Dedicated to preserving the extensive catalog of the late Rory Gallagher, Eagle Rock Entertainment, in conjunction with the Gallagher family, is proud to announce the final four re-releases on August 16 of an artist whose stature continues to grow in a day and age where true musical heroes are far and few between. [MSRP $13.98 for Defender, Fresh Evidence, and Wheels Within Wheels, $17.98 for BBC Sessions]
Rory’s third ‘80s album, Defender, came out in ’87 with the core of the band drummer Brendan O’Neill and bassist Gary McAvoy. Additional flourishes—including piano, harmonica and other keyboards—were effectively utilized depending upon the track. This first effort for his own label, Capo, featured 12 blistering originals including fan favorites “Loanshark Blues” and “Continental Op.”
With the dawn of a new decade, Rory’s Fresh Evidence, in 1990, proved this great artist’s ability to shed skins and pursue different stylistic avenues while remaining true to his original esprit de corps. They say a true artist is always changing and on this final studio recording, Rory tackled genres with the ease of a true master. With his trusty mates of the Defender and Jinx lineups plus the return of pianist Lou Martin, Rory went deep into the American psyche to plumb the depths of zydeco, Louisiana Swamp Rock, jump blues and Boogie Supremo! It’s a veritable tour-de-force of hard rock genius.
BBC Sessions, originally released posthumously in 1999, is Rory rocking out with drummers O’Neill, Rod De’Ath and Ted McKenna (depending upon the track), pianist Martin and bassist McAvoy on 22 songs over two discs, one live, one studio. From Muddy Waters (“Garbage Man”) to Chuck Willis (“Feel So Bad”), Rory has said he performed this show for the BBC in honor of all the years he spent glued to the radio while growing up in Ireland. It’s a debt he was honored to pay back and he did it in spades.
Wheels Within Wheels was lovingly put together in 2003 by Rory’s brother Donal who knew just how much the late guitarist wanted to put out an all-acoustic album of traditional blues, bluegrass, and Irish folk. He may have never had the opportunity during his tragically short life to complete this project, but Wheels Within Wheels stands as a beautifully crafted gem, with not only songs by Robert Johnson and Bill Monroe, but originals and re-arranged versions of tunes so old, they’re in the Public Domain. The album features various guest artists, such as Martin Carthy, Bert Jansch, Lonnie Donegan, Bela Fleck, and The Dubliners. Exquisitely sung and played, it’s also a sad reminder of what this great artist might have gravitated towards had he the pleasures of growing old gracefully.