Review of Gary Moore’s ‘Blues For Jimi’

Gary Moore
Blues For Jimi
Eagle Vision (CD, DVD, Blu-ray and vinyl LP)
***

By Martin Popoff

Mad skills, tone, feel … it was the ability to whip up something like this, seemingly effortlessly, that aided and abetted Gary Moore’s legendary status. Well, that and Moore’s bulging blues catalogue, his solo rock work and his golden era with Thin Lizzy, although there was more of that live than on record. “Blues For Jimi” features Gary and his band, with Dave Bronze on bass and Darrin Mooney on drums, blazing an electrically charged power-trio trail through a set of Hendrix highs, the most obscure and windingly psychedelic being “I Don’t Live Today.”

Gary Moore Blues for JimiThe occasion was a show on Oct. 25, 2007, at the London Hippodrome, as part of the launch of Jimi’s “Live at Monterey.” Fortunately, the set was gorgeously filmed and edited, as well as recorded (particularly the drums), as one can hear in isolation on the single CD issue. And what makes it so impressive, is that one can watch, and then imagine Jimi, the interplay between a sixth-sense guitarist and his own rich and bluesy voice.

Gary was the entire package; his voice is twangier than Jimi’s but he naturally sings like him. Sadly, Gary died in 2011, but fortunately, this performance lives on.

The real greats are the musicians who go grander than guitar, into vocals, lyrics and writing, and then package it with such intuitive grace live. There is a ton of that on “Blues For Jimi,” perhaps, oddly, a little more metal and histrionic and simply more, more, more than Jimi on any given night. But that’s just more entertainment for your viewing and listening dollar, isn’t it? An extra bonus is that bassist and vocalist Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell also cameo, inspiring with their retained skills. And the grins from Gary are priceless.

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