PAST EXPERIENCES of Rory Gallagher have not all been pleasant - a damp
day at Crystal Palace; seemingly countless Grey Whistle Tests (I may be
wrong, but every time I turn the thing on I seem to hear that Bob Dylan
couldn't make it this week but Rory's kindly agreed to stand in for
him); and a training lap on the Live
in Europe album to get me fit for this one.
one. Gallagher has added a keyboards player, Lou Martin, and has
brought in a new drummer, Rod De'Ath. Gerry McAvoy stays on bass.
two. I'm afraid I'm the boring sort of chap who would have written
letters to the M.M. in 1968 disputing the ability of white people to
sing or play blues. Eric Clapton was always a rock guitarist to me, but
I will concede that Gallagher's playing on most of this album is quite
superb and if you want to call him a blues player then that's alright
by me. In that his vocal range, when he tries very hard, is virtually
nil, I suppose he also qualifies as a white blues singer. Lack of vocal
range, or even a total inability to sing, is apparently de rigeur for a
white blues singer - especially if he's British.
tracks on this album rather surprised me. Rory has been threatening to
join the Laurel Canyon bunch of singer-songwriters and on these two
he's gone and done it! 'Daughter Of The Everglades' ought to be
released as a single - after one play you're already humming it - and
the number's subject matter is exactly what the title suggests. No,
neither Crosby nor Nash join in on harmonies, but I was waiting for
'If I had A Reason', the other similar number,
isn't quite up to the same standard, but when they remake Butch Cassidy
it could fit in much better than 'Raindrops Are Falling On My Head'.
Two-Step' is, I suspect, a filler, the only purely instrumental track
on the record and of the five other tracks on the album the only one
which comes at all near to the blues is not written by Gallagher -
Broonzy's 'Banker's Blues'. Some pretty hot harp playing wails it in
and the honky tonk piano in the middle gives it a fair touch of
authenticity as a blues piece.
fact, Lou Martin's piano versatility proves an excellent sparring
partner for Gallagher's guitar playing, for he is able to solo and lend
strength to the rhythm section equally well, as he illustrates on both
'Walk On Hot Coals' and 'Hands Off'.
Gallagher, with his new, very fine rhythm section, has turned out an
album which admirably compensates for my previous misadventure with his
music. Although I can't help feeling that on most of the heavier
numbers Steve Marriott could bring a lot more out of the vocals. And
he's a rock singer. Chris
article comes from the April 1973 issue of Let
It Rock reformatted