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Ghost Blues: The Story of Rory Gallagher & the Beat Club Sessions

Eagle Vision

Fans of Rory Gallagher will want to get their hands on the 2 DVD set Ghost Blues which presents the true story of the Irish Rocker's life.

Comprised of interviews with brother Donal Gallagher, Slash, The Edge, Cameron Crowe and many others, we get to see it all. Gallagher was a maverick who had no tolerance for record company politics. Certainly it didn't endear him to label executives when he refused to release singles. Being the seventies were competitive enough with hotshot guitar players, Rory got lost in the shuffle and for most teen-agers, he remained off the radar.

Growing restless with the show-band circuit, Gallagher struck out on his own. Forming the short-lived Taste got him some recognition. Especially when the group opened for Blind Faith on their first American tour.

Of course a half-assed management doesn't get you anywhere. Wisely Gallagher disbanded that outfit. So for the next quarter century, Rory went solo. Bassist Gerry McAvoy ended up being a mainstay for twenty years while the rest of musicians came and went.

It was easy for Gallagher to win fans in Europe. In the states he had to settle as an opener for major headliners doing arena tours. Only in the club and college settings, did Rory get to headline and enjoy an interaction with his followers.

Brother Donal Gallagher recounts Gallagher's final days giving this documentary of course a sad closure. The joy in all of this was Rory got streets named after him and plaques put on walls. A strong conviction that a legacy lives on.

The second DVD makes up The Beat Club Sessions from 1971-72. Whether watching Gallagher tear into rockers "Laundromat" or "Used To Be," or playing the solitary blues-man on the Delta fried "Pistol Slapping Blues" is affirmation enough that Rory left his mark. Strange how death immortalizes a musician's music to carry significance.

Reviewed by Gary "Wingman" Weeks.

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