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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Rory Gallagher

Fresh Evidence

Review by Gary Hill

This was to be the final Rory Gallagher release before his death. The music on the set runs the gamut from old time blues to hard rock. It’s a strong album, but perhaps not one of his best. His health was not great at the time and that probably contributed to the “less than best” status. Still, when it’s Rory Gallagher (Hendrix once referred to him as the best guitarist in the world) even less than best is better than most.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Kid Gloves

A smoking blues riff leads this off and then they launch out into a hard rocking, tune.

The King Of Zydeco
The early sections here feels a bit like the electric side of Bob Dylan. The chorus, though, features some real Zydeco music. In some ways this reminds me of Dire Straits a bit. The closing instrumental section also includes Zydeco instrumentation.
Middle Name
This blues rocker is mean and very tasty. There’s some killer guitar soloing and some bluesy harmonica.
Alexis
This killer jam is more old school blues. It’s a real screamer. It’s a full instrumental and works quite well.
Empire State Express
A back porch acoustic slide guitar motif makes up this track. It feels like something Robert Johnson might have done.
Ghost Blues
“Ghost Blues” starts in a similar style to the previous number, but then fires out into a killer, traditional, electric blues jam that’s very tasty. It’s got a great chugging rhythm section and just plain rocks. There is definitely some exceptional slide guitar on this beast. They do a great job of integrating acoustic instrumentation with electric to create a multi-layered old school blues tune with a real hard edge.
Heaven's Gate
The pounding rhythm section that drives this is a killer. They combine rock with blues sounds here in a mixture that leans heavily on the blues side. It’s another strong cut on a disc with no shortage of winning material.
The Loop
A short instrumental, slide guitar drives this one.
Walkin' Wounded
While there’s still plenty of blues on hand here, this one is more purely rock oriented than a lot of the music here. It’s also a real winner. The killer guitar soloing later is expected. The wailing saxophone solo is not. That doesn’t mean it isn’t equally exciting, though, because it is.
Slumming Angel
More bluesy, this still has plenty of hard rock built into it. There’s also plenty of charm, charisma and power. It’s another strong tune.
Never Asked You For Nothin'
The introduction here is hard rocking, but then it drops down to a old school blues song that’s got plenty of Zydeco in the mix. This works pretty well and serves as a good change of pace. It’s not really my type of music, though. Still, the guitar soloing is killer. This is the first of two bonus tracks.
Bowed But Not Broken
The final bonus track, this one is among the best on the set. That makes it amazing that it’s just a bonus. Combining a sound akin to Thin Lizzy with the rocking side of Gallagher’s catalog, this is a killer tune. It serves the set well as a closer, that’s for sure.
 
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