Thursday Night Music Byte
Lynnrockets recently watched the film Julie & Julia about a thirty year old New Yorker who decided to cook every dish in one of Julia Childs’ cookbooks and to blog about it. It was a novel idea so we decided to copy it. No, we will not be cooking in the usual sense (that could start a fire). Rather, we will adapt the recipe a day concept to our nightly music bytes. From now to infinity (didn’t somebody else coin that phrase?) we will post a music video and brief description of the artist or song in a sort of alphabetical order as culled from Tom Moon’s wonderful reference book, 1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die (A Listener’s Life List). The book describes both whole albums (remember those) and individual songs from all music genres that are essential listening. Do yourselves a favor and purchase this book. Where the book deals with an individual song, we will post that song, but when an entire album is the subject, we will exercise judicial discretion and post a single song therefrom. So what do you say, let’s get cooking…
Rory Gallagher Irish Tour 1974
Those who think they’ve heard it all in the realm of the electric guitar are referred to the first two minutes of this album. Rory Gallagher comes onstage to roaring applause – he was already a star in his native Ireland, and one of the few brave souls willing to tour the country during the bitter civil strife of the 1970’s. He tunes his instrument quickly, sends out a few test signals, and then jumps into his original “Cradle Rock”. What follows is solo guitar machismo – ninety seconds of crow-bar like single note attacks and flamboyant lunging pitch-blends followed by a Delta blues taunt that lets the band know it’s time to go to work.
Even if you are immune to daredevil rock guitar tricks, this is jaw-dropping stuff. Gallagher (1948-1995) was one of the few virtuosos who kept his considerable technical mastery in his back pocket, for emergency use only. When he lets loose, it’s a real eruption, not stagecraft. On “Cradle Rock” , “As The Crow Flies”, and other songs on Irish Tour 1974 – this uniformly thrilling collection drawn from concerts in Belfast, Dublin and elsewhere – Gallagher’s rhythm guitar has a strutting Aerosmith quality. Just when that seems to be his stock in trade, he’ll turn around and drop a stupendous melody line that sounds like it was beamed from rock and roll heaven. And then he’ll deliver another one until these phrases gather into an epic fable.
Gallagher built several originals on the blues, and was equally comfortable reaching back to a standard or two – this set features a steamrolling cover of Muddy Water’s “I Wonder Who” and a sorrowful reading of J.B. Hutto’s “Too Much Alcohol”. Where other rockers seize the blues as a chance to show off, Gallagher positively sings on the guitar, to the point where you wonder whether his fingers are even on the strings.
After Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix was asked what it felt like to be the greatest guitarist in the world and he answered, “I don’t know. Go ask Rory Gallagher”. “Nuff said.
“Walk On Hot Coals”