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DVD Review
Rorry Gallagher - Ghost Blues/Beat Club Sessions 2-dvd/cd

Rorry Gallagher

Ghost Blues/Beat Club Sessions 2-dvd/cd
Record Label: eagle rock entertainment
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Review by Gregory Harutunian
April 2011

A friend once described Rory Gallagher’s music to me by stating “He only plays nine chords, but he knows how to stretch them ninety different ways.” But, the beloved Irish guitarist was more than that description. He was a student of different genres, from acoustic and electric blues to straight-ahead rock. His passing in 1995, due to complications from MRSA following a liver transplant, still leaves a void.

Gallagher enjoyed performing in front of an audience, and his infectious demeanor and sheer joy of playing always made an audience smile and enjoy what was being put down. Eagle Rock Entertainment ( has been working with Gallagher’s estate for a number of years, and they put out some fine products such as the 2-DVD Live at Montreux and 5-DVD Live at Rockpalast.

The latest is a 2-DVD/1-CD set, also available in Blu-Ray, of the documentary on Gallagher called Ghost Blues. The second DVD is nearly 90-minutes of unreleased, roof-raising live performances from the German TV show Beat Club. The CD also features performances from Beat Club as a companion to the DVD set.

The documentary is a well-done life retrospective on Gallagher’s career with some talking-head interviews. However, the heart is the man’s music and features some fine performances. The gem in this set is the second disc with the live performances (mostly is early 1970s) of his best tunes including covers of “Laundromat,” “Tore Down,” and “Messin’ with the Kid.” The picture and sound are clean and digitally restored making you want to hear the other live items in the Eagle Rock catalogue.

As a student of the guitar, his acoustic blues performances were stunning displays of having a good ear for detail from the original recordings. His slide work, whether on wooden or electric guitars, had the edgy feel of possibly going off the rails at any point but pulling it all together at the last moment with a big smile on his face. He enjoyed it too, and the live set here demonstrates that in spades.

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