Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Gary Moore – Old New Ballads Blues


Gary Moore – Old New Ballads Blues

So I’m listening to the new Gary Moore studio album, Old New Ballads Blues, and I’m thinking to myself that I must have no ever-lovin’ idea what the blues is. That’s pretty close to the actual truth I guess, I mean, I’m a white kid who grew up in a middle class home with both of his parents who never really had to work too hard for anything…relatively speaking.

I’m not terribly familiar with the original “bluesmen,” and with the exception of a B.B. King album or two, my blues has always been an approximation of the original. The blues I know came from people like Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton…and Ralph Macchio in the movie Crossroads.

I have also heard a lot of people play something that kind of resembles the blues. They use the same chords and they use the same chord progressions as every blues player since the beginning of time. Most of the time, these are a bunch of rock guys that overindulge in the mood altering effects of Barley, Hops and Yeast mixed with water.

So I can hear you saying, “What does this have to do with Gary Moore?” Well, I’m glad you asked.

An ad for Gary Moore’s new album posted on his web site says that he is, “one of the finest blues guitarists of a generation.” While I’ll admit he is quite a guitarist and I certainly was very fond of his song “Still Got The Blues”…I feel the need to say that, in my humble opinion, Gary Moore is not a blues guitarist.

Don’t get me wrong, the boy can play. He plays and has been playing the blues for quite a while and the majority of the songs he has recorded here are blues tunes. But Gary Moore started out his career as a rocker and as much as he tries to be something different, he’s still a rocker at heart. You can hear it all over this album. He has this really killer guitar tone on all most all of the songs on this disc, but it’s just not a blues tone. It’s a full on, balls to the wall, rock and roll, lead guitar tone that should make you lock up your children and hide your small farm animals.

My opinion, with regard to the album as a whole is that it’s a decent listen as long as you’re not expecting to hear a blues album. I think the songs are good and the vocal performances captured here, while not stellar, are not too shabby. I also think that Gary Moore’s guitar playing is excellent, but that was never really in question. I guess what is in question, for me at least, is whether or not you can be “one of the finest blues guitarists of a generation” by just playing the blues?

You can purchase Old New Ballads Blues @

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