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Gallagher, Rory: Live at Montreux-The Definitve Montreux Collection (DVD)

With his customary flannel shirt, jean jacket, and beat up Fender Stratocaster guitar, Irish guitar legend Rory Gallagher was a sight to behold on stage, ripping it up to energetic rock and blues songs like no other. Eagle Rock presents here a virtual treasure chest of live performances of the guitarist and his band at the Montreux Jazz Festival, filmed between the years 1975 and 1994. In fact, the 1994 performance was shortly before Gallagher's untimely passing at a young age of 47. It's all presented here in a wonderful package-hours of entertaining performances, a jam-packed booklet with vintage photos & essay from Chris Welch, and a nicely adorned case. What more could the Rory Gallagher fan ask for?

First off, the camera crews at each of these shoots did a great job. This is a professional production all the way around, and the 70's footage really looks good considering how old the material is. The 1975 set is especially raw and energetic, with Gallagher and his burgundy & white flannel, well OK, Gallagher and his beat up Fender guitar, leading the charge through five blistering songs that fuse blues with hard rock. Classics like "Tore Down", "Tattoo'd Lady", and the ripping "Laundromat" (where he does a fine Chuck Berry imitation) are given kick-ass treatment, with the whole band firing on all cylinders. Whether laying down some wicked slide guitar, emotional blues runs, or ferocious hard rock, Gallagher is in command of his instrument at all times, many times wailing away with his eyes closed, and his vocals are gutsy and confident.

The 1977 set was taped on video, as opposed to the 1975 show which was shot on film, but the performances are perhaps more rocking. At this stage in Rory's career, he was cranking out some seriously wild bluesy hard rock, and this portion of the DVD contains some really blistering songs like "I Take What I Want", the classic "Calling Card", the atmospheric slow blues of "A Million Miles Away", and "Pistol Snapper Blues". Rory's tone is a little heavier here, and he utilizes every trick in the book, like feedback, neck bends, voluem swells, two hand finger taps (pre-dating Eddie Van Halen), and plenty of pinch harmonics. Likewise, the 1979 tunes rock hard, with tracks like "Shin Kicker", "Last of the Independents", and "Shadowplay" being the standouts due to their powerful energy and reckless nature. Credit must also be given to Lou Martin's outstanding piano and Hammond organ playing throughout these early tunes, as he adds not only color and the occasional solo, but also gets into some fierce interplay with Gallagher himself on a few spots. From 1985 we see an older but no less inspired Rory Gallagher tearing it up on "Moonchild", the sitar-like brilliance of "Philby", and the rockin' "Big Guns".

Over on Disc 2, you get the full show from Rory's last performance at Montreux in 1994. He's older, wiser, and more refined, but it's still Rory Gallagher. There's also an assortment of acoustic blues clips included here as well as a bonus, so if your tastes run to the mellower side these cuts provide a little variety from the rest of the set which is certainly on the electric and more raucous side.

It's sad to think that not long after the 1994 performance this guitar great was gone. Rory Gallagher graced the stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival numerous times over the course of 20 years, and his performances will never be forgotten for those who were there in person. Now all of us who weren't can savor these moments forever on DVD. Check out this wonderful collection and witness one of the world's most underrated talents who never really got his due before he left us.


Tracklisting
Disc One
1975:
1. Tattoo'd Lady
2. Garbage Man

3. Cradle Rock
4. Tore Down
5. Laundromat
1977:
6. I Take What I Want
7. Calling Card
8. Secret Agent
9. Bought And Sold
10. Million Miles Away
11. Do You Read Me
12. Pistol Slapper Blues
1979:
13. Shin Kicker
14. The Last Of The Independents
15. Mississippi Sheiks
16. Too Much Alcohol
17. Shadowplay
1985:
18. Bad Penny
19. Moonchild
20. Banker's Blues
21. Philby
22. Walking Blues


Disc Two
1994:
1. Continental Op
2. Moonchild
3. I Wonder Who
4. Loop 5. Tattoo'd Lady
6. I Could Have Had Religion
7. Ghost Blues
8. Out On The Western Plain
9. Amazing Grace
10. Walking Blues
11. Blue Moon Of Kentucky
12. Off The Handle
13. Messin' With The Kid
14. I'm Ready
Disc Two Bonus Features:
Acoustic Tracks:
1975:
1. Pistol Slapper Blues
2. Too Much Alcohol
1977:
3. Out On The Western Plain
4. Barley Grape & Rag / Pistol Slapper Blues
5. Going To My Hometown
1985:
6. Walking Blues

Added: July 29th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Rory Gallagher Website
Hits: 3840
Language: english

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