There's a reason why the late Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher has often been cited by his peers as one of the best ever-just check out any of his excellent releases throughout the 1970's for proof of his legendary status. 1973's Blueprint, now being reissued by Eagle Rock, had it all, barnstorming blues, gritty hard rock, jazz, and rootsy country folk, performed by a hot band that featured a musician that was not only a excellent guitar player but also a damn fine singer as well. Gallagher's band at the time was comprised of bassist Gerry McAvoy, keyboard player Lou Martin, and drummer Rod de'Ath.
Rory always led off each album with a real stunner, and "Walk on Hot Coals" is no exception here on Blueprint. Part blues, part rock, but with an epic feel, this one is easily one of Gallagher's most impressive songs. Featuring layers of guitar textures, fine lead work, and melodic vocals, it's a classic piece from start to finish. "Daughter of the Everglades" is a folk/pop/blues number, complete with Martin's keyboards and Rory's sumptuous acoustic guitar and sizzling lead solo. Traditional Delta blues can be heard on "Banker's Blues", featuring some honky tonk piano and harmonica, and "Hands Off" is a more driving blues piece with some sizzling piano & guitar. On "Race the Breeze", Rory lays down some 60's surf guitar sounds, as well blues & jazz, for this snappy shuffle, but prog and psych fans will love the extended track "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son". This near 9-minute song features layers of acoustic and electric guitars, intricate rhythms, and plenty of solo spots for guitar and electric piano. The little acoustic ditty "Unmilitary Two Step" lets Rory show off his great fingerpicking style, while "If I Had a Reason" is pure country. Crunchy boogie can be heard on the rousing bonus track "Stompin' Ground", a real slide guitar workout for the Irish great, and "Treat Her Right" is a hard driving 60's styled blues rocker in the fine tradition of The Yardbirds. Plenty of fiery guitar work on this additional bonus track.
There you have it, another fine Rory Gallagher reissue from Eagle Rock. If you haven't picked these up already, now's the time to do so. But make sure your wallet is ready, cause there's more comin'!
1. Walk On Hot Coals 7:03
2. Daughter Of The Everglades 6:13
3. Banker's Blues 4:46
4. Hands Off 4:31
5. Race The Breeze 6:54
6. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son 8:26
7. Unmilitary Two Step 2:49
8. If I Had A Reason 4:30
9. Stompin' Ground-bonus track 3:31
10. Treat Her Right-bonus track 4:02