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Peter Green: The Robert Johnson Songbook

Another ’60s icon, guitarist Peter Green (who replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in 1966 and later founded Fleetwood Mac) goes for a more acoustic downhome Delta vibe on The Robert Johnson Songbook (Artisan 100022; ). A legendary Brit guitarist who dropped out of sight in 1970 after suffering an emotional breakdown exacerbated by the use hallucinogenic drugs (a fate that also befell Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd), Green only recently returned to the scene. (Two recent tribute albums, Rattlesnake Guitar and Gary Moore’s Blues for Greenie have served to introduce Green to a new generation of blues enthusiasts.) There’s a poignant beauty to Green’s fragile vocals on “Walkin’ Blues,” “Love in Vain,” “When You Got a Good Friend” and particularly on “Phonograph Blues,” where he’s accompanied only by piano. The energy level picks up a notch when his duo partner, Nigel Watson, takes over vocal chores on “32-20 Blues,” “Stones in My Passway” and “If I Had Possession of Judgment Day.” Pop singer Paul Rodgers also guests on a rousing “Sweet Home Chicago.”

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