Rory Gallagher - Calling Card

In the early '70s, when Jimi had swapped Strat for harp and Eric wasn't quite the full Derek, yer man Racy Gallagher was topping polls as the world's numero uno axeman. Just as another lad from the Six Counties was weaving magic for Man Utd, so Rory's Belfast boogie looked to set the world alight with equally blistering runs. Trouble was, he just wanted to play his battered Strat, all bluesy rock and easy 12-bar ballads of cheating women and too much whiskey, and sod changing with the world. As his fans grew up and bought bijou docklands flats, Rory still slept at the laundromat.

Calling Card, ('76) is the classic Gallagher formula, with long-time partner Gerry McAvoy on bass, but this album was the last after a brief flirtation with De'Ath on drums and Lou Martin donating rambunctious barrel house piano. 'Do You Read Me', all hammered on Strat distort with more bent notes than Arthur Daley ever handled is classic heavy Rory. Tasteful, especially 'Country Mile', but somehow Rory had done it all before - and better.
Andy Robson

stlouis1976     stlouis1976b.jpg

RORY GALLAGHER: "Calling Card"
    (Essential ESSCD 143)     (45.24)

During the recording of this album, at Musicland Studios, Munich, Rory Gallagher was popping in and out of the Stones' "Black And Blue" sessions with a view to becoming  the replacement to Mick Taylor. But it was not to be, and like all the other hopefuls -  Wayne Perkins, Harvey Mandel and others - Gallagher stayed out of the limelight.

Nevertheless, "Calling Card" found him in good form, aided by his regular backing band of Gerry McAvoy and Rod De'ath. "Country Mile" finds the Irish guitarist's voice inhabited by the ghost of Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green,  and the album is a good representation of Gallagher's skills. Special mention must be made of the slide playing on "I'll Admit You're Gone". Play that and you'll wish the Stones had never heard of Ronnie Wood.

These reviews come from unknown sources found in  a packet of articles I bought.
The photos above were taken by Al Cikas at the Ambassador Theater in Saint Louis in 1976. Thanks to Al and to Ted Morrissey for passing the photos along

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added 2/22/09