Rory Gallagher: The Beat Club Sessions

Rory Gallagher (1948-1995) was a hard-living, hard-playing Irishman. An electric guitarist steeped in the blues, he first fronted Taste in 1966, the proto-typical power trio. His wild solo ‘70s work-outs rank right up there with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Johnny Winter. Featuring material mostly from his first two solo albums, The Beat Club Sessions is the perfect example of his dramatic flair.

Beat Club was a popular German television program that spotlighted most of the hot European rock ’n’ roll acts of the era. These 12 tracks are taken from three appearances and man, does he rock! In song after song, his voice perfectly complements his playing in an idiosyncratic way as he slurs his vowels in a semi-brogue, the effect of which is one of effortless cool.

Similar to Jeff Beck, his playing is infused with a modicum of jazz phrasing.

Similar to Jimmy Page, his acoustic chops were just as mighty as his gutbucket electric punch.

Gallagher oftentimes showboated, as he does here on the 7:15 “I Could’ve Had Religion” and the 7:38 cover of Freddie King’s “Tore Down,” but it’s still mesmerizing. One could get lost in the constancy of his meandering searches for just the right note. He’ll catwalk all over the fretboard like a spider with 10 legs and every note is not only piercingly vital but somehow important to the over-all presentation.
Kudos to Eagle and Gallagher’s family for continuing to unearth gems like this one.

In A Word: Visceral