Title - 'The Beat Club Sessions' (Eagle Records)
Artist - Rory Gallagher
William Rory Gallagher was an Irish blues-rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader, and these Beat Club Sessions show exactly all that and a shed load more.
Gallagher was a magnificent live performer, his guitar work incredible, fluid, none more so second track in, 'Hands Up.' My God, I don't think his fingers stopped flowing over those strings for the entire frickin' song!
The vocally-preaching 'Sinnerboy' might show Gallagher's lyrics off at their finest also, but again it's his (here) use of slide tin that makes the song (not to mention the hell-for-leather 'In Your Town') what it/they is/are. Mind you, a full-on version of Clapton's 'I'm Tore Down' is simply off the hook! And, the album closer, the drum-infused (Phil Lynott-sounding) 'Messin' With The Kid' cover (Junior Wells) is also a truly inspired way to bring a showcase like this to a close.
Anyway, these previously-unreleased, live recordings (although, save for the clapping on the last song, you'd never know that due to the studio-sound quality) were made for the German TV series Beat Club - hence the title!
Recorded over three different appearances in the early seventies they capture Gallagher in his element - as both a superb live performer and one heck of a raw guitarist. The 12-song tracklisting primarily focuses on his first two solo albums, containing (as it turned out) many classic songs that he would carry on playing throughout his career - until his (very) untimely death in 1995, aged 47.
Gallagher, if you didn't know, was a beloved, respected and adored musician/man, a great showman, but at all times a gentle, humble man. And so, if one song from this album showcased any or all of those traits, it would definitely be the bewitching, 'Just The Smile.' Buy this CD today as just one listen will make you realize just how much the music world mourned his passing.