Thursday, March 19, 2020

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Irish Tour '74.." (1974)

"Irish Tour '74" (front)

These live performances were recorded while really dangerous goings-on were happening in Ireland.  Bombs and the like.  So much so, musical acts were canceling dates preferring to take the short bow with promises to return at a safer time.  This is just another reason to admire Rory Gallagher and the rest of his band for hitting the stage running and letting the devil be damned.

 "Irish Tour '74" is a really good album.  Live or otherwise.  Rory Gallagher with his Strat in tow sounds ready for bear when rockin' out the blues.  And a bit haunting when bringing it down a notch.  His vocals sound well-traveled and lived in.  No trick mirrors.  Rory Gallagher is the kind of guy who's easy to pull for.  You like him and you want everyone else to like him too.  And that also goes for his long-time bassist, Gerry McAvoy.  Gerry attacks like a tireless badger.  And he's Rory's biggest cheerleader leaving little doubt..."I got your back, mate.  Wherever you go, I'm right there with you."  And your ears appreciate the loyalty.

There's a lot of energy and love captured on this album.  You can feel it in the crowd.  And you can certainly hear it when you spin it.   The opening “Cradle Rock” is a great table-setter for things to come.  And I love, love, love his self-penned “A Million Miles Away.”  To me, that song is Rory in a nutshell.  Aching heart. Wandering spirit.   And his Tony Joe White cover...“As The Crow Flies” is killer at large.  You remember Tony Joe White from his funky-fried...Polk Salad Annie” gem.   And Rory covers the older blues stuff with plenty of personality and respect that bespeaks his common plaid shirted attire.  Honestly, every side of this two-record treasure is an enjoyable experience.  And this is from someone who rarely gravitates to the live stuff.  Now go wash your hands.

"Irish Tour '74" (back)

"Irish Tour '74" (inside gatefold)

Polydor label

"As The Crow Flies" - Rory Gallagher / "Irish Tour '74" (1974)

A1  "Cradle Rock"  6:31
A2  "I Wonder Who" 7:35
A3  "Tattoo'd Lady"  4:52
B1  "Too Much Alcohol"  8:13
B2  "As the Crow Flies"  5:15
B3  "A Million Miles Away"  9:14
C1  "Walk on Hot Coals"  10:40
C2  "Who's That Coming"  9:25
D1  "Back on My (Stompin' Ground)"  5:20
D2  "Just a Little Bit"  7:58

Rory Gallagher - vocals, guitar, harmonica
Gerry McAvoy - bass
Lou Martin - RMI Electra piano
Rod de'Ath - drums

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

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