Jeremy Spencer: Bend In The Road

Ex-Fleetwood Mac man stays on track.

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Jeremy Spencer’s 2006 album Precious Little heralded the unexpected return of the guitarist who famously went AWOL from a Fleetwood Mac tour in 1971 and opted to join a Christian sect for the duration.

This follow-up makes plenty of connections with his past, tapping into his lifelong love of Delta blues (namely Elmore James), alongside a little 50s ramalama and, as on Refugees, reworking an old song from his 1979 album, Flee.

Spencer may be the first to concede he’s no great singer, but there’s a nimble expressiveness to his fretwork that mostly compensates for any vocal failings, aided by a bunch of Detroit musicians led by guitarist and co-producer Brett Lucas.

It’s a fairly conventional 12-bar palette, Spencer sprinkling his original tunes with covers of two James boys (Elmore and Homesick) and Mel London, while a version of the Al Perkins-Otis Rush tune, Homework adds a splash of swampy colour and Merciful Sea is an elegiac instrumental that provides a lovely showcase for Spencer’s less celebrated piano playing.

A ruminative, gentle record from one of rock’s more ruminative, gentle souls.

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.