Eric Clapton’s playing on the Bluesbreakers record changed my life. This was a guitar tone unlike any other previously. Fat, sustaining, it recalled the violin on which I had begun playing music. So, of course, I bought the next Bluesbreakers record, this time featuring Peter Green, who died this week.
Green had all the Clapton tone and vibrato but where Clapton exhibited a youthful fire, Green played like and old soul, honoring the space as much as the notes. On “Supernatural,” he milked feedback and reverb to create a haunting quality. His use of feedback may or may not have been the first on record, but his subsequent work with his own band Fleetwood Mac definitely pushed the blues into new directions. He combined deep roots in traditional blues feeling with the modern sounds of the times and some of the future.
Henry Kaiser pays tribute to “Greeny” with a great story. In his playing, he doesn’t try to emulate him (though some of his sustained notes in the ending jam recall “Supernatural”), but infuses his own deep feeling into an inimitable personal style. For the second improv he employs: eBow, Slide Rig Compressor, Digitech Freqout, Red Panda Particle, Red Panda Tensor and Lexicon PCM-42.
Henry is actually a really good mimic, so I bet he could totally pull off a great Peter Green impersonation if he wanted to.
Both Peter Green and Danny Kirwan were wonderful players who passed too soon. Both are worth checking out!