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DVD: Live In Cork by Rory Gallagher

The late Irish blues-rock guitar great Rory Gallagher’s legendary technical acumen and vibrant performing persona is captured on this 1987 live date, recorded in his hometown of Cork at the Cork Opera House. Originally aired on Irish television and released on VHS under the title Messin With The Kid - Live At The Cork Opera House, the footage offers a noticeably upbeat glimpse of Gallagher who was purportedly elated with his return to Ireland within the totality of his relentless touring schedule.

Alcohol and prescription drugs cut his life short in 1995 and the DVD shows his extensive discography and other anecdotes. But it’s the artist’s expressive stage presence along with his tight rhythm section that adds to the intensity of his largely, high-impact blues-rock methodologies. Armed with his road-worn Fender Stratocaster, Gallagher darts around the stage while executing sustain-drenched licks and gleaming crunch chords. He also breaks out the bottleneck amid a massive trio-based sound that equates into high-velocity boogie and blues rock numbers, culled from his extensive wealth of material.

Blues harp ace Mark Feltham joins the band on several tracks and solos on Sonny Boy Williamson’s slow, walking blues piece titled "When My Baby She Left Me," where the guitarist builds tension via seething chord progressions and fiery single note licks. Then he lowers the pitch while performing on acoustic guitar during "Off The Handle."

Many of Gallagher’s compositions feature melodic hooks to complement his zesty vocals. Yet, I have not seen any of his older concert films and there are those who claim that Gallagher’s excessive alcohol and drug use may have been catching up with him during this period in his career. On the contrary, this flick duly represents his enviable virtuosity and passion for the blues. No doubt, he was a significant force during his reign.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Rory Gallagher
  • CD Title: DVD: Live In Cork
  • Genre: Blues
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Eagle Vision
  • Musicians: Rory Gallagher (guitar, vocals), Mark Feltham (harmonica), Brendan O’Neill (drums), Gerry McAvoy (bass)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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