In the decades since leaving Fleetwood Mac to join the the Children of God – not a musical group – Jeremy Spencer has mainly laid low, focusing on his religion and leaving his rock ‘n’ roll past behind.
But since 2006, he’s been slowly releasing new albums and the latest, aptly titled Treading Softly, is a beauty.
Consisting of 14 instrumentals spanning 44 minutes, the LP is contemplative and gentle. The music was inspired by Ireland’s beauty and W.B. Yeats’ writings, the guitarist said in a statement, adding he sees the record “as an escape from the world of noise.”
The soothing sound of Spencer’s slide is at the forefront, accompanied by somber piano, acoustic guitar, harmonica, occasional strings and a rhythm section. Titles such as “Lovely Elegy,” “In the Twilight of My Life,” “Heaven Coming Down” and “Precious Little, Precious Few” sum up the 69-year-old guitarist’s current state of mind and, indeed, Treading Softly itself, a minor miracle from an artist until a decade ago seemed lost to history, despite his 1998 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his former bandmates.
Long-time fans looking for Spencer’s trademark Elmore James- and rockabilly-inspired riffs will be left cold by this release. But those who appreciate the sound of mercury on a slight incline will hear the peace and contentedness Spencer has accumulated over the years and may even wind up with some of their own.