Sony Music are re-releasing the colossal Draconian Times through their Grammy-award winning Legacy series; which will feature the entire digitally re-mastered album including a 5.1 Dolby Surround mix in a brand-new collector’s edition digi-pak box-set, so fans can hear the album like never before! The album has been fully re-mastered and has SEVEN previously unreleased bonus tracks added. These comprise two demos from the original 1994 sessions and five live tracks recorded on the original European tour in 1995. The second disc is a DVD and comprises a brand new 5.1 mix of the original album. Additionally, the DVD features the promo videos for the singles Forever Failure and The Last Time plus Hallowed Land (recorded live at the 1995 Dynamo Festival).
Since Nigel Watson coaxed 60s legend Peter Green out of retirement in the late 1990s, and formed the Splinter Group, there's been controversy about how much Green the marquee player of the band really contributes. Watson reportedly does most of the heavy lifting on guitar, adopting a style based on Green's brilliant work of 30+ years ago. This concert video gives you the chance to see for yourself.
There are two sets, an acoustic set made up of blues standards, including the Robert Johnson covers for which the band is noted. Then there's an electric set in which the Splinter Group performs original compositions, concluding with two of Peter Green's old songs. This has been the formula since the band's inception: new arrangements of the Green classics; blues covers, and new material by the other members of the band.
Those other members play well, and this is an enjoyable concert. Sadly, however, Peter Green does not do very much. His voice, never strong since his return from retirement, is very shaky. (Significantly, Nigel now sings "Need Your Love So Bad", since Peter is no longer able to hit the higher notes at all.) And while Green plays some harp, and some guitar, it's really Nigel who's doing the work here. There are one or two spots where Green seriously gets to work, but for the most part he picks indifferently at his guitar, backing Nigel's fiery solos with a few notes here and there…..
Covering 50 Cent, Cat Stevens, Faith Evans, and more on steelpan drums should not sound this gimmick-less. It helps that the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band is, first and foremost, a strong funk ensemble. The Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band is a pet project of the German instrumental group the Mighty Mocambos, a practiced collective that makes versatile deep funk. Bacao is a vehicle for bandleader and guitarist Björn Wagner's dedicated enchantment with the steelpan drum, which he and three other band members play on a new debut full-length called 55.