Posts Tagged ‘Rory Gallagher’

“Who’s that Coming?” — from Irish Tour ’74. Can anyone resist tapping their foot to this?

Irish Tour ’74 is such a good record, it’s the sound of a real live record, there’s nothing processed here. It’s a great example of the electric guitar player as band leader. All the band members are glued around him, the music isn’t being driven by the drums. His band are really really good, his bassist, Gerry McAvoy, is perfect. This is the sound of a band playing together every night, it’s powerful without being really loud and really distorted. He was a fan of The Byrds and Love and you can hear a couple of poppy hooks in there. He wasn’t musically blinkered. He saw merit in everything. It was liberating.”

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Any time fans or critics are asked to pick the most influential and innovative guitarists in rock history, iconic names such as Eric Clapton and Queen’s Brian May invariably crop up. But if you asked those legends which guitar god they themselves respect the most, chances are they’ll cite Rory Gallagher.

Clapton once told the BBC that Gallagher should be credited with “getting me back into the blues”, while in the film What’s Going On: Taste At The Isle Of Wight, Brian May says, “I bought this little AC30 amp and Rangemaster Treble Booster, just like Rory’s set up, and plugged in my own home-made guitar with it. It gave me what I wanted, it made the guitar speak, so it was Rory that gave me my sound.”

May and Clapton are just two of numerous luminaries who have keenly expressed their admiration for the trailblazing Irish guitarist, bandleader and singer-songwriter. He died aged just 47, in 1995, but Rory Gallagher’s music continues to cast a long shadow over rock’n’roll, with fretboard wizards from successive generations.

With his entire solo catalogue about to be reissued on CD and vinyl, fans old and new have an ideal opportunity to re-evaluate Rory Gallagher’s illustrious body of work, yet the much-missed Cork man deserves respect on so many levels, for what he achieved was simply unprecedented.

The young, idealistic, blues-loving Gallagher broke that mould, with his work ethic, self-penned material and incendiary live shows building his band’s reputation from the Shandon Boat Club, in Cork, to London’s famous Marquee, and eventually brokering a deal with Polydor. This dedication led to hit albums such as On The Boards and prestigious shows with Cream at London’s Royal Albert Hall, and at the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival alongside The WhoJimi HendrixThe Doors and Free.

That Rory Gallagher was the first credible Irish rock musician to make such things possible was acknowledged by Hot Press journalist Dermot Stokes in Marcus Connaughton’s biography, Rory Gallagher: His Life And Times.

“I think that the hugely important thing that Rory did early on in his career was to establish that an Irish band could form, play original material – could do it in Ireland first of all, then could take it to London, then Europe and around the world,” he said. “Taste first of all, then Rory, were the first bands to do that from this country. That’s the fundamental example that they set.”

Other elements of Gallagher’s DNA that set him apart from his contemporaries were his inherent professionalism, discipline and commitment to his craft: essential qualities he exuded throughout his entire career. Rarely happier than when he was on the road, Gallagher toured incessantly during the 70s and 80s, and his best work was often captured on timeless in-concert recordings such as Live In Europe and the live double-album and concert film Irish Tour ’74.

“The great instrumental soloists such as Rory, they were people whose skill I was just in awe of, and that was coupled with considerable musicianship every night,” Irish Tour ’74 director Tony Palmer told Marcus Connaughton. “I think I was the first person ever to film Jimi Hendrix and I’m often asked why. It was because I’d never heard anybody play the guitar like that before! That was why I wanted to make Irish Tour ’74, because Rory’s talent was for a long time underestimated, I felt. He was a wonderful musician and I also liked the fact there was absolutely no bulls__t about him and absolute tunnel vision – very professional, minded very much that we reflected that in the film.”

“He never got above himself,” Rory’s brother and manager Donal Gallagher said in a recent Irish Examiner article marking what would have been the guitarist’s 70th birthday, on 2nd March 2018. “He was very much the man in the street. He lived to be on stage. When he was off-stage, everything was about getting from A to B, getting to the stage or to write. That’s what he was about.”

Of course, with album sales numbering upward of 30 million copies, we should also remember Rory Gallagher’s recordings also yielded considerable commercial success. Yet, chart positions and the trappings of fame were never the driving force for this unassuming figure, whose high-octane live shows contrasted with his shy off-stage demeanour. One of rock’s master craftsmen, Gallagher really cared about his art. He was – and remains – a role model for aspiring young guitarists, and his body of work will inspire generations still to come.

The irreplaceable Irish blues-rock guitar virtuoso Rory Gallagher was a cruelly young 47 when he died after complications from a liver transplant on 14th June 1995.

Order the Rory Gallagher reissues . A limited edition box set of 300 copies, housing all 15 of the albums.

Remembering The Great Rory Gallagher

Legendary Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher died at the age of 47, as a result of a chest infection he picked up following a liver transplant. Gallagher sold over 30 million records and once auditioned for the Rolling Stones when Mick Taylor left the band in 1972.

The irreplaceable Irish blues-rock guitar virtuoso Rory Gallagher was a cruelly young 47 when he died after complications from a liver transplant on 14th June 1995. Rory Gallagher was born in Ballyshannon in County Donegal and raised in Cork. He began to whip up a storm with his guitar sorcery when he co-founded the trio Taste in 1966, when he was a mere 18. When they started to go international, a couple of years later, they won admiring glances from fans of Cream (for whose famed farewell Royal Albert Hall concert they opened) and Blind Faith, the short-lived supergroup on whose North American dates they also guested. Taste were celebrated with the release in August 2015 of the four-CD I’ll Remember box set.

I'll Remember

Taste only lasted until 1970 themselves, but by then they had played at that year’s Isle of Wight Festival and made two studio albums. The second, On The Boards, was a top 20 success in the UK, and when Gallagher swiftly started recording in his own name under a new solo deal with Atlantic Records, he made the top 40 with his self-titled debut and a swift follow-up, Deuce, both in 1971.

They were the first in a long line of releases to win either silver or gold certification, and it’s appropriate that the sole Gallagher album to make the UK top ten was one on which his celebrated, his blistering style as a live performer was commemorated, on 1972’s Live In Europe. That also enjoyed by far his longest chart run, at 15 weeks. The next year, Blueprint gave Rory his initial US album chart appearance.

Never one to court fame for its own sake, Gallagher continued to enhance his awesome reputation with his prolific recording and touring for the rest of his life. His last studio album, his 11th, was 1990’s Fresh Evidence. He had plans to tour the record, release an EP and more besides, at the time of his death.

But it was always all about the music for Rory Gallagher. “Regardless of fashions there are still blues and rockabilly fans,” he told Chris Welch in Metal Hammer in one of his last interviews. “Certainly for a while, the press overlooked rootsy music [which] they thought was old fashioned and irrelevant.

“But what I’m trying to do,” he continued, “is create music that respects the roots, but is based on new material as opposed to just me doing old blues, acid rock standards all the time. That’s the key really, to update the music itself by hitting it on the head, and coming up with new chord changes and tunes.”

In the later years of his life Gallagher developed a phobia of flying. To overcome this he received a prescription for a powerful sedative. This medication, combined with his alcohol use resulted in severe liver damage. Despite this he continued touring. By the time of his final performance on 10th January 1995 in the Netherlands, he was visibly ill and the tour had to be cancelled. Gallagher was admitted to King’s College Hospital in London in March 1995, and it was only then that the extent of his ill-health became apparent: his liver was failing and the doctors determined that in spite of his young age a liver transplant was the only possible course of action. After 13 weeks in intensive care, while waiting to be transferred to a convalescent home, his health suddenly worsened when he contracted a staphylococcal (MRSA) infection, and he died on 14th June 1995, at the age of 47.

Having acquired the rights to Rory Gallagher‘s solo catalogue last year, Universal Music will reissue remastered versions of every album on CD and vinyl LP next month.
The influential Irish guitarist and singer-songwriter formed Taste in 1966, and after the band broke up at the end of that decade Gallagher would concentrate on his solo career, releasing his eponymous debut in 1971.

This is a massive reissue campaign with all the studio albums, the live releases and posthumous releases (like Notes From San Francisco and Wheels Within Wheels) reissued. Everything is available on CD and 180g vinyl, with the exception of BBC Sessions which is two-CD only (the Wheels Within Wheels vinyl pre-order is ‘coming soon’).

After releasing two critically acclaimed albums with his first band, Taste, and playing the Isle of Wight in 1970, Rory left the band to pursue a solo career. His eponymous debut solo album was released in 23rd May 1971. Gallagher auditioned some of the best musicians available at the time including Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell the bassist and drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He decided on two Belfast musicians; drummer Wilgar Campbell, and bass guitarist Gerry McAvoy to be the core of his new power trio band. The album was recorded at Advision Studios. Standout tracks include “Laundromat”, “I Fall Apart” and “Sinner Boy”. On this album, as well as an on many albums to come, he’s accompanied by Gerry McAvoy (bass) and Wilgar Campbell (drums). Supported by these two, Gallagher invites the audience on a ride through his heart and soul, and it’s a enjoyable ride indeed. Right off the bat the album starts out great, with the fast and catchy riff on „Laundromat“ being one of the most memorable ones on the entire album, and Rory delivering as a vocal performer as well. „Laundromat“ gives the listener a very good outlook at the way Gallagher plays guitar.

Like his more famous peers Clapton and Page, he obviously drew heavy influence from black blues guitarists like Chuck Berry and B.B. King. And while he’s an outstanding technician on the guitar, his playstyle does not focus on crisp and clean play (unlike let’s say progressive rock ala David Gilmour or Steve Hackett), but instead it’s rather impulsive and heartfelt, which is a perfect fit, because bluesrock is all about delivering personal emotions. On his debut, Gallagher manages to do just that, through his often times wild, very emotive guitar playing. In more than one instance (“Sinner boy“ and “Can’t believe it’s You“ come to mind) you get the impression that Gallagher is just going crazy on his stratocaster without any restrain what so ever, but it always works.

This 2012 remaster used the original vinyl artwork and 1/4″ master tapes so that they look and sound exactly as Rory intended.

“Deuce” would make it Rory’s third fully self-penned album in a row, having written all of Taste’s second album “On The Boards” as well as the debut solo album “Rory Gallagher”. “Deuce” was released 28th November 1971 and recorded at Tangerine Studios in Dalston, East London, which had been built by the legendary British record producer Joe Meek. In contrast with his previous album, Rory Gallagher, where Gallagher tried for a precise, organised sound, Deuce was his first of many attempts to capture the energy of a live performance in the studio.

Gallagher’s sophomore album was released a short six months after his self-titled debut but shows an incredible amount of artistic growth and maturity. Featuring eleven original songs, with Deuce Gallagher wrote the blueprint that he would follow through much of the rest of the decade, mixing up rambunctious, guitar-driven blues-rock with scraps of acoustic country blues, intricate roots-rock, and heartfelt R&B. His guitar tone and phrasing is excellent throughout, and his songwriting skills were developing at an amazing pace.

While Deuce placed only one song – the rowdy “Crest Of A Wave” – into Gallagher’s canon, there’s literally not a bad track on the album.

“Live! In Europe” was Rory’s first official live album, and was recorded throughout Europe during February and March 1972. Released 14th May 1972. The album was Rory’s first major commercial success and provided his first solo top ten album. In the same year of 1972 he was Melody Maker’s Guitarist/Musician of the Year, winning out over Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. “Live! In Europe” has served as a massive influence on budding musicians. U2’s Adam Clayton and The Edge both cite the album as the recording that made them want to pick up the guitar and play in a rock’n’roll band.

Released a mere year into the Irish blues guitarist’s fledgling solo career, Live! In Europe captures a young stallion prancing and preening across the stage, getting his legs beneath him and developing his dynamic live show on which a large part of his reputation is based. Long on interpretations of traditional and standard blues songs like “Messin’ With The Kid” and “Hoodoo Man,” and short on original material, Live! In Europe captures the reckless energy and youthful enthusiasm of the guitarist at the first stages of a career that would stretch across three decades.

After six years working as a trio (guitar, bass, drums), Rory embellished his sound by adding keyboards into the band. The line-up of Rory Gallagher (vocals, guitars), Gerry McAvoy (bass), Lou Martin (keyboards) and Rod De’Ath (drums, percussion), remained together from 1973-78, and would record five albums. “Blueprint was the first”.

Gallagher’s pair of 1973 album releases would showcase the guitarist at the top of his form, and yielded a number of songs that would become fan favorites, performed by Gallagher for the next decade.

Blueprint was the first of the pair, and if it’s often overlooked in favor of the admittedly superior Tattoo, it’s a solid collection of material nonetheless, highlights including the raver “Walk On Hot Coals,” the sultry “Daughter Of The Everglades,” and the extended jam that was “Seventh Son Of The Seventh Son.” A lively cover of Big Bill Broonzy’s “Banker’s Blues” is another good ‘un, showcasing Gallagher’s acoustic blues skills.

Tattoo is the forth studio album released by Rory Gallagher. It was released on 11th November 1973 and was recorded at Polydor Records studio. It demonstrated Gallagher’s eclectic range of musical influences starting with the blues and adding elements from jazz, folk, and country. Signature tracks include “Tattoo’d Lady”, “Cradle Rock” and “A Million Miles Away.

Tattoo represented an amazing accomplishment, as Gallagher found the inspiration to pen nine new tunes while touring heavily in support of his Blueprint album, released mere months earlier. The muse was obviously hitting the guitarist hard, as Tattoo includes some of the best, and most popular songs of the artist’s lengthy and prolific career, songs like “Tattoo’d Lady,” “A Million Miles Away,” and “Cradle Rock” staples of Gallagher live show for years, while tunes like the Delta-inspired folk-blues of “20/20 Vision” or the Chicago blues-styled “Who’s That Coming,” with some tasty slide guitar, display the other side of the guitarist’s musical ambition.

“Considered by blues rock guitarist, Joe Bonamassa, to be one of the most influential live albums of all time, “Irish Tour ’74” was recorded at Belfast Ulster Hall, Dublin Carlton Cinema and Cork City Hall during the height of ‘The Troubles’. Released 21st July 1974. Irish Tour ’74 has sold in excess of two million copies worldwide. Classic Rock Magazine hailed it as “easily among the best 10 live albums in the history of rock.” This 2012 remaster used the original vinyl artwork and 1/4″ tapes so that they look and sound exactly as Rory intended. The reissue CD liner notes capture the excitement of the Belfast concert; “Two thousand people were overjoyed as Gallagher – a native of Cork, Southern Ireland – took to the Ulster Hall just 24 hours after the city had witnessed its biggest bomb blast during a night of at least 10 explosions.”

Two years after the release of Live! In Europe, Gallagher returned home to Ireland for a series of nine shows that showcased a confident, seasoned veteran guitarist with a handful of studio recordings under his belt and an expanded musical palette that he applied to a larger catalog of songs. Irish Tour 1974 features musical highlights of the tour and serves as a companion to the documentary film of the same name shot by director Tony Palmer. The album offers an inspired mix of original songs like “Tattoo’d Lady,” “Walk On Hot Coals,” and “A Million Miles Away” as well as choice covers .

JB Hutto’s “Too Much Alcohol” and Muddy Waters’ “I Wonder Who,” standing as one of the best live blues-rock recordings of the era.

Against the Grain is the seventh album by Irish musician Rory Gallagher, Released 1st October 1975 and recorded at Wessex Studios, London. The album is mostly new songs written by Gallagher as well as some classic blues and R&B numbers. This 2012 remaster used the original vinyl artwork and 1/4″ master tapes so that they look and sound exactly as Rory intended. The reissue features original release album review written by Cameron Crowe for Rolling Stone.

Calling Card is the eighth album by Irish singer/guitarist Rory Gallagher, Released on 24th October 1976 and recorded at Musicland Studios, Munich. Deep Purple/Rainbow bass guitarist Roger Glover co-produced with Gallagher: it was the first time that Gallagher worked with a “name” producer. This 2012 remaster used the original vinyl artwork and 1/4″ master tapes so that they look and sound exactly as Rory intended.

Produced with a steady hand by former Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover, Gallagher’s Calling Card found the guitarist stretching his sound out a bit beyond the confines of blues-rock to include soul, jazz, and even pop in what would prove to be one of his strongest sets of original material. While hook-laden rockers like “Country Mile” and the title track would become fan favorites on the live stage, melodic tracks like “Edged In Blue” and “I’ll Admit You’re Gone” display a different dimension to Gallagher’s talents.

Photo-Finish is the ninth album by Irish musician Rory Gallagher, released 1st October 1978 and recorded at Dierks Studios, Cologne, Germany. Some of the songs on Photo-Finish were initially recorded on what was to be an earlier album in San Francisco but Gallagher was unhappy with the recordings. He fired the drummer and keyboardist from the current band and replaced only the drummer changing the band to a power trio as his original bands had been. The reissue features original release album review written by Cameron Crowe for Rolling Stone.

After the disastrous 1977 sessions that would (much) later result in the long-lost Notes From San Francisco album, Gallagher broke up his band of five years. Stripping down to a power trio, retaining only bassist Gerry McAvoy and adding drummer Ted McKenna, Gallagher re-recorded a handful of songs from the previous session for Photo-Finish, adding a few new tunes and pursuing a harder-edged blues-rock sound. While not the best album in the Gallagher milieu, Photo-Finish still includes hard-hitting fan favorites like “Shinkicker,” “Mississippi Sheiks,” and “Last Of The Independents” as well as overlooked gems like the twangy “Juke Box Annie.”

Top Priority is Rory Gallagher’s tenth album. This was released on 16th September 1979 and recorded at Dierks Studios, Cologne, Germany. Like the previous album Photo-Finish, Top Priority is a return to hard rock. The acoustic and folk influences that were seen on albums such as Calling Card are replaced by more straight ahead powerful blues rock like fan favourites such as ‘Bad Penny’, ‘Philby’ and album opener ‘Follow Me’.

Stage Struck is the eleventh album and the third live album by Irish singer/guitarist Rory Gallagher. Recorded between November 1979–July 1980 and Released 2nd November 1980. The album documents Gallagher’s world tour in support of his 1979 album Top Priority. Accordingly, it features many songs from that album as well as hard-driving, almost metal, rock versions of songs from his ‘Calling Card’ and ‘Photo Finish albums, Glenn Tipton from Judas Priest “I was just stunned by his use of an old battered Stratocaster, a Vox AC-30 [amp], and a Rangemaster treble booster. The guitar had so much energy that I think he’s the guy, really, that made me pick up the guitar.” This 2012 remaster used the original vinyl artwork and 1/4″ tapes so that they look and sound exactly as Rory intended.

Culled from Gallagher’s 1979/1980 world tour, a tired song selection isn’t helped any by the guitarist’s lackluster performances. Lacking the immediacy and playfulness of the live set captured by Notes From San Francisco, Stage Struck displays little of Gallagher’s natural onstage charisma and energy. After a decade of constant touring, however, and the writing and recording of nine studio albums in as many years, it could be that the man was just dog tired rather than inspired.

Jinx is the twelfth album and the ninth studio album by the Irish musician Rory Gallagher and was originally released in 1982. The reissue boasts a review of the album originally published in Melody Maker.

There isn’t a weak track on Jinx and at its best, it’s superb. In particular ‘Big Guns’, working off a stop-start riff which is within a stone’s throw of Clash territory, zaps you straight between the eyes.

In a direct line from ‘Philby’, though without the latter’s resonances on the question of identity, the song finds Rory working out his passion for crime thrillers. “It’s a long way from the pool hall/to the rackets and the petty crime/thought you were a tough one/but you’ve bitten off too much this time,” he admonishes before sketching in the dramatic detail, over a pumping rhythm that palpably delivers the sense of urgency laced with terror felt by the song’s hapless protagonist, his back against the wall: “Now you’re runnin’ scared/got no place to run/Caught between the law and the/Big Guns!”

Short, sharp and devastating, like a friendly visit from your local hit squad, ‘Big Guns’ leaves you in no fit condition to assess the damages inflicted by Gallagher’s magnum sharp-shooting and the merciless backup work of Gerry McAvoy on double-barrel shotgun and Brendan O’Neill on Armalite.

If ‘Big Gun’ is about trying to stay one step ahead of an inevitably bloody come-uppance, that same sense of Nemesis is internalised on ‘Bourbon’. In fact much of Gallagher’s material from ‘Goin’ To My Hometown’ to ‘Philby’ is concerned with transit and the feeling – more or less real in different instances but too often a sad illusion – of freedom it conveys. There’s no two ways about its implication in this account of the ravages suffered by a fading rock’n’roller, as he watches the arc of his optimism fall into impossible decline: “Drinkin’ down the bourbon like it was soda pop/trying to kill a feeling he knows will never stop/Head held high but his heart is on his knees…”

These highlights are closely followed by ‘Signals’, with its enticing melodic colourings and interesting guitar textures, shadings of the Edge-country in there somewhere; ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’, a slow minor blues on which Gallagher opts for a fat, mellow, lyrical tone similar to Peter Green’s on early Fleetwood Mac material and evokes a warm, still, healing sense of reassurance and calm in the face of a troubled world; ‘Jinx’ with its voodoo rhythms and mournful harp; ‘Double vision’, highlighted by a fat and succulent slide part; ‘The Devil Made Me Do it’, a frantic and humorous variation on the ‘Too Much Alcohol’ theme: “What did I do that was so bad/To go and get myself arrested/just in town to have some fun/and I end up in the trash can”, ‘Ride On Red, Ride On’, the one non-Gallagher original and a paean to the swashbuckling character of the rock’n’roader; and ‘Loose Talk’, another song of re-assurance and fortitude in which the Gallagher ethos is most aptly summed up: rejecting the lure to play the game the uptown way, he offers the consoling advice: “Play the game the way your heat says/Keep on pushin’, you’ll get there yet”.

It’s a mark of Gallagher’s authenticity that he has always played the game the way his heart says. And if that has led him into a narrow interpretation of his own sense of integrity, sometimes to the detriment of his career potential, then so be it. The net result is that there isn’t the remotest taint of pose or slumming it when he delivers an album of raw blood ‘n’ guts rock ’n’ roll ’n’ rhythm ’n’ blues like Jinx.

This is just one mark of its strength within the chosen Gallagher framework. Indeed a measure of its quality-count in the context of his fifteen-odd years’ worth of album-recording is the fact that there is very little on Jinx which will not amount to a real addiction to the Gallagher live canon.

Defender is the thirteenth album and the tenth studio album by Irish musician Rory Gallagher. It was originally released on 1st July 1987 and was recorded at The Point, Olympic, West Three, Music Works and Redan Studios. Rory said of the album “The tone and mood of the new album is blues and angry, but there’s a couple of rockers, and a couple that don’t fit any category; but it is really a modern blues album.”

Fresh Evidence is Rory Gallagher’s eleventh and last studio album, his fourteenth album overall. The album was originally released on 1st May 1990 and was recorded at Maison Rouge, Redan Recorders, Music Station and Audio One. This 2012 remaster used the original vinyl artwork and 1/4″ tapes so that they look and sound exactly as Rory intended. “Perhaps the most important achievement of “Fresh Evidence” is in re-establishing Rory as something more than an electric guitar virtuoso. Here is the proof that the man is a master, someone with a supreme feel for the instrument and the song, whatever its mood”.

Gallagher’s last studio album is a mixed bag of blues styles and performances, the guitarist trying his hand at interpretations of zydeco, Chicago, and Delta blues, and jazz along with his typical dirty blues and British-styled blues-rock.

While not a bad album by any means – Fresh Evidence includes several inspired performances, including a cover of Delta blues legend Son House’s “Empire State Express” – it nonetheless doesn’t meet the lofty standards established by Gallagher during his incredible string of solid 1970s-era albums.

Wheels Within Wheels is a posthumous folk and blues acoustic album by Rory Gallagher. Featuring a range of acoustic styles including flamenco, skiffle and traditional Irish music, the album was compiled from lost recordings and outtakes by Gallagher’s brother. A number of notable musicians appeared on the album such as Bert Jansch, Martin Carthy, The Dubliners and Lonnie Donegan. The songs were recorded in various locations all over the world between 1974 and 1994. The album cover was painted by renowned artist David Oxtoby.

In November 1977, after completing a 6 month world tour, Rory Gallagher and his band flew straight from their last show in Japan to San Francisco to begin working on a new album, with famed American producer Elliot Mazer (Neil Young – ‘Harvest’, Janis Joplin – ‘Cheap Thrills’, The Band – ‘The Last Waltz’). Mazer recalls that the sessions grew “tense”, as Gallagher wasn’t happy with the mixing process, describing them as “too complicated”, and by the end of January 1978 he shelved the whole record and broke up his band of the past 5 years. This lost album from 1977 was remixed and mastered in 2010 by Rory’s nephew who added a live album from 1978 at San Francisco’s The Old Waldorf, highlighting the sound Rory had been looking for. LP version will not feature the live content, this will only be for the CD.

This long-anticipated “lost” album, recorded by Gallagher and his four-piece band in San Francisco in 1977, was finally released in 2011 and proved to be well worth the wait. Featuring nine original songs, some of which would be re-recorded a year later for Photo-Finish, as well as a couple of “bonus tracks,” Notes From San Francisco shows the artist straining at the confines of the blues-rock form and trying to expand his sound. The two-disc set includes a rock solid live performance from 1979 that puts the album  Stage Struck to shame.

These are straight album reissues, so no bonus tracks, but Universal “will be working closely with the Rory Gallagher estate on new physical and streaming products.”

All of the reissues will be released on 16th March 2018.

I can’t imagine one single person without a happy face when leaving the hall after being at this show. Even so, this recording has one big problem: it is too short!
So, here’s about 51 minutes of Rory Gallagher at De Hanenhof, Geleen, Holland on the 12th of November 1987 and beware, this is the kind of show that turns you addicted to Rory’s music!

Rory Gallagher -Live set from De Hanehof, Geleen, Holland 12th November 1987

Setlist:

1 Walkin Blues 2 Pistol Slapper Blues 3 Messin With The Kid 4 Out On The Western Plain 5 Don’t Start Me Talkin 6 When My Baby She Left Me 7 Bullfrog Blues 8 All Around Man 9 Nadine

The Band:

Rory Gallagher – Guitars, Vocals
Gerry McAvoy – Bass
Brendan O’Neil – Drums
Mark Feltham – harmonica

Rory Gallagher.PNG

Rory Gallagher is the first solo album by Irish blues rock musician Rory Gallagher, released in 1971. It marked his departure from his previous band Taste. After disbanding Taste, Gallagher auditioned some of the best musicians available at the time including Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell the bassist and drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He decided on two Belfast musicians; drummer Wilgar Campbell, and bass guitarist Gerry McAvoy to be the core of his new power trio band.

After practicing with Jimi Hendrix’s band Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell and Belfast musicians Gerry McAvoy and Wilgar Campbell at a practice room in Fulham Road, the newly formed band with McAvoy and Campbell got underway with recording in Advision Studios.

With his first solo album Gallagher continued in the eclectic style that had exemplified his first band Taste. This album entered the UK album charts at number 32, an excellent beginning for a solo career. It contains 10 tracks, all of which are Rory compositions and clearly show the continued blues rock direction that he began with Taste. A trademark of Rory’s music is his inclusion into the fusion, jazz and folk instruments like alto sax and mandolin. “I’m Not Surprised” stands out on this album with it’s mellow “unplugged” feel and loosely based Blues structure.

 

The album begins with “Laundromat” which was to become a regular number in his live set. A blues rock song with a classic Gallagher riff, the song was inspired by the public laundromat located in the basement of his flat where he lived at the time in Earls Court. The next song, “Just the Smile”, is an acoustic number that was inspired by the British folk revival. It shows the influence of some of Gallagher’s favorite English folk musicians such as Richard Thompson, Davy Graham, and Bert Jansch. (Gallagher would later go on to record with Jansch.) “I Fall Apart” has a jazz feel to it and features a guitar solo that starts slow and introspective and builds to a powerful climax. The next two songs, “Hands Up” and “Sinner Boy”, were again blues rock and would also become standard numbers for his live show. “Wave Myself Goodbye” is another acoustic number, a talking blues song featuring New Orleans style piano provided by Vincent Crane from the band Atomic Rooster (Rory’s brother Donal had been acting as tour manager for them). Gallagher plays the saxophone in the next song, a jazz number called “Can’t Believe It’s True”. Also recorded at the time were two blues classics, Muddy Waters’ “Gypsy Woman” and “It Takes Time” by Chicago blues legend Otis Rush.

Rory Gallagher – ‘Rory Gallagher’ 180g vinyl LP remastered reissue. Originally released on the 23rd May 1971 This reissue LP is released on Friday 2nd March 2018.

Tracklisting

A1. Laundromat
A2. Just The Smile
A3. I Fall Apart
A4. Wave Myself Goodbye
A5. Hands Up
B1. Sinner Boy
B2. For the Last Time
B3. It’s You
B4. I’m Not Surprised
B5. Can’t Believe It’s True

rory brum ticket

 

 

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On July 8th, 1972, Melody Maker’s Mark Plummer joined Rory Gallagher on the road in Kent and London. As this classic feature shows, Rory Gallagher’s reputation as a perfect bar buddy was well-deserved. Rory Gallagher changes out of his striped T-shirt, folds it neatly and places it in his zipper case, exchanging it for an equally familiar lumberjack shirt.

Two seats away, his drummer Rod de’Ath looks embarrassed, ducking behind a couple of  guitar cases as he changes from one pair of leather-patched Levi’s into another sweaty pair of jeans. His skinny arms are covered in an orange T-shirt and they look like they’re never going to be able to keep the beat going during tonight’s show.

Two hours earlier, Rory had been sitting in the same Maidstone technical college dressing room re-stringing his Fender guitar from a pile of crumpled guitar string packets, while the guitarist from one of the support bands had sat tuning and gently playing to himself through a small practice amp.

Now that same guitarist offers Rory the use of the amp, as he stands up against tile wall tuning his battered old Fender and blowing in a harp. Rory declines, with thanks, explaining that he’s been doing it that way since he came to Britain from Ireland a few years back to launch Taste, and he’s not going to change his ways now. It’s the same old Rory. Affable, easy-going, the one rock’n’roller in Britain with a right to be called the people’s guitarist.

In a nearby pub, people are tucking away pints while the little support band blows away. Many make their way over to Rory, offer him the customary pint of Guinness, perhaps ask him to play one of their favourite numbers. Some hand him scruffy pieces of paper for his autograph.

Back in the dressing room, Rory is ready to go on; guitars in tune, Gerry McAvoy slicked up in green trews, t-shirt and patch leather waistcoat, his bass slung over his shoulder with an old leather belt. A great cheer breaks the air as Gerry and Rod dart through the doors and scramble their way through the packed hall towards the makeshift stage. Rory follows on behind, gets up on stage, quickly retunes to make up for the intense heat that has altered pitching, and lurches into Used To Be.

Rory Gallagher and his band work hard on an audience, playing blues in the tradition of the music as entertainment rather than an art form. Rory is not much interested in being flash and showy, but just in laying it down the line and turning people on; playing his Fender guitar to the best of his ability. His stage strength is that he knows he can play as well as the best, and the people know it too. They don’t go along to watch the speed he plays the notes, and they certainly don’t go along to see him because of his stage gear.

“This is a working band,” says Rory. You just know exactly what he means, watching him standing on stage, sweating and playing, hardly taking a break from song to song unless it is to get the guitar back into tune as the heat stretches the strings.

The showstopper in the act is definitely the mandolin stomper “Going To My Home Town”, a number which is stabbed home by Gerry and Rod beating one hell of a rhythm. But although Polydor in Germany have asked him to release it as a single, he is adamant and won’t do it.

Later in the car on the way home, he explained that although a hit single would bring him a whole new audience, having to compete to get into the singles charts with all the other three-minute ditties is not really his scene. Anyway, he doesn’t need a hit single to make him more popular, for he and promoters know that Rory is always going to sell out a hall by pure hard graft.

The following night in one of the bars in the beer-orientated entertainment complex at Dagenham’s Village Roundhouse, Rory stands at the bar explaining what he means by port wine to the barmaid while he signs autographs and declines numerous pints of Guinness.

Gallagher’s music is mostly blues-based but, he says, “I’ve never pigeon-holed myself into blues. I don’t consider all my material is blues. Let’s say I’m a blend of blues, rock and folk music. The blues has its influence on me: some nights I’ll feel more of a jazz thing. For the last few months I’ve been into blues. Blues is simple music but complex soul-wise. I like a lot of the old rock’n’roll things, but while Cochran is simple, it doesn’t have that same complexity in the feeling.

“I’ve done things that might get me classified as a folk singer. It doesn’t really worry me what I’m playing, it’s just the emotional hold the blues has. Then I can get the same thing off a white folk singer like Jack Elliott.”

What about the set structures of the blues. Maybe he found limitations in the music?

“Occasionally, if I happen to be listening to something that uses orchestras, it’s only very occasionally I get that feeling, but there would be something wrong with me if trying something with an orchestra had never occurred to me,” he says. “I used to listen to people like Fats Domino and people with small groups; occasionally they came up with things with orchestras for the commercial market. At the time I resented them doing it. I think it was The Beatles who were the first people to do things that I enjoyed with strings.

“I wouldn’t mind experimenting with things like that on the next album, perhaps some brass or strings.”

It’s been said that Rory picked Gerry and drummer Rod de’Ath, because they were not that good as musicians, so Rory’s own talent would shine through. But after watching them on numerous occasions it obvious they both compliment Rory’s playing perfectly. But how much, say, do they have in the band’s musical policy, and how replaceable are they to him?

“They’re definitely indispensable,” he says. “They’re very important. How can I confirm that? Just listen to the way they affect my playing. I don’t play acoustic guitar on my own throughout the set so the musicians affect on me. If they’re enjoying themselves I can feel it. People are always saying to me that I could have any sidemen, but Buddy Holly needed the Crickets more than anybody.  Gallagher is probably of the few artists in Britain at the top of the pile who continues working all the time, going back to the little Village Roundhouse rather than concentrating on concert halls.

He says he wouldn’t be satisfied with just playing a few concerts every so often or doing two British tours a year. His music needs smoky rooms and poky little dressing rooms to get over that working man’s feel that is so important.

“Sometimes I feel like taking a break for a while, maybe just stopping and taking it easy for a couple of months. Sometimes l feel like I just have to stay in bed the next day, but I think in my whole career there have only been a couple of gigs I haven’t turned up for.

“I just like working a lot. Obviously you can’t always keep going like a machine. But the thing is, if you’re sitting at home you pick up an acoustic guitar, if you pick up an electric one it doesn’t mean anything without musicians and people around you.

“Some people seem to think I work 365 days a year, I suppose,” he continues. ‘”Come to think of it, I do work a lot more than some of the other artists in the charts. Perhaps working so much helps to sell my albums. If I wasn’t working and I’m not making singles to keep my name around. I wouldn’t be selling so much.”

Always chewing the fat with people about anything that they happen to want to talk about, it’s rare to pin Gallagher down and get him talking about himself. He’s aware of his image of being a friendly sort of fellow who usually dresses kind of rough.

“I suppose that’s a big obsession with people,” he says. “I wouldn’t really enjoy doing a gig if I was rushed from the car straight into the dressing room. I don’t think it hurts your image to sit at the bar and have a drink. Some people would say that it makes you more of a human.

“Mostly people come up and shake your hand and ask you if you would play a song for them. It means you have an idea of how people are reacting to certain songs. If you hear how things are going down first hand it’s better than having a manager telling you how you’re going to go down in Dagenham.”

Back in the dressing room, gig over, Rory, Gerry and especially Rod look completely wasted. Outside in the hall the last of the people are slowly going home, talking about the set. They’re dripping with sweat, too, from dancing and clapping. They know every word, every chord, right to the way he phrases it. Rory notices that too, little batches of people standing by the stage singing every word with him, and then throwing themselves completely when he changes the way he sings a word.

Tonight it’s hot, even hotter than the night before. Rod sits in the corner saying that he’s certain he’s lost two stone, wringing his T-shirt until the sweat drips off it onto the floor. The tap doesn’t work and everybody could do with a good wash down. Never mind, the next night they’re off again and playing in France.

Touring the USA in April 2018 with Davy Knowles ,Band Of Friends – Rory Gallagher’s longtime rhythm section of Gerry McAvoy (Bass) and Ted McKenna (Drums), in celebration of the life and music of Rory Gallagher. 

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Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert; Record Plant, Sausalito, Aquarius Theatre, Hollywood, California, USA – November, 1975 Also on this show were Electric Flag and Steeleye Span. I know the venue of this performance is much disputed but I can say that it was the Long Beach Auditorium.
Note: According to Joachim Matz’ timeline and Gerry McAvoy’s book, ABBA, the Sensational Alex Harvey
Band and Electric Flag were also performing on this date.
It is known that ABBA performed an episode that was not broadcast until January 16th, 1976, and that
the Sensational Alex Harvey Band appeared on episode in February 6th, 1976. Electric Flag
performed on this very same episode . If one compares the stage setting from Rory’s appearance to ABBA’s on it becomes obvious that both have certainly been filmed at the same venue and likely at the same date.
There are only two episodes of Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert to feature Rory (which is likely), one
has to come to the following conclusion the first set is often wrongly believed to have been filmed at the
Whiskey-A-Gogo, as far as I know Rory played the following songs in the second session

Let Me In
I Take What I Want
Ain’t Too Good
Souped-Up Ford

Rory Gallagher – guitar & lead vocals Gerry McAvoy – bass Lou Martin – keyboards Rod de’Ath – drums

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On this day 69 years ago William Rory Gallagher was born at the Rock Hospital in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal. Let’s celebrate! This wonderful guitarist’s performance ,Here’s the final number from Rory’s appearance at the Old Grey Whistle Test on his birthday in 1976. Rory’s incredible appearance on the classic British music show, Old Grey Whistle Test, Shepherds Bush Empire, 02nd March 1976.