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Gary Moore - Back to the Blues Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 March 2001

Gary Moore

Back To The Blues
format: CD
label: CMC International
release year: 2001
performance: 7
sound 7
reviewed by: Dan MacIntosh

ImageAlthough guitarist Gary Moore opens his latest album with a song called "Enough of the Blues," there are some musicians, such as Moore, who will never get enough blues. They eat and drink this stuff, and seemingly even breathe blue air. With his new album Back To The Blues, Moore once again blows like a six-string hurricane. Loud and loose Chicago blues is Moore's atmospheric element of choice, and his sound resides solidly within the Buddy Guy and Albert King camp. Moore gets especially loud 'n’ proud on the frustrated "I Ain't Got You" and the pumped-up "Looking Back." On these cuts, Moore's voice takes on a gritty Steven Tyler-like quality. He backs this sandpaper singing with swaggering and stinging leads.

Moore's musicianship is not always boisterous bravado, though, as he's almost a dead ringer for Eric Clapton's more sensitive side on "Picture of the Moon." His solos on this selection swell and float like long, lingering Carlos Santana fills.

Since this is first and foremost a guitar album, axe work takes center stage in the mix. Each and every solo shines like shooting laser beams, thrilling the ear. Moore's singing is rarely anything to write home about, but his serviceable vocals are nevertheless tracked well.

This collection is a mixture of standards, like "Stormy Monday" and "You Upset Me Baby," alongside Moore originals. Moore may have the sound and feel of authentic blues locked in, but he still lacks a little of the genre's bad attitude. The best Chicago bluesmen, such as Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, infused their signature recordings with the undeniable force of their extroverted and often scary personalities. Musical style was a vehicle to express already established unique personality characteristics.

Moore, on the other hand, comes off a tad on the anonymous side. We can sense his talent, but we can't seem to get a good glimpse of just who he really is.

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