Spun: Gary Moore

Virtually unknown in North America, Irish guitarist Gary Moore has been honing his chops since the late ’60s. His rock and roll roots involved many bands, most notably Skid Row and Thin Lizzy. While being an outstanding rock guitarist, over the years Moore’s kept returning to his love of the blues. Old New Ballads Blues, just as the title states, and like any Moore recording, is all about his raw, emotive guitar style.

The disc opens with a blistering cover of Elmore James’ “Done somebody wrong,” with Moore’s fiery guitar work breathing new life into the old blues classic. This is immediately followed by a slower paced version of the Willie Dixon number “You know my love,” which features a tastefully arranged brass section. This tune serves as another appropriate vehicle to showcase Moore’s guitar craft in an extended blues solo.

While his guitar playing speaks volumes, Moore’s vocals have never been his finest asset. This recording would have been stronger if it was called Old New Blues, discarding the ballads altogether. Frankly, his guitar playing is more interesting than his love life.

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