Vintage Stash

Rory Gallagher

The Beat Club Sessions

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[amtap amazon:asin=B003XMKN8Q] Put bluntly, you’re missing out if you aren’t intimately familiar with the music of Rory Gallagher. The greatest electric bluesman Ireland ever produced, Gallagher’s name should be mentioned in quick succession with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton but such is the world’s general ignorance that Gallagher remains a beloved cult figure rather than a household name – admired beyond reason by musicians like Slash, Johnny Marr, Shooter Jennings and myriad others, and adored by his fans in a way that transcends superlatives. Despite passing in 1995, it would be hard to find blues rock more vibrant and relevant than his, and this new compilation of performances culled from three appearances between 1971-1972 on the German TV program Beat Club arrives like an early book in Gallagher’s gospel, a distortion touched, freight train barreling set of scripture that further confirms his place in the pantheon.

Comprised of staples from Gallagher’s early solo repertoire after he left the band Taste, The Beat Club Sessions (released September 14 on Eagle Records) rattles and cries with the same impassioned perfection as Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs albeit with less polish, a rough ‘n’ tumble energy running through the proceedings in pleasant contrast to Gallagher’s later blinding fluidity. Yet even early on he possessed a knack for breathless runs that strike to the heart of the blues and make them relevant to the rockers.

Blasting out of gate with classic sad-sack tale Laundromat, this set never eases up, the compilers cherry-picking only the ripest fruits from Rory’s many Beat Club appearances. Sinnerboy and I Could’ve Had Religion contain slide work of the sort that’s made Duane Allman such a celebrated figure, and his gift for swiftly shifting melody comes to the fore on Crest of a Wave and Just The Smile. While many archival releases feel like frozen moments snatched out of time – a touch musty and fixed in another age — The Beat Club Sessions leaps out of the speakers to whip one around like a beautiful electrical storm.

The video version of this set contains four additional performances, and is paired with the phenomenal new documentary Ghost Blues: The Story of Rory Gallagher, which the Impound will explore soon.

2 thoughts on “Vintage Stash: Rory Gallagher

  1. Great article, but I don’t know if I want to sent a link to everyone I know, or hack the web-site and delete this post. I LOVE Rory Gallagher, for the past 34 years of my life I’ve talked, argued, preached, the Gospel of Rory. Giving away tapes and/or cd’s of his album to friends and family and co-workers and Rory has never risen above cult hero status. I just don’t know if I want Rory to be my best kept secret or if I want the whole world praising his guitar playing, his singing, his song writing talent. I wanted to thank you for the positive review of the CD and DVD, I now know that this is a worthy post-mortem release and not another chance by the rights holder of a dead musician cashing in. I now Donal (Rory’s brother) is an honorable man and doing the right thing with his brother’s memory and music.

  2. My first real concert was a Gallagher Concert in the City Hall in Cork when I was around 14, never forget it, saw him a few time more after that (in Concert)up to his last Irish gig in the CIT in Cork November 2003 he gave it everything, if somebody stood at the door on the way out saying, “Sorry, you got more than your money warth, give me another 20spot” I’d have given it.
    The more people know about Rory and how he performed on stage without all the shite the better, the better for the blues and Rock n’Roll and the better for the live audiences.

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