album in 1971 (Fool's Mate) and continued as a solo artist while also keeping alive Van Der Graaf Generator in the seventies.

American guitarist/songwriter/composer Gary Lucas had a very successful solo career. He has over thirty solo albums and has worked with countless artists including Captain Beefheart, Lou Reed and Jeff Buckley. Lucas also created the soundtrack to silent films from the 1920s and 30s.

One evening in 1973, a chance encounter happened between Hammill and Lucus began the ball rolling for a collaboration between the two artists. It was not until 2012 when the two decided to enter a studio together to record their first collaboration entitled "Otherworld."

The fourteen song album showcases the talents of both artists as Hammill's vocals and Lucas' guitar compositions bring out the very best of each one. The acoustic opener "Spinning Coins" sound like a lost folk ballad from the sixties, while "Some Kind of Fracas" has Hammill pulling off his best David Bowie (pre-Ziggy Stardust) impression. Lucas displays his guitar skills on the exploratory feel of "Built From Scratch," before the duo experiment with their sound on the seven-minute "Reboot." Hammill brings up the ghost of Lou Reed in his vocal delivery of "The Kid" and then closes with Lucas' ambient touch on "Slippery Slope."

The two musicians had so much fun recording together that they plan on heading out on the road in 2014. For more information on the album "Otherworld," pleas visit

British musician Jeremy Spencer recently released his sixth solo album, "Coventry Blue." For those who may not know who Jeremy Spencer is, here is a little background information. He was one of the founding members of Fleetwood Mac to which he would help give the band worldwide fame as a blues band. He released his first self-titled solo album in 1970, which included members of Fleetwood Mac on the album. He left the band abruptly in 1971 and joined the religious group "Children of God." His next two solo albums would include musicians from the "Children of God" religion, before disappearing from music. He returned with his first commercial album in 2005 and received rave reviews. It would take another six years for him to enter the studio, but he would end up recording over 32 songs, half of which appeared on his 2012 album "Bend In The Road" and the rest would be used to create his latest release "Coventry Blue."

The album begins with the light blues of "Happy Troubadour" which showcases Spencer's amazing slide guitar. His song "Got To Keep Movin'" sound as if it came from one of Eric Clapton's seventies masterpieces as Rachel May lends her vocals talents to help flesh out the chorus. The songs "Dearest...umm, yah" and "Open The Door" sound as if they are flashbacks from an earlier (and simpler) time as the music sways behind Spencer's smooth guitar licks. Spencer's slide guitar playing on "Letting Go Of The Past" deserves your full attention as May's vocals lead the way. The title-song plays out like old Chicago blues gem, while "Durango" belongs in an upcoming Quentin Tarantino movie. The album closes with "Endlessly," a song that Spencer begun writing over 40 years ago that carries an Elvis Presley vibe to it.

Tot find out more about Jeremy Spencer, please visit

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