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McAvoy, Gerry: Can't Win 'Em All

For over twenty years Irish bassist Gerry McAvoy was Rory Gallagher's right hand man as he held down the bottom end for the famous guitarist, logging countless miles on the road as well as playing on every one of Rory's solo records from 1970 to 1990. After parting ways with Rory in 1990 McAvoy took drummer Brendan O'Neil with him and joined forces in the newly revamped lineup of British blues band Nine Below Zero, where McAvoy has remained to this day. With a recent flurry of activity in the Nine Below Zero camp, new album, couple of stellar reissues & celebrating their 30th anniversary etc… the timing for McAvoy to launch a new solo album couldn't be better.

With Gallagher it seemed that Gerry was rarely called upon to contribute as a songwriter, but with Nine Below Zero and now with Can't Win 'Em All he's shown that in addition to be a gifted musician he's an accomplished writer as well. Although no actual specifics are given the songs on Can't Win "Em All were recorded in different locations at various times in the 70's and 80's, but for some reason they're only seeing the light of day now. Some of the musicians helping him out here are his Nine Below Zero cohorts, O'Neil, harmonica player Mark Feltham and ex-Manfred Mann guitarist Dave Flett. Revealing his love for 50's rock 'n roll, straight ahead rock and of course the blues, songs like "Troubled Heart", the bluesy swagger of the title track and "Help Me Through The Day", along with the punchy horns featured prominently on the Junior Wells cover "What My Mamma Told Me", certainly wouldn't have sounded out of place on any of Rory's records. While I wouldn't consider Gerry to be a particularly strong lead vocalist, he doesn't try to push things outside of his range, and his voice does have an endearing appeal to it.

In the end if you've followed Gerry McAvoy's career at all for the past forty years I don't think you'll find that the material on Can't Win 'Em All strays too far from what he's been known to do. However, what this album really does is offer the listener a bit of unique insight into who Gerry McAvoy is as both a musician and a songwriter, because this is certainly one musical vision that he can truly call his own.

Track Listing
1) Misunderstood
2) Chose To Sing The Blues
3) Born Too Late
4) Troubled Heart
5) Behan
6) Can't Win 'Em All
7) Midnight Man
8) Oh What A Shame
9) Runaway
10) What My Mamma Told Me
11) Help Me Through The Day

Added: August 5th 2010
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Angel Air
Hits: 2525
Language: english

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