Friday, December 06, 2013

Rory Gallagher - Kickback City (Eagle Rock, 2013)

Being a big crime fiction fan myself (check out Ethan Iverson's epic list Crimes of the Century) is was very excited to learn that the great Irish blues-rock guitarist and singer Rory Gallagher was an avid fan as well, and in fact wrote several songs based on the books that he has read. This album takes a really interesting idea, it collects Gallagher's crime songs into a two disc collection and then puts it in a package with a print and audio novella from Ian Rankin, the author of the wonderful John Rebus series of police procedurals. The songs themselves are mini-stories, with two versions on the rocking title track about crime and greed and the big city and "Continental Op" based on Dashiell Hammett's fictional private detective of the same name. "Loanshark Blues" growls like a creature from a blues drenched city would birth, while some acoustic tracks even out the heavy blues rock. Disc two is particularly exciting because it gives you the songs from a live setting. Gallagher was always a dynamic live performer (check out Irish Tour 74) and this disc is no exception. He blasts through his own "Continental Op" and "Loanshark Blues" and even provides an excellent cover of Junior Wells' "Messin' With the Kid." Both blues fans and crime fiction fans will find a lot to enjoy on this package. Perhaps it can introduce fans of either genre to new books and music. Kickback City - amazon.com.

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