WIDELY acclaimed as the best album Rory Gallagher has made in years, "Fresh Evidence" offers exactly what its title suggests. While the great man's fans would have been quite content to spend their pennies on yet another collection of typical Rory rockers with the odd acoustic song thrown in.... Gallagher himself has different ideas, is coming in now from another angle.

Simply, he is making a return trip to those places which originally fired his imagination, is re-exploring old fields of influence with the authority of someone who has all of the experience to be confident in his craft. If his early Seventies forays into areas such as jazz were tentative, perhaps a little self-conscious, they are now, with the instrumental "Alexis", complete, convincing and authentic.

Elsewhere, Rory is back among the sugar cane, back in the lonesome town, back in the barrel-house and down at the station, revelling in the old rustic blues of Eddie "Son" House's "Empire State Express", the gentle roll of "Heaven's Gate", the pacey shuffle of "Ghost Blues", the wailing harmonicas of the moody "Middle Name."

Yet, for all of its looking back, this LP bristles with a contemporary sense of adventure and wit, not least on the sprightly interplay between the accordion and the guitar on "The King Of Zydeco" and the bare-faced cheek of "The Loop", an instrumental so ridiculously catchy that someone somewhere will shortly be demanding its use for a TV theme tune.

The whole fascinating variety of sounds and styles forms the body of the album, although it begins and ends with the familiar hullaballoo of trademark Gallagher rock. The romping, piano-laced "Kid Gloves",  the slow shit-kicking "Walkin' Wounded" and the climactic "Slumming Angel" make all the more impact for the contrasting material they surround."

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
Fresh Evidence  CAPO LP 14

Fender-bending Irish person and ultimate rock'n'roll journeyman, Rory Gallagher remains, in his own low-profile way, among the more enduring landmarks on pop's turbulent landscape. Twenty years after Taste- that definitive guitar, bass and drums "power trio", he's turned out yet another of those sturdily dependable collections of high grade boogie music that have sustained his career down the years. Fresh Evidence, indeed, clings with dogged resolution to his familiar chugging formula: gritty 12-bar blues, taut and rolling, lean and purposeful. As usual, too, there's a burst of old-style acoustic blues dexterity (in this case Eddie "Son" House's Empire State Express) to punctuate the general run of Stratocaster virtuosity, and terse accounts of "hanging round this lonesome town" (Middle Name) and hard-lovin' women (Slumming Angel) who've heaped their share on top of the troubles that beset a poor boy just trying to get along in this life. If there's a certain lack of personality, or of truly vivid variation, in Gallagher's approach to hard rock, then at least his dry, steely grasp of band dynamics has never deserted him -there isn't a slack or soggy moment on the whole album.
Paul Du Noyer

The first review comes from a 1990 issue of Melody Maker
The second comes from a 1990 issue of Q magazine
I don't have the source of the tour advertisement
reformatted by roryfan
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added 4/9/06