The UMe/Chess label has recently released a new live album from blues/rock giant Rory Gallagher titled "Check Shirt Wizard Live In '77." It topped the Billboard Blues Album chart upon its release and is an excellent reminder of how great of an artist Gallagher was, especially live.
Born William Rory Gallagher, he bought his first guitar at age 13 and not before long was playing in skiffle groups, before forming his first band, Taste in 1966. The band would open for Eric Clapton's supergroups Cream and Blind Faith, before disbanding, following their appearance at the 1970 Isle Of Wright Festival, thus began Gallagher's solo career. He was named top guitarist (ahead of Clapton) in a 1971's "Melody Maker" magazine poll and released eleven studio albums and three live albums during his lifetime. Rory Gallagher died in 1995 from complications from a liver transplant at the young age of 47. His legacy lives on through Gallagher's inspiration of many of today's rock guitarists, who have named him a huge influence, including the great Brian May of Queen.
This new live album is the fourth live album released since his death and showcases Gallagher during the height of his career, which pretty much ran through the seventies. The show kicks off with a couple of tracks ("Do You Read Me" and "Moonchild") from his latest LP at the time "Calling Card," but Gallagher blows the roof off the Sheffield City Hall with a blazing rendition of "Bought And Sold." This new live release is taken from three different shows from his 1977 U.K. tour, but has been skillfully put together to sound like one of the best concerts of Gallagher's career.
He keeps the energy going with some amazing guitar work during "Secret Agent" and "I Take What I Want," before delivering another jaw-dropping guitar solo during the nearly eight-minute romp of "Walk On Hot Coals." Rory Gallagher also showcases his quieter side with acoustic tales of "Out On The Western" and the more playful strumming of "Pistol Slapper Blues." He has the whole audience of the Hammersmith Odeon eating out of his hand on the acoustic stomp blues of "Going To My Hometown," before plugging back in for the swampy, but roaring blues rock of "Jack-Knife Beat" and the burning solo of "Bullfrog Blues." The set closes with Gallagher returning to his early days with the high-energy rocker "Used To Be" and the swift pace of "Country Mile."
This new live album from Rory Gallagher is available in a number of different formats including a 3LP 180-gram vinyl set, a 2 CD set and also digitally. To find out more about this new release "Check Shirt Wizard Live In '77" from Rory Gallagher, please visit rorygallagher.com.