I must preface this by saying that I am a huge Gary Moore fan. Always have been. I cannot think of another guitarist (well maybe Jeff Beck) that has shown me such a variety of style while maintaining passion fire and tone in his playing over the years. It has now been 16 years since Gary became primarily a blues and ballads artist (with the exception of Scars, some of Dark Days in Paradise, A Different Beat and the Monsters of Rock tour) and Gary has yet to surpass the fire, variety and shock value that he achieved on his very first blues release Still Got The Blues.
When the news was released that Gary was writing songs for another Celtic rock album, I for one was ecstatic, drooling at the prospect of another masterpiece like Wild Frontiers. It was my fervent hope that Gary would also enlist a vocalist for this new rock project, or write songs that suit his now 54 year old vocal capabilities, particularly given the strain his range had shown on his recent rock outings. Alas it was not to be, the opportunity to open for BB King's "Farewell 80th Birthday Tour" seems to have postponed the rock release and caused Gary to quickly cobble together this release. The result of that quick cobbling is self evident.
There are three tracks that to me have no business on this album. "Midnight Blues 2006" is a practically verbatim copy of the original version from 1990 and to me was a song that was at it's absolute peak in a live setting, unsurpassable. "All Your Love 2006" does vary somewhat from the original Gary version, but not enough to warrant consideration as a featured album cut. Let's face it; it is a cover of a cover! The third, "I'll Play The Blues For You" is a fine long moody atmospheric tune but so similar in style and vibe to "Midnight Blues" that it should never have appeared on the same release. At the end of the day, there are really only five new tunes written by Gary on this album.
Beyond that, there are some excellent tunes here featuring Gary's trademark tone and superbly crafted solos, in particular "You know My Love", "Gonna Rain Today", and "No Reason To Cry". These are also perhaps the best vocals Gary has delivered since the Dark Days In Paradise release, "Flesh & Blood" being a particularly poignant reminder of that particular albums style.
In the end, it is a decent enough album, just not what I wanted or needed at this time. Time is running out for one last dramatic rock statement and hopefully a follow up world tour from Gary and he could easily resume and continue his blues career late in his 50's and into his 60's. For those of you who need your Celtic rock fix from Gary like I do, check out our review of his stellar contribution as band leader on One Night In Dublin: A Tribute To Phil Lynott.
(Click here to read our review of the DVD One Night In Dublin: A Tribute To Phil Lynott)
- Done Somebody Wrong
- You Know My Love
- Midnight Blues 2006
- Ain't Nobody
- Gonna Rain Today
- All Your Love 2006
- Flesh and Blood
- Cut It Out
- No Reason To Cry
- I'll Play The Blues For You