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Rock - Released September 24, 2012 | Mercury Studios

Both Jimi Hendrix and Gary Moore played guitar and sang with the soul of bluesmen and the drive of hard rockers. So who better to pay tribute to Hendrix at an August 2007 London Experience Hendrix launch of Hendrix's Live at Monterey reissued DVD than the veteran Moore? And to add more gravitas to the post-DVD presentation concert, Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell and Band of Gypsys bassist Billy Cox joined Moore for three tunes near the end of the 80-minute-long set. The DVD, Blu-Ray, and CD (all available separately) capture the amped-up excitement of the night as Moore and his regular touring duo tear though some of Hendrix's biggest hits with the ferocity that Moore brings to every gig. The only criticism is the set list, which trots out the usual suspects of Hendrix's early catalog ("Fire," "Foxy Lady," "Purple Haze," "The Wind Cries Mary") which are overplayed. Whether Moore had control over that or was instructed to play tunes that hewed closely to those from the Monterey Hendrix performance is unclear. But even though he doesn't exactly make them his own, the Irish guitarist brings plenty of sweat and intensity to those warhorses. He also adds the less well-known "I Don't Live Today," which, in light of Moore's untimely 2011 passing, is strangely and sadly prophetic. An emotional six-minute reading of "Angel," prefaced by a frantic guitar improv instrumental oddly named "My Angel" that displays Moore's chops, gives him a chance to get sensitive on one of Hendrix's most ghostly and beautiful tunes. The "blues" in the album's title is spotlighted as Mitchell and Cox kick off their 25-minute guest appearance with a fiery, 11-minute "Red House," arguably the night's highlight. Cox's basslines find a deep groove (he also sings the song) and Moore is clearly in his element, whipping off solos that shift from sweet and jazzy to biting and raw. The threesome had only rehearsed once the day before, and that lack of preparation nearly sinks "Stone Free," also sung by Cox, where things get a little too ragged. But they bounce back for a punchy, nine-minute "Hey Joe" that captures the spirit of Hendrix's version while providing Moore a platform for his own six-string acrobatics that organically build to a crescendo even Hendrix would have applauded. The DVD shows how much the trio is enjoying itself, but even the audio is evidence that Moore is in his natural habitat with this material, and playing with Hendrix's sidemen is clearly a thrill. He brings back his own band for a closing ten-minute "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" that puts an exclamation point on an already outstanding performance. Why it stayed in the vaults for five years until its 2012 release is unclear, but this is a lightning-in-a-bottle treat to be savored by both Moore and Hendrix fans. © Hal Horowitz /TiVo
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Blues - Released September 22, 2008 | Mercury Studios

Another year, another Gary Moore blues-rock album nearly interchangeable with the last. That's no problem for fans or even newcomers, because despite the surface similarities between releases, Moore never seems to be going through the motions for the sake of further bulking up his already substantial catalog. His tough guitar lines remain biting yet classy, and his underappreciated voice is strong and convincing on originals and covers that nail all of the blues-rock bases without sounding rote. While there are no surprises here, Bad for You Baby is far from a disappointment. Moore continues a string of rugged, post-hard rock, power blues that he has carved his niche in since 1990's Still Got the Blues. He applies his throaty vocals and feral guitar to a pair of Muddy Waters tunes to impressive effect. No one will mistake his versions of Waters' "Walking Through the Park" or "Someday Baby" for the classic Chess era nuggets they are. Yet Moore's rocked up attack hits the mark for being relatively faithful to their melodies even as he wields his power blues sledgehammer. Moore boogies through J.B. Lenoir's "Mojo Boogie" like he invented the style, and even if his husky vocals will never be mistaken for Lenoir's reedy, high pitched singing, he tears into the tune with enough energy to shake up anything in the Johnny Winter songbook. Guitar shredders will thrill to the hot fret acrobatics of the double-time "Down the Line," and those who thought Led Zeppelin's first album was their finest hour should chow down on the hard rocking Jimmy Page-isms of "Umbrella Man." Moore writes one for the ladies on the sweet ballad "Holding On," which won't win any awards for lyrical complexity but boasts a lovely melody and Otis Taylor's daughter, Cassie, on backing vocals. Cassie returns with her dad (plucking nearly inaudible banjo) for the swamped up "Preacher Man Blues" that features some surprisingly effective harp from Moore, the only time he plays it on this disc. Al Kooper's slow, yearning "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" from the New Yorker's Blood, Sweat & Tears stint is given an extended, nearly 11-minute treatment that's as compelling as BS&T's. Those hoping for Moore to expand his horizons will need to wait a little longer, but for existing followers and especially those new to his gutsy approach, Bad for You Baby more than fills the bill. © Hal Horowitz /TiVo
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Rock - Released July 28, 2009 | Mercury Studios