More blues, from across the Atlantic. Gary Moore is from Ireland, and played with Phil Lynott in Thin Lizzy (to name just one band he belonged to). I was fairly excited to hear about this new CD, and when it first arrived…it didn’t arrive! The envelope came, delivered by the uniformed government representative…but it was empty save for the one-sheet. A one-sheet is a promotional page that gives reviewers a bit of background on the artist and current project, so as they write they can seem like they know everything! A one-sheet without the CD is virtually useless, although – based on some reviews I’ve read in other publications – there are writers who seem to do just that. But listening to the disc is an infinitely more satisfying way to go about the task at hand. It’s good to see, or rather hear, just what’s going on. In due course, the CD itself arrived.
There’s no mistaking what’s going on with Bad For You Baby. Right from the first note, guitarist Gary Moore opens his new CD with a raw, loud riff, and then blues singer Gary Moore jumps in, “You got a wiggle when you walk, you got a giggle when you talk, I see you comin’ it makes me smile, you beat the other women by a million miles … I got it bad for you baby and I just can’t help myself.” And there’s no turning back. Full tilt rock’n’roll boogie time.
The same thing is true with “Down the Line,” except for a different key and another stunning flash guitar solo. “Umbrella Man” is one of those tracks that makes you think of Jimi Hendrix. An early review of Jimi’s first album said (and I’m paraphrasing) “it’s obvious Hendrix knows his way around a fretboard, but why does he have to show us everything on the first track?” Well, Gary Moore has chops too. He fills empty spaces with licks. Hot licks. Sizzling! I played a couple of tracks for my friend Alex: “Too flash!” he said. Even though “Hold On” slows things down for a little breather, he still burns up the fretboard. And when he comes back with “Walkin’ Thru the Park” he takes no prisoners! I’d be nervous about walkin’ in the moonlight if I thought this guy was there! I don’t recall Muddy Waters (who wrote the tune) being quite so threatening!
The band of Sam Kelly (drums), Vic Martin (keyboards) and Pete Rees on bass provide solid backup but it’s really Gary’s show. The slow blues of “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” finds Moore growling with his voice and moaning with his guitar. It’s an interesting juxtaposition on this Al Kooper tune. “Mojo Boogie” is a JB Lenoir blues. Moore rocks it up, and without JB’s plaintive voice, it takes on a whole different feel. One more Muddy cover and then another hat trick of originals provides more of the same. Bad For You Baby turns out to be good for you if blues-based rock with hot guitar playing is what you’re looking for.