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Gallagher, Rory: Wheels Within Wheels (reissue)

Wheels Within Wheels is a compilation of rare & unreleased acoustic songs recorded by the late Rory Gallagher from 1974 to 1994, put together and released by his brother Donal and now seeing the reissue treatment from Eagle Rock. Even though Rory loved to play this acoustic & folky style of blues and always included a few such numbers on all his predominately electric albums, he had plans to record an album like this but it never came to pass. Thankfully he had plenty of material locked away in the vaults for his brother Donal to work with, and the end result is the enjoyable Wheels Within Wheels. Along with Gallagher on guitar, vocals, and harmonica, this CD also features collaborations with Lonnie Donegan, The Dubliners, Martin Carthy, Bela Fleck, Bert Jansch and more.

If you are used to Rory's more raucous, electric outings, Wheels Within Wheels will come across as a much more subdued and laid back affair. Regardless, there's still plenty of impeccable playing here, though in a more rootsy direction. The gorgeous "Flight to Paradise" and hot picking of "As the Crow Flies" are just two examples of Gallagher's surpreme skills on the guitar, and "Bratcha Dubha" is one of the finest examples of folk guitar you will ever hear, featuring folk heroes Martin Carthy and Maire Ni Chathasaigh. Other highlights include the mystical "The Cuckoo", the sweaty slide guitar mastery of "Amazing Grace", and the two gritty swamp blues numbers "Walkin' Blues" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky".

As endearing as much of Wheels Within Wheels is, I often was yearning to hear Rory's sizzling electric guitar, which pulls a no-show here. If you are like me, this collection loses a little mileage about three quarters of the way through, but it's still a fun listen and a rare instance where you get all acoustic, folky Rory Gallagher, all the way through. Sound quality is decent on most tracks, though some are of rare vintage and the recordings are a little sub par.

Track Listing
1. Wheels Within Wheels 3:31
2. Flight To Paradise 4:29
3. As The Crow Flies 4:11
4. Lonesome Highway 5:22
5. Bratcha Dubha 2:58
6. She Moved Thro' The Fair/ Ann Cran Ull 2:21
7. Barley & Grape Rag 4:25
8. The Cuckoo 3:45
9. Amazing Grace 1:19
10. Walkin' Blues 5:33
11. Blue Moon Of Kentucky 2:53
12. Deep Elm Blues 4:17
13. Goin' To My Hometown 4:55
14. Lonesome Highway Refraining 2:00

Added: September 8th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 1558
Language: english

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