VARIOUS ARTISTS -- Rattlesnake Guitar: The Music of Peter Green (Viceroy)

1995 was the year of the tribute CD. Some were great (like the Todd Rundgren tribute "Still There is More"), some not so great (the John Lennon tribute "Working Class Hero"). One of the best to come out last year was "Rattlesnake Guitar". Peter Green was the original guitarist in Fleetwood Mac. Long before they achieved their commercial success, they were a blues-based band. Green wrote several songs that became successful for other artists, such as Santana's signature version of "Black Magic Woman", Judas Priest's take on "The Green Manalishi", and "Oh Well" (covered by several different artists).

The artists covering Green's songs are diverse. Guitarist Snowy White (who has toured with Pink Floyd) contributes an excellent rendition of "Looking For Somebody". The late Rory Gallagher (to whom the CD is dedicated) contributes two tracks - "Leaving Town Blues" and "Showiz Blues". Bassist extraordinaire Billy Sheehan turns in an amazing version of "Oh Well". In a departure from his days in Uriah Heep, Ken Hensley does an interesting acoustic version of "Hellbound on my Trail". Arthur Brown's menacing take on "The Green Manalishi" is done as only he can.

Also featured on "Rattlesnake Guitar" are tracks performed by Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Dave Peverett & Rod Price (Foghat), Stu Hamm & Jonathan Mover (Joe Satriani), and many others. Don't overlook this CD - it's one of the best of 1995.

© 1996 Steve Marshall