Gary Moore – Blues And BeyondOK
Disc 1 – 14 Tracks/76:08
Disc 2 – 14 Tracks/75:43
This collection is comprised of twenty-eight tracks that are also part of the larger, four disc Gary Moore compilation with the same title. That set has an additional fifteen songs recorded live in concert plus a 350-plus page biography of the late guitarist. The two disc version contains studio recordings in addition to one live track. It also has an eight page color booklet that list the tracks along with several pictures of guitars while omitting any information regarding the backing musicians
Moore’s career began as a guitarist for Skid Row, then two stints with Thin Lizzy. In 1979, he began a solo career that covered multiple musical genres until he hit a winning combination in 1990 with his Still Got The Blues album. He stayed focused on the blues for the final two decades of his life, a heart attack taking his life in 2011.
The first disc starts off with Moore playing an acoustic slide piece with a quiet vocal on “Enough Of The Blues”. After one verse, he switches to electric guitar, the band jumps in, and the energy level rises several notches. From there, he does three covers, starting with a bold statement on “Stormy Monday” with plenty of wicked string-bending over lush organ accompaniment. Johnny”Guitar” Watson’s classic, “Looking Back,” gets a quick run-through, then Moore flavors Percy Mayfield’s “Memory Pain” with an array of guitar effects. “That’s Why I Play The Blues” slows the pace for one of Moore’s downhearted vocals. “Surrender” is a moody, ethereal piece with full of mesmerizing guitar work.
The band lays down a heavy, grinding rhythm on “Getaway Blues,” Moore barking a steady stream of woes, unable to find solace through the strings. Other standout tracks include the thirteen minute “Ball And Chain,” a Moore original complete with mind-melting guitar forays, and the last track, “The Prophet,” an instrumental that delves into the more lyrical side of Moore’s nature.
Disc 2 takes off immediately with a fiery cover of “You Upset Me Baby,” complete with horns and organ. Three other covers include “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” that veers toward the Zeppelin version, and a mannered rendition of “Evil” with Moore using plenty of effects pedals to change the sonic textures. “Ain’t Got You” fails to connect until Moore rips off a frenetic solo. “World Of Confusion” comes across a Moore tribute to the Band of Gypsies. The guitarist mourns a lost love on the contemplative ballad, “Picture Of The Moon,” then delivers a full-bore shuffle, “Can’t Find My Baby,” that packs plenty of punch. “Drowning In Tears” is another weeper with some subtle guitar work. Two other tracks, “Just Can’t Let You Go” and “Torn Inside,” are lengthy, dark explorations of the world of heartache and pain, the latter with Moore’s vocal recalling Peter Green’s style. “Parisienne Walkways” is the lone live track, a nine minute guitar explosion that encapsulates the power of Moore’s playing.
Taken from albums the guitarist’s releases from 1999 to 2004, the two disc Blues And Beyond will certainly appeal to any Gary Moore fan who is looking for a low cost alternative to the four disc boxset . Fans of blues with a strong rock flavor will also find plenty of satisfying sounds from one of the great guitarists of his era.