Category Archives: Jeremy Spencer

Original Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Jeremy Spencer Announces 2014 US Tour & New Release ‘Coventry Blue’

Jeremy Spencer photo

For Immediate Release

Original Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Jeremy Spencer Announces 2014 US Tour & New Release ‘Coventry Blue’

Dublin, Ireland – Jeremy Spencer’s fans in the US have long been waiting for his return. In fact, except for a few brief US appearances (in 2006 and 2010), 43 years have passed since Jeremy last toured the US (with Fleetwood Mac in 1971). Jeremy announced today that he is scheduled to tour the US in February and March of 2014, initially booking venues in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

Jeremy has launched a Kickstarter Campaign offering advance premiums that will extend his tour to other cities in the US and fund the new CD. Kickstarter supporters will be eligible to receive pre-release downloads of “Coventry Blue”, autographed CDs or LPs, original artwork or private concerts. There will also be an exclusive 2014 Tour Club that will provide exclusive video and audio live updates from the tour.

Kickstarter URL:

Jeremy Spencer is renowned as a consummate slide guitar player with the years only enhancing his subtlety and taste. He still is the foremost Elmore James stylist alive – bar none. Jeremy can and does tear it up, retaining his verve, passion and devotion to the blues, but now he brings a cultivated maturity, assured conviction and compositional purpose that are truly sublime. His songs come via his intimate journey from the spiritual core of his heart and connect profoundly with listeners. The original Fleetwood Mac were Britain’s most authentic blues band during the sixties boom before morphing into mega-million selling pop celebrity. Their beloved alliance remains an historic testament to the era’s meeting of generations, melding of continents and shared musical devotion.

This tour will afford Jeremy the opportunity to display his many facets with a wider evolved guitar pallet as displayed on Bend. At last he will deliver live on the record with its haunting melodies and exquisite guitar harmonies as well as select mighty Mac blues and rock n’ roll in his inimitable style. Expect his alternatively dirty and precise Elmore James slide stings; he’ll delve deep into blues nuggets that he discerningly curates and revitalize the primordial rock that he spot on mimicked famously and comically on stage with the Mac. Further treat is his expansive range of influences from Django Reinhardt to Marty Robbins to Mark Knopfler, fingering them effortlessly and seamlessly incorporating them into his own compositions as natural an easy fit as that of his beloved ceramic slides. Jeremy’s tour return to these shores at a creative pinnacle makes this a rare opportunity for fans.

“Bend in the Road” has garnered rave reviews:

“Making a full-blown return now, the veteran released his fifth solo album, “Bend in the Road”, that shows the master hasn’t lost a bit of his youthfulness. Spencer is in his element on this collection of newer cuts and classics such as Otis Rush’s punchy, mesmeric “Homework” and Homesick James’ “Homesick”. They all feature that mythical slide, but Jeremy also plays a fine piano that breaks the album in the middle from classy to exceptional. But the genuine magic settles in after an ivories-lighted, deep “Merciful Sea”, marries widescreen anger to a pacifying sway in an alchemic manner which can move mountains and souls. And then there’s peaceful title song to elegantly sign it all off – and leave Jeremy’s fans wanting more. The road goes on, so may Spencer’s time be long.” – Dmitry M. Epstein, “Let it Rock”

“Jeremy Spencer, the Fleetwood Mac alum, has found inspiration in working with new voices, old masters and his own muse — creating an album of intimate, handmade joys that moves confidently from blues to Americana to rootsy pop. Bend in the Road, recalls in many ways the Elmore James-focused contributions he made to Fleetwood Mac’s first pair of Peter Green-led recordings in the late 1960s. But there’s much more than that going on here. Spencer, the roving gypsy heart of this project, finds inspiration everywhere — switching to keyboards on tracks like the majestically restrained “Merciful Sea” and James’ sizzling “Cry for Me Baby,” while uncovering inspirational wellsprings that reside far beyond the iconic Delta cottonfields and shotgun shacks of traditional acoustic blues. In the end, this gives Bend in the River the feel of a career valedictory. It’s gloriously hard to pin down — something personified in standout tracks like “Homework,” which finds Spencer howling like old rock and stinging like Otis Rush, all over a loose groove that would have been right at home on an Eric Clapton solo recording from the early 1970s. It’s that kind of record. The very good kind.” – Nick DeRiso, “Something Else Reviews”

“Bend in the Road” admirably demonstrates why Spencer’s in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Impeccably picked notes are still the trademark of Spencer’s guitar-picking, and it begins with the first cut, “Homesick,” a loping blues. Spencer’s slidework on “Whispering Fields,” an instrumental, sounds like silk sliding on satin. No string screech, no missteps, just pure, clean slidework, a maestro at his best. Spencer’s long absence from the public eye is our loss. Let’s hope he’s back to stay. There’s a certain serenity that pervades this album that goes beyond the eye of the beholder, and the twelfth cut, another instrumental, “Merciful Sea,” exemplifies it.” – Lou Novacheck, “Elmore Magazine”

“Bend in the Road” finds Jeremy Spencer doing what he does best, delivering quality blues. It’s a great album filled with many exceptional cuts, once again assuring that Spencer will forever be remembered as one of the greats. And what’s best? He is far from done. Be ready for some more music to surface in time to come.” – Mark Kadzielawa, “69 Faces of Rock”

“In following up “Precious Little,” his notable 2006 comeback, Jeremy Spencer has crafted his fifth and finest solo release. Maybe “Precious Little” was Spencer’s way of getting his studio legs back after a nearly three-decade absence from recording. Or perhaps choosing to make “Bend in the Road” a collaboration gave it that extra oomph. Then again, it could simply be — as he told The Oakland (Mich.) Press in January 2010 — that “I’ve got so much material ’cause I’ve just been, like, dormant. I just turned 61, so you do kind of want to get it out while you can and show people what you’ve got.” Whatever the reason, “Bend” is a startling achievement for the founding Fleetwood Mac slide guitarist.” – Peter Hund, “Good New Music”

Jeremy Spencer tour dates:

Feb 12: Fingerprints Long Beach, CA – In Store
Feb 13: Largo at the Coronet, Los Angeles, CA
Feb 14: LeStats, San Diego, CA
Feb 15: Westwood Music Workshop
Feb 16: Soho, Santa Barbara, CA
Feb 17: The Chapel, SF, CA
Feb 19: Moe’s Alley, Santa Cruz, CA
Feb 20: Minor’s Foundry, Nevada City, CA
Feb 21: Palm’s Playhouse, Winters, CA
Feb 22: Freight & Salvage Workshop, SF
Feb 28: Winchester Hall, Cleveland, OH
Mar 1: Callahan’s, Detroit. MI
Mar 2: The Ark, Ann Arbor. MI
Mar 6: Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI
Mar 7: Buddy Guy’s Legends, Chicago, IL
Mar 8: Rosas Lounge, Chicago, IL
Mar 9: Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
Mar 12: Love & War, Plano TX
Mar 13: Yard Dog Gallery, Austin, TX
Mar 20: Regatta Bar, Cambridge MA
Mar 21: Black Eyed Sallys, Hartford, CT
Mar 22: Passim Workshop
Mar 22: Bearsville Theater, Woodstock NY
Mar 23: Turning Point, Piermont NY
Mar 24: BB Kings Blues Bar, NY
Mar 25: Blues Alley, Washington, DC
Mar 27: Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, PA
Mar 28: Splatter Concerts, NJ
Mar 30: Jalopy Theater, Brooklyn, NY
Mar 31: Iridium with Les Paul Trio, NYC

Contact:
For bookings, interviews or more
information, please contact:
Cassie Dakis
(702) 475-5604
cassie@propelz.com

Photos:
High res photos can be downloaded at: http://www.jeremyspencertour.com/press-kit

http://www.JeremySpencer.com
http://www.JeremySpencerTour.com

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

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Something Else Reviews – Jeremy Spencer – Bend in the Road

Jeremy Spencer – Bend in the Road (2012)
Posted by Nick DeRiso

Jeremy Spencer, the Fleetwood Mac alum, has found inspiration in working with new voices, old masters and his own muse, creating an album of intimate, handmade joys that moves confidently from blues to Americana to rootsy pop.

Bend in the Road, seeing worldwide release on August 28, 2012, recalls in many ways the Elmore James-focused contributions he made to Fleetwood Mac’s first pair of Peter Green-led recordings in the late 1960s — a vibe that carried over to Spencer’s 2006 comeback recording Precious Little, as well. Spencer plays slide throughout, and includes James tracks like “The Sun is Shining” and “Stranger Blues” — the last of which is given a tasty new Spanish tinge. (The opener, called “Homesick,” was actually written and recorded in the early 1950s by James’ cousin, too.)

But there’s much more than that going on here.

Of course, Spencer was also known, in the late 1960s, for his canny way of echoing early rockers, and he gives a few notable nods (the groove on “Earthquake,” the unkempt vocals on “Stranger Blues” and “Homework”) to the legacies of lost mid-century geniuses like Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran, too.

Bend in the Road, originally issued as a limited-edition double vinyl album for Record Store Day, also revives a few ideas that had lain dormant from his time in Fleetwood Mac, the brief solo career that followed, and during what would turn a three-decade retirement from the music business for Spencer — who left to follow a religious path.

He’d started on “Whispering Fields” in the run up to Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled 1967 debut, but set it aside. After a number of failed attempts at fashioning lyrics for the tune over the years, it’s presented here as an amiable, country-rocking instrumental. The searching, ruminative “Desired Haven” is a reworking of an idea that dates back to 1972, while “Refugees” started out as the title track from 1979′s Flee. “Aphrodite,” which recalls the inspirational lyricism of George Harrison, is originally from the late 1970s, as well. Meanwhile, “Earthquake” was written in 1981, after Spencer experienced a temblor in Greece.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: Jeremy Spencer’s former Fleetwood Mac bandmate Peter Green has also made a remarkable 2012 comeback with the thrillingly rambunctious ‘Blues Don’t Change.’]

At the same time, though, Bend in the Road doesn’t seem dated, never feels rote: That’s thanks in part of these flinty tandem moments with new collaborator Brett Lucas, who’s worked with Bettye LaVette in the past. His contributions are particularly notable on the series of Spencer instrumentals included here, as the second guitarist adds classically inspired flourishes, early rock punch, and a few saucy R&B asides. (The band is rounded out by drummer Todd Glass; bassist James Simonson; accordion player Duncan McMillan; a string section that included Molly Hughes, Mimi Morris and Stefan Koch; and background vocalist Rachel May, who offers an intriguing series of shadings — moving with sly ease from soaring heights to ghostly quietude.)

Credit Spencer, the roving gypsy heart of this project, as well. He finds inspiration everywhere — switching to keyboards on tracks like the majestically restrained “Merciful Sea” and James’ sizzling “Cry for My Baby,” while uncovering inspirational wellsprings that reside far beyond the iconic Delta cottonfields and shotgun shacks of traditional acoustic blues: There are devotional nods to his time away from music (“I Walked a Mile With Sorrow,” “Come to Me”), and a trio of tunes based upon poetry — “I Walked a Mile” (Robert Browning), “Secret Sorrow” (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) and the title track (an obscure writer named Praveen).

In the end, this gives Bend in the River the feel of a career valedictory. It’s gloriously hard to pin down — something personified in standout tracks like “Homework,” which finds Spencer howling like old rock and stinging like Otis Rush, all over a loose groove that would have been right at home on an Eric Clapton solo recording from the early 1970s.

It’s that kind of record. The very good kind.

Source


The Rocktologist Interview with Jeremy Spencer

Jeremy Spencer: “if real blues got the recognition it deserves, something precious might get lost”.
by Daniel Pavlica

For many, Jeremy Spencer’s slide guitar remains one of the defining sounds of 60’s rock, or blues rock if you chose. He will always be best known for his resourceful musical relationship with Peter Green in Fleetwood Mac. Nowadays he is kept busy creating comic strip illustrations and writing stories, as well as making music!

Eric Clapton had Robert Johnson, while musically you grew on Elmore James. Is that a fair verdict?

I’d say that is a fair assessment!

If I were a little wicked, I would say that you two took blues a little too seriously.

I suppose I was, in the sense that I wanted to listen to as much as I could, but I balanced that ‘seriousness’ with hefty doses of 1950’s rockabilly, doo wop and country music.

What is so special about Elmore James in comparison to other blues greats?

Everyone has different influences, so I can’t speak for other musicians/guitarists. But for me, out of other blues artists, he caught my attention enough to want to play and sing like him. I wanted to sing and play like Otis Rush, too, but I seemed to have been blessed with an uncanny knack to get a handle on Elmore’s music!

Was it as natural to get involved with blues in the 60s, as it is generally believed today?

At the time (around 1966) it wasn’t natural for most young musicians. To be successful when gigging, bands had to play soul music like Sam and Dave, and Wilson Pickett, or cover pop bands like the Who, Beatles and Beach Boys. When I was playing with my little hometown band, blues was not a great crowd draw, but we gained a small following with it.

What are your memories of working with Peter Green? After all, you had one of rock’s most creative partnerships.

I would say that I learned from Peter Green, not so much from his guitar playing – which of course was excellent, but his simple ‘less is more’ approach to music. We shared similar sensibilities regarding it. For instance, Peter once told Eric Clapton that he preferred listening to Hank B. Marvin than a certain fast playing rock/blues player that was on the scene at the time! I think that gives an idea of what I mean in a few words.
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A lot of the music that was around at that time was heavily influenced by blues, still nobody else was playing it the way you did. How do you see your role in the British blues boom?

By the late 60’s, due to the commercial success of John Mayall, Cream, Hendrix and us (Fleetwood Mac), overdriven blues styles were becoming acceptable in mainstream music, and through bands such as Led Zeppelin, those styles were filtering into stuff antecedent to the heavy metal and glamrock bands of the 70’s and 80’s.

I think for the first year or so of Fleetwood Mac, we were adamantly trying to stay true to the classic forms of Chicago blues despite what we considered the cosmetic, progressive images and forms that many other British blues bands were taking. Especially when some of those bands, who previously had been playing pop or soul music, had merely donned a ‘blues’ hat now that it was fashionable and fairly lucrative.

You jammed with Otis Spann and Willie Dixon on one of Fleetwood Mac’s US tours. Tell us more about that?

During those ‘Fleetwood Mac in Chicago’ Chess sessions, I played with Elmore James’ sax player, J. T. Brown. On my tracks there was Willy Dixon on bass and Mick on the drums. Pretty sparse! But J. T. and I had a wonderful time playing together; he and I must have smiled the whole time, and I think that comes across on the album. Anyway, J. T. was like a grandfather to me, he had none of that ‘territorial’ vibe of blues is ‘our’ (black’s) music and he seemed rather taken that this little whitey from another time and place was so into his music. We chatted a lot over coffee in the break, mainly about Elmore of course and he didn’t seem to mind!

About nine months after the recording, J. T. called me in London from Chicago, and played me a ‘78 over the phone of Elmore’s ‘Coming Home’, telling me the history of how Elmore had cut it the day after coming out of hospital. Apparently the time in hospital had affected Elmore’s fingers so he could only play slide and not finger lead for the flip side which was ‘Twelve year-old Boy’. About three months later, J. T. died. He was ‘Coming Home’.

What is the definite bottom line on you leaving Fleetwood Mac?

I don’t know if this is the ‘definite bottom line’ under why I left, but I was sad, uninspired musically, I had questions about life, death, love, my future, God – everything! I couldn’t go on with it. Bottom line, I had to leave in order to step back from the picture and get my life sorted out. I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t and they would not have gone on to be one of the biggest bands in history! I don’t say that in a self-demeaning way, because I knew when I heard the first album with the Buckingham-Nicks line up, that they had hit on something good with an enormously catchy appeal.

Besides that, after I left them, I prayed for God to reward them with success beyond their dreams. He answered that prayer.

How did Jeremy Spencer and the Children band come together?

When I joined the Children of God, a community that specialized in evangelical contemporary music, I found myself playing alongside black ‘soul’ brothers, Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez style folk artists, cowboy country and gospel singers, psychedelic Hendrix adherents and more. Consequently, some of us formed a band and an album resulted, consisting of mostly self-penned numbers — some people said that the music sounded like Jefferson Airplane and West Coast psychedelic rock! Well, I was experimenting with folksy songs and structured twin guitar work with my co-guitarist at the time, Phil Ham, who was actually a Clapton aficionado from Dallas, Texas.

You released three albums in the 70s, “Jeremy Spencer” (1970), “Jeremy Spencer and the Children” (1973) and “Flee” (1979), but right until the dawning of the new millennium you pretty much kept a low profile. What were you up to then and what was your relation towards music in that period?

I have recorded in various small studios and done the occasional performance, but it is with a great deal of thought and contemplation. I don’t have the time or the desire to go back to the gigging grind, although I love playing with like-minded musicians. I have recently enjoyed playing with a British blues artist, Papa George, and with a young French guitarist, Mick Ravassat and his little ‘Blue Team’. I am looking forward to working with them more in the coming months.

Comic strip and graphic novel illustrating is a pleasure for me too — black ink brush line work like Will Eisner, and Terry and Rachel Dodson. I get inspired with ideas for that and I love writing short novels and stories, too. I am happy to be busy!

With “Precious Little” (2006) and now “Bend in the Road” (2012) you seem to be having something of a purple patch.
(One definition of ‘Purple patch’: A period of notable success or good luck.)

If you mean commercially, not so much as yet! As far as the beginning of a tapping into and releasing of musical wealth, I very much think so.
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On “Bend in the Road,” you are partnered by Brett Lucas, a young firebrand from Detroit, who co-produced the album.

Yes. He is much respected in Detroit and tours regularly with Betty Lavette, often in Europe. It was wonderful working with him on producing and arranging, as he is able to diversify, and he especially enjoyed working on the instrumentals. We even were able to indulge our liking for subtle string arrangements!

You’ve tweaked your musical style a bit adding a large range of influences.

I have. Although, as I have noted before, a lot of the material has been in my musical ‘cold storage’ for many years!

The new album will be released worldwide on August 28th. Do you plan to tour in support of its release?

As yet, I may do some low-key gigs here and there, but there are no plans for touring.

What is the first thing that leaps to mind when someone suggests a Fleetwood Mac reunion to you?

I think of Mark Knopfler’s response to a similar question in an interview — with an ‘audible sigh’!

What is your opinion on modern blues guitarists like Joe Bonamassa?

In general, I am neither keen on nor moved by what is termed ‘blues/rock’ style, as it usually means hard, fast and overdriven with little more emotion than aggression and bitter frustration for its own sake. I prefer to hear blues without the ‘rock’ mix! A Latin mix is nice, and can be quite moving and positively uplifting for me.

As far as Joe B. is concerned, I did hear a track called ‘Happier Times’, which I liked — although it is not strictly blues.

Do you think the blues gets the recognition it deserves these days?

I am all in favour of introducing that music to the youth, so that they can appreciate it and see the roots of some of what they like to listen to, but I think for the blues to retain its charisma, I am sort of glad it remains a niche market. We didn’t, don’t and hopefully won’t see too many #1 blues hits!

I have seen recently, however, a small growth of interest from young people in the more classic, subtle style of blues, rather than in the type that seems to have been prevalent in the last say, fifteen or twenty years — mostly derived from the screaming vocals and overplayed, overdriven Les Paul/Marshal stuff of the late sixties.

Still, I have a feeling that if real blues got the recognition it deserves, something precious might get lost. Fame, fortune, popularity and recognition do not always go hand in hand with true honour.

Source


New CD From Original Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Jeremy Spencer To Be Released Worldwide On August 28, 2012

For Immediate Release

New CD From Original Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Jeremy Spencer To Be Released Worldwide On August 28, 2012

July 24, 2012 – San Francisco, CA – On April 21st, legendary guitarist Jeremy Spencer, an original member of Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and featured artist on Propelz, released a limited edition double vinyl album titled ‘Bend In The Road’ for International Record Store Day. The release packs a “vintage vibe” by way of Jeremy’s handmade touch, fusing his artistry as a consummate slide guitarist, singer/songwriter, interpreter, and illustrator. His evocative watercolor graces the timeless gatefold cover, recalling enduring albums when records were the sum of their parts and made with consequence. Within is an equally crafted collection of songs coming from the deepest core of his heart. He sounds as authentically tasty and fiery as ever, displaying a far wider guitar palette, insight, and conviction that have continued to evolve since his long absence from the public eye. On August 28, 2012 Jeremy Spencer’s ‘Bend In The Road’ will be released on CD worldwide with a new package design.

In Fleetwood Mac, Jeremy shared the spotlight with reticent star-super nova Peter Green, embodying Elmore James riffs and vocals obsessively and uncannily. He possessed an equal fervor and absolute command of quintessential early rock and roll, personifying personal hero Buddy Holly and his ilk spot on. On ‘Bend In The Road,’ the Elmore and Buddy influences and impeccable blues and rock rendering remain intact and vibrant, while also present is a new collaborative nature. He selflessly trades guitar licks and support with Brett Lucas (the young Detroit guitarist and aficionado who co-produced the album and whose band augments the proceedings) in the way Green and Kirwan shared on the iconic “Albatross”, the torching “Like It This Way” and the introspective “World In Harmony”. On the album’s elegant “Merciful Sea”, producer Brett managed to persuade Jeremy to reveal his hereto unsung, intimate, and affecting piano playing for all to marvel. Throughout the full 32 tracks recorded at this time, one can hear an expansive range of influences from Django to Marty Robbins. Jeremy plays effortlessly while seamlessly incorporating these influences and making them his own, as natural and easy of a fit as that of his beloved ceramic slides.

This record is a career culmination of technique meeting soul that has a transcendent, “Layla-esque,” quality. With its escalating and emotive sequence of songs, which are spiritually driven and invested (recalling LPs of yore, but without sounding dated), the album instead sounds intoxicatingly assured, relaxed, and out of the blue resonant.

The Special Limited 2-LP Gatefold Edition released on Record Store Day, April 21st, 2012, contains 17 tracks, 4 of which are exclusive: Jambo, Strange Woman, The Sun is Shining, and Blind Lover (but without the song Homework, which only appears on the CD).

In 2006 Jeremy Spencer released his album ‘Precious Little’, which met with enthusiastic reviews and marked a new beginning for Jeremy after virtually disappearing from the music world for 33 years.

Press surrounding ‘Bend In The Road’ includes:

“I had chills up my spine listening to it tonight, and when I heard ‘Aphrodite’ the first time a few days ago, I was literally right back into ‘Then Play On’ territory…couldn’t believe it…an instant classic right there.” Rick Frystak, Amoeba Records

“Inside is a collection of songs that come from Spencer’s love of the blues. It’s an intimate journey but one that will connect profoundly and repeatedly with listeners.” Clive Rawlings, Blues Matters

“An album I am sure will satisfy all good music lovers, from those who loved the original Fleetwood Mac, to the younger ones, who enjoy pop music, blues, rock, classical music, soul… So, if you like good music, this album is perfect for you.” Vincent Zumel, La Hora del Blues

” ‘Bend In The Road’ flows with the ease of a master craftsman at the top of his game. His obvious skill and passion for what he does makes this disc impossible for me to remove from the player. It has simply mesmerized me.” Monte Adkinson, Suncoast Blues Society

‘Precious Little’ left Blues aficionados eager for more… and now, six years later, Jeremy Spencer has put together a masterpiece with his new release, ‘Bend in the Road’.

For more Information: http://jeremyspencer.com/

Promotional Requests or to set up an Interview, please contact: Billy James at Glass Onyon PR at 828-350-8158 or via e-mail at glassonyonpr@gmail.com

High res photos can be downloaded at: http://www.propelz.com/press-kits

For US distribution inquiries, please contact Steffen Franz or Ben Lang at Independent Distribution Collective, telephone: 415-292-7007 or via e-mail at sales@independentdistro.com