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Jeff Green - Elder Creek CD (album) cover


Jeff Green



3.84 | 57 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Five years on from his debut solo album, 'Jessica', American guitarist Jeff Green has returned with his second, which this time is credited as a project. When one sees who has been involved this time, it is probably a fairer way of crediting it. While Jeff provides most of the guitars, mandolin, guitar synth and much of the vocals, he is also joined by He is joined by Pete Riley on drums (Guthrie Govan, Wetton & Downes Icon, Keith Emerson), Mike Stobbie on keys (Pallas and a renowned prog producer), Sean Filkins (Big Big Train, Lorien) provides lead vocals on the title number, Alan Reed provides lead vocals on 'A Long Time From Now' (Pallas, various Clive Nolan projects, solo), Garreth Hicklin provides lead and backing vocals (Illegal Eagles), Phil Hilborne guitar (Nicko McBrain's touring Clinic, has played with Brian May, Glen Hughes, Keith Emerson, Steve Vai), with Andy Staples (bass) and Imogen Hendricks (backing vocals) completing the line-up. Out of all of these, the one name that may seem unusual to progheads is that of Garreth, until one realizes that Jeff is also a member of Illegal Eagles.

'Elder Creek' explores the concept of memory, its loss and the part it plays in our lives, the lives of loved ones and society in general. Using both anecdotal and mythological subject matter, the album raises the question; if memories define who we are, then who indeed are we without them. Many lyrics were based on poems written by Jeff's father. Jeff may have lived in Ireland for more than a dozen years, but it his American roots that come through, especially when he is playing acoustic guitar, as that combined with the harmonies leads the project more into the area of Crosby Stills and Nash as opposed to IQ or Pallas. But, the prog influences are also there throughout and the result is a crossover album that is beautiful, with soaring vocals and great keyboards that accentuate the guitars. This is all about songcraft as opposed to showing just how clever all those involved are when it comes to playing their instruments. They have nothing at all to prove, and this feels incredibly relaxed as it draws the listener in to it's heart and soul.

There is a depth and real presence with this album, with some wonderful arrangements and the clever use of repeating melodies on different instruments to provide additional dynamics while staying within the same theme. Immediate, impressive, one can only hope that it doesn't take five years for the next one, as anyone who enjoys great songs with great singers, especially if they enjoy their classic Americana, will find a great deal here to enjoy.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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