is the first album by the "new" Rory Gallagher band. Back down to a
trio, the group consists of Gallagher on vocals, guitars, harmonica and
mandolin, accompanied by longtime bassist Gerry McAvoy and
ex-Sensational Alex Harvey Band drummer, Ted McKenna.
Not surprisingly, the sound is not unlike Taste (Gallagher’s first
band) or any of Gallagher’s other lineups. It's always been Rory’s show
right from the start. Even Jimi Hendrix was affected more stylistically
by his sidemen than Gallagher has ever been. If nothing else, Gallagher
is a living testament to musical integrity. He has yet to issue a first
single, and he has refused to compromise
his music in any way.
Photo Finish is enjoyable, but
unspectacular. Gallagher plays with authority and vigor within the
limits of the blues, country and folk influences from which he
developed his style. The skilled playing is evident on all of his
records, but the man's dedication and infectious enthusiasm seems
impossible to document. On record, Gallagher is another white bluesman,
and his refusal to stray far from his musical roots may forever deny
him a real hit album.
is not to say that Gallagher doesn't have his own distinctive sound.
His guitar solos have never been merely competent, and he never sounds
as though he's just going through the motions. On Photo Finish, numbers such as
‘Shadow Play” build to points of intensity that are breathtaking, but
even at his most frantic, Rory is never just playing a lot of notes.
There's almost always a harsh edge to his playing, but every note rings
true and his solos flow like a mighty river.
The production on Photo Finish,
by Gallagher and engineer Alan O’Duffy, is crisp and powerful,
recalling Rory’s best recent studio LP, Against the Grain. McKenna’s
drumming adds a new, brisker quality to the band, and McAvoy provides
his usual solid foundation. Rory will probably never develop into an
outstanding vocalist, but his earnest singing is the perfect
counterpart to his hard-edged, direct playing.
The LP’s chief problem lies in its material. None of the songs
are bad, but they all sound overly familiar. Gallagher needs to find
the right producer to guide his recording career, but after the
disastrous Calling Card album
(produced by Roger Glover), this seems unlikely in the near future. Bob Sheridan This
aticle is from 1978. I don't have the source (best guess is Rolling
Stone). If you can provide the information email firstname.lastname@example.org
reformatted by roryfan