All Around Man (Apocalypse Sound AS 199)
FR3-TV Lambersart Studio, Lille, France – July 25, 1975 – Solo Acoustic – Intro, Out On The Western Plain, All Around Man, Improvisation To A Film, Nothing But The Devil, Banker’s Blues/Chat, Too Much Alcohol, Don’t Know Where I’m Going
Savoy, Limerick, Ireland – May 11, 1972 – Intro, Tore Down, Laundromat, Pistol Slapper Blues, Don’t Know Where I’m Wrong, Bullfrog Blues
Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert 1974, California, USA – Cradle Rock, They Don’t Make Them Like You Anymore, Who’s That Comin’, A Million Miles Away
Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert 1975, Aquarius Theater, Hollywood, California, USA – Let Me In, I Take What I Want, Ain’t Too Good, Souped-Up Ford
All Around Man from Apocalypse Sound is a collection of Rory Gallagher’s early solo television appearances. This DVD offers up four excellent quality segments from the early to mid 1970s, a fruitful and exciting period in his career.
The FR-3 TV program runs about 30 minutes and captures an intimate solo performance filmed at various locations around the studio. Rory switches between his Martin acoustic guitar and a National Resonator all the while displaying some very impressive finger picking, slide guitar, and harmonica playing. Along with his original compositions, he cover’s Ledbelly’s “Out On The Western Plain”, Bo Carter’s “All Around Man” and “Banker’s Blues” from Big Bill Broonzy which Rory recorded for 1973s Blueprint.
The Savoy segment really captures the excitement and pure adrenaline that Gallagher brought to his live shows. Showcasing a power trio, he is accompanied by Gerry McAvoy on bass and Rod de’Ath on drums. He tears through a heavy version of “I’m Tore Down”, a song written by Sonny Thompson and covered many times by blues artists such as Freddie King and Eric Clapton. This is followed up with “Laundromat” from his self titled solo debut. Rory straps on his acoustic for some amazing finger style on “Pistol Slapper Blues” where he also gets into a bit of feedback trouble. He continues on acoustic guitar with “Don’t Know Where I’m Going”, mislabeled as “Don’t Know Where I’m Wrong” here. The hard driving finale, “Bullfrog Blues”, contains a short bass and drum solo. The footage from Savoy is broken up to include some interview clips which reveal a genuinely humble guy who truly loved playing music.
By 1974, Gallagher added keyboardist Lou Martin, who had previously played with Rod de’Ath in the band Killing Floor. The addition of Martin really filled out the sound of the band and is one of the few times Rory expanded beyond a trio setting.
The 1974 Don Kirschner footage contains the time code at the bottom and the U-M branding in the center of the screen but is luckily not too much of a distraction. The entire performance is drawn from the Tattoo LP released the previous November. “Cradle Rock” has a great rockin’ R & B feel to get things moving. Gallagher cuts loose on slide during “Who’s That Comin”, a track that highlights Martin’s role as well while “A Million Miles Away” is a nice example of the moodier side of Rory’s writing.
Once again showing his confidence in his latest material, the 1975 DKRC features tracks exclusively from Against The Grain. The footage again is from a pre-broadcast print, with only the time code this time around. Both DKRC are excellent performances worth checking out.
Those who have never been exposed to Rory Gallagher, let me tell you, the man can play. This DVD was recommended to me, being a fan of blues guitar, and I can honestly say, I was blown away. It is packaged in Apocalypse Sound’s usual excellent tri-fold digi-pack with a variety of really nice photos.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)