Peter Green: Destiny Road

Peter Green, the ’60s Brit blues-rock guitar hero and founder of Fleetwood Mac is still alive and well and on the comeback trail with his Splinter Group. Their first studio recording, Destiny Road (Artisan 128172; 66:14), is a strong collection of soulful grooves and warm, blues-drenched lines by the man who replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall’s seminal Bluesbreakers band. Green takes his time and delivers in eloquent bluetones-both on guitar and with fragile, plaintive vocals-on the gospel flavored, heavily B.B. King-inspired slow blues “You’ll Be Sorry Someday,” which also features some heartfelt blues harp work by the 52-year-old guitarist. Alongside fellow ax slinger Nigel Watson, he heats up a vibrant two-guitar attack on the opening shuffle “Big Change Is Gonna Come” and on the menacing “Heart of Stone.” The two also meld brilliantly on the darkly lyrical instrumental “Hiding in Shadows.” This versatile, seasoned outfit serves up a convincing N’awlins second line groove on “Say That You Want To,” they deal in Shadows-Ventures exotica on the 6/8 instrumental remake of Green’s “Tribal Dance” (from his 1979 solo album, In the Skies) and revive Elmore James’ rousing boogie “Madison Blues,” with Green supplying some particularly tasty slide guitar work. And they close on an anthemic note with Stevie Winwood’s “There’s a River,” complete with vocal choir backing. While Green had seemingly dropped off the planet through the ’80s and early ’90s, he’s right back on his game with Destiny Road.