Rory Gallagher: The People's Guitarist...

Rory Gallagher: The People's Guitarist...
Authored By John Nicholson
Rory Gallagher was a guitarist like no other. He played in show bands in Ireland, but soon graduated to play in the very successful band Taste. They had a hit single with Blister On Moon in the late 60's.

Rory Gallagher

But it was in the 1970s that Rory became The People's Guitarist. For what seems like years, he could be found touring somewhere in the world. Every year he played the city halls and town halls of Britain, time and time again. He was loved for his unassuming manner and his extraordinary talent.

He released many records, none of which were especially popular in the UK, but all seemed to chart at the lower reaches. Although the studio albums contained some excellent material, it was the live albums, which really found an audience. Europe 72 was the start of it, but it was Irish Tour 74 that everyone loved. His playing on that record is pretty much unadulterated genius. The way he attacks solos is thrilling. He plays split harmonics and is not restricted by the usual blue scales.

His acoustic work is also superb, so much so that you would never know Rory was from Ballyshannon, not the Delta.

The there was a third live album called StagestruckThis was released in 1980 and features a harder, more rock sound. There's less blues and more riffing. Perhaps he was influenced by the new wave of heavy metal that was popular at the time. It's still a brilliant record and sees Rory playing fast and loose on songs like Brute Force and Ignorance.

Though there were records in the 80s, and Rory was to die in the 90s, far too young, those 10 years between 1970 and 80 were a golden extended period.

Perhaps his talents were not recognized appropriately in his own time, but now it certainly is. One of the few artists never to release a bad record. If you haven't heard a Rory album for a while, do dive in and relive one of the greatest fret melters that ever lived.


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