Rory Gallagher | Live In Cork – DVD Review


Ah, the luck of the Irish for having Rory Gallagher among its brethren. A vigilant
student of the Delta blues, Gallagher, was the charismatic everyman you could
share a pint or two with. His no-fuss approach to the guitar was without pretense
or calculation; it was genuine, soulful and straight from the heart. In 1987,
Gallagher, who passed away at the age of 47 in 1995, stepped up on the stage
of the opera house in his hometown of Cork City. The show was filmed and released
on home video. Reissued on DVD, Live In Cork is yet another
view of the legendary Irish guitarist.

Touring behind the spit and shine of his new album at the time, Defender,
Gallagher offers up a swath of new tunes, beginning with “Continental
Op,” and throwing in “Ain’t No Saint,” Sonny Boy Williamson’s
“Don’t Start Me Talkin’ and “Loanshark Blues”
along the way. Live staples like “Messin’ With The Kid” and
“Out On The Western Plain” keep the players on their toes, while
the classic “Tattoo’d Lady” from 1973’s Tattoo
leaves no doubt the guitarist, during this later phase of his career, could
still give a memorable riff the needed juice of sustainability.

During the tight set, Gallagher pulverizes each and every lick with his infamous
’61 Strat, as longtime bassist Gerry McAvoy and drummer Brenden O’Neill
pump out a steady rhythm for the guitarist to skate across. Mark Feltham provides
an extra dimension with some simple and economical harmonica work for a bulk
of the set. Gallagher’s mastery as a bluesman bubbles to the surface during
the acoustic “Wanted Blues” (even as he is momentarily disrupted
by an audience member) and slippery slide of “The Loop.” These are
defining moments showcasing an innate talent no longer here and sorely missed.

With a deluge of recent Rory Gallagher DVDs to choose from, fans will delight
in the extras on Live In Cork. Rather than tack on extra footage
from random performances (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), executive
producer Donal Gallagher (Rory’s loyal brother and keeper of the flame)
decided to give this disc a personal touch. Viewers have the opportunity to
tour various landmarks of Cork City, including Crowley’s Music Store (where
Gallagher bought his gear), the city library, the docks, and other sights of
the third most populous city in Ireland. If you have the Irish Tour
, Live In Montreux and Live At Rockpalast
DVDs, Live In Cork will supercharge your Rory Gallagher collection
with a unique home cooked flavor.

~ Shawn Perry

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