It’s been almost eight years since the sad departure of one of Ireland’s most outstanding guitarists, Gary Moore, who touched the entire music world with his stellar guitar work in Thin Lizzy and Coliseum II, and on such solo hits as Out in the Fields and Parisienne Walkways to name just a few in a career loaded with classic gems.
Here at Guitars Exchange we’d like to take a look at the tribute album to the man himself, orchestrated by longtime friend and bandmate, bassist/producer Bob Daisley who was the first to suggest Moore try his golden hands at the blues. As difficult as it is to select a setlist for the project, Daisley and his talented friends have chosen some of his finest pieces to build this splendid record. He describes the effort saying, “I didn’t set out to recreate anything that Gary had done, or to compete in any way. These arrangements and performances represent a ‘hats off’ to Gary and nothing more. Long live the memory of Robert William Gary Moore. Yes, he was another ‘Bob’ - something that I wasn’t aware of for all those years that I worked with him.”
The album contains the everlasting blues classic Still Got the Blues (for You), with lead singer Danny Bowes (Thunder), guitarist John Sykes (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake) keyboardist Don Airey (Deep Purple, Rainbow), Daisley on bass, and Rob Grosser on drums. Sykes leads the way, most likely, on his main guitar, the Gibson Les Paul Custom in a soulful blues rendering true to Moore’s style and passion. The powerful raspy voice of Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow) and ripping guitar solos by Steve Lukather (Toto) carry track 2, The Blues Just Got Sadder to deliciously delirious heights. Another of Gary’s friends, multi-instrumentalist/singer Neil Carter (who co-wrote) and backup vocalist Rosanna Daisley do a silky-smooth job on one of Moore’s smash hit ballads, Empty Rooms. Things get much hotter with Texas Strut, a rocking, rolling Texas blues ditty, led by the raunchy voice of Brush Shiels (Skid Row), and the pounding rhythm section of Daisley, Tim Gaze on guitar, and Grosser on sticks.
The lineup of ‘friends’ on the package also shine on numbers like Nothing’s the Same, featuring Deep Purple’s explosive Glenn Hughes singing and playing a melodic acoustic cello, which is not only moving, but displays his stylish playing range and vocal touch to perfection. Then there’s Airey and Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio) who team up to throw fire into the haunting instrumental The Loner, while Damon Johnson (Black Star Riders, Alice Cooper) attacks Don’t Believe a Word (probably on his Epiphone Korina Flying V), to the point where you believe every word. This One’s for You is a rock/blues treat with Gary’s son’s Gus Moore on lead vocals and Jack Moore thomping a bass; the apples don’t fall far from the tree, and it shows here.
In an already excellent collection of Moore’s material, the final 2 entries Power of the Blues and Parisienne Walkways close it out in fine form; the former has Lynn Turner back screaming a bruising lead vocal over ex-Night Ranger Jeff Watson’s axe-shredding bonanza, and the latter, which stars Steve Morse (Deep Purple) on guitar and Ricky Warwick (Thin Lizzy) singing lead in a heartful cover of his legendary hit.
Daisley’s apt ability to pair artists who gel effortlessly is a stroke of genius; the chemistry here is on display in every track, with a ‘wow’ factor of 10.
This album is a remarkable feat, carefully put together with heart and soul by Daisley and Friends, delivering a solid respectful tribute to one the greatest guitar wizards of all time.