Tag Archives: Graceland

New Album! Rory Gallagher

After Elvis Presley died, there was such a flood of posthumous album releases and collections that even loyal devotees who cried at Graceland that weekend began to wonder if he wasn’t cranking them out from a studio behind that Dunkin Donuts in Minneapolis. The Who aren’t literally dead (although their career might be), but their catalog over the past couple of decades has consisted mostly of repackaging similar groups of hits, a trick The Rolling Stones only exceeded by actually recording them live.

Maybe it takes the artist’s family to intervene and bring sanity. Although the Jimi Hendrix releases aren’t culling a bottomless well of new material, at least love and care are shaping some definitive packages for posterity. And while Gail Zappa might have a wee bit too much stranglehold control on her husband’s name and likeness, every year there’s an intriguing new Frank Zappa release that meets the highest standards; an album that Frank himself would be proud to stand behind.

Donal Gallagher has taken a similar approach when it comes to the legacy of his brother. Rory Gallagher was one of the best guitarists ever to walk this planet (I’ll save you the fawning here as I’ve done it enough over the years). Those who knew him were mesmerized by his performances, but despite a history of heavy touring he still slid under the radar of too many listeners. Recent DVD releases have made great strides to right that wrong, especially Live At Cork and the unbelievably rich Rockpalast Collection (a three DVD set featuring hours of amazing footage). Sure, there have been a couple of “best of” titles over the last twenty years, but gems like the acoustic Wheels Upon Wheels album have been the focus.

The latest releases feature Rory’s live work for Radio Bremen that were broadcast on the German music show Beat Club. Featuring what I feel was his strongest band – the trio with Gerry McAvoy on bass and Wilger Campbell on drums – The Beat Club Sessions is another sizzling testimony to his genius. The CD features many of his best tracks (“Laundromat”, “In Your Town”, “Messin’ With The Kid”) and demonstrates why people are still buzzing about his talent fifteen years after his death. Gallagher was able to play ferociously or delicately with equal skill; a premiere blues soloist and slide guitar player, he also made the mandolin a weapon of choice.

Video: “Goin’ To My Hometown

The twelve cuts (culled from sixteen on the Ghost Blues DVD) feature stomping rockers (“Sinnerboy”), blues workouts (“I Could Have Had Religion“) and acoustic treats (“Just The Smile“). As a  contemporary of Cream and asked to replace Clapton in that lineup after his departure – one wonders why his songs  “Used To Be” never found the acclaim that “I’m So Glad” did, let alone his great interpretations. (His is the definitive version of “Messin’ With The Kid“, and “Toredown” is simply amazing)

I’m expecting my copy of the Ghost Blues documentary any day now and will be certain to have more on that in the near future. And Donal and family are working to secure the full BBC archives as well as work from Rory’s prior band Taste. Eagle Vision is now the official distributor of Rory Gallagher’s work, and if this is any indication of what’s to come, I am thrilled. This is magic stuff.

The Official Rory Gallagher Website

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T.G.I.F. – Ten Elvisisms

King my ASS, Mr. Jackson. THIS is The King.

Happy Birthday, Elvis Presley! I know you’re making the donuts somewhere up in Minnesota and it was difficult to stay hidden when your daughter got married to that pedophile. But you have your priorities, and one of them is not surfacing so they can force you to do a duets album like they made Frank Sinatra do. Good for you, sir.

So as you celebrate your birthday today, allow me to thank you for ten things. I could list more, but the line at Graceland is pretty thick today, even with the snow, and I think those weeping fans deserve a turn too. So for everything you did for rock’n’roll, E…thannkewwvurrrymushhh.

1. Hip Shakin' madness

2. Gave Caddys to your friends

3. Sweet, sweet Priscilla.

4. King Creole. Damn, you COULD act!

5. Made your mama proud.

6. The Billion Dollar Quartet (with inflation)

7. Ann-Margaret. Yeah, you did that too.

8. Gave Kurt Russell the role of his life

9. The great '68 comeback

10. Peanutbutterandbananasandwich

So go listen to some vitamin E(lvis) right now. (That means you, Al and BillyMac.) And most importantly, remember what Mojo Nixon said

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The King…

elvis presley grave

…and this one had his title bestowed upon him by his accomplishments. He was, simply, The King. Unlike a later entertainer who made up his own titles, shamefully appropriating a royal moniker for himself. Hell, he even misinterpreted a birthday cake from MTV as an award for Artist of the Millennium. (If there were such an award, even Even Presley wasn’t that – I’d have to vote Frank Sinatra or Charlie Chaplin). But I’m not going to kick a man when he’s down.

If you don’t know much about Elvis Presley at this point, you probably don’t care enough to learn about him. So I provide the links below as a courtesy for those of you who wax nostalgic this weekend and want to pick up an old album or hit Netflix up for a movie. Hard to believe it’s been 32 years since Elvis died at 42; he’s gone but will never be forgotten.

But if you visit a certain donut shop in Minnesota, look closely

This one’s for you, Al Kohler.

Elvis website.

Elvis filmography.

Elvis discography.

Elvis Wiki.

Kurt Russell played Elvis, and well.

Uhh…so did Andy Kaufman – amazing!

Not The King

Not The King

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