Peter Green (1946-2020)

by reestheskin on 27/07/2020

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Most of the music I enjoy I came to via my brother (Al of Penglas in West Cork). There are a few exceptions: I discovered Ralph Towner and the whole ECM catalogue after an aside in an interview  with Larry Coryell; and Mahler, and morning music, from my time in Vienna.

I can remember one particular album that Alun bought as something special. It was a compilation and cost 19/11, and not surprisingly had a blue cover: The World of Blues Power. To my ear the music was incredibly varied, such that I couldn’t imagine how this was a coherent genre. Some tracks I disliked intensely whilst others were just magical. Amongst the latter were three tracks featuring John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. On two, Eric Clapton was the lead: Steppin Out, which I later learned to play (badly), and All the Love, the guitar part of which — still to this day—  makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. If you listen 1’22” in you hear what digital amps and gear now refer to as the British Blues sound (or some such similar name). It is slowhand playing slowly. Magical. A giant beneficial  mutation in the history of the blues.

The third track, Greeny, was very different. It was John Mayall again, but this time with the late Peter Green who died just two days ago. The guitar was just so different, a delta of influences. BB King captures both the sound and Green:

He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.