‘Blues And Beyond’ Is An Interesting New Musical Moore Profile

Courtesy: BMG

Early this month, BMG Music and Sanctuary Records partnered to pay tribute to the late great blues guitarist Gary Moore with a new compilation of Moore’s music. The collection, Blues and Beyond was released on a two-disc standard edition and a deluxe four-disc collection that also features two discs of live material and a book written by author Harry Shapiro. For the sake of this review, the focus will be on the standard two-disc collection. That collection is an interesting new presentation. That is due in part to the collection’s featured songs. They will be discussed shortly. The songs’ sequencing is just as important to discuss in examining this recording as the collection’s featured songs. The songs’ arrangements round out its most important elements. Each element is important in its own right to its whole. All things considered, the noted elements make Blues and Beyond a presentation that is certain to interest Moore’s fans as well as blues fans in general.

BMG Music and Sanctuary Records’ new Gary Moore compilation Blues And Beyond is an interesting new collection of Moore’s music. It is a record that gives audiences what can only be described as a small snapshot of the late great guitarist’s extensive and successful career. That snapshot is presented through a 28-song collection that includes Moore’s 2001 album Back to the Blues and his 2004 album Power of the Blues in full along with a small portion of A Different Beat (1999) and almost half of his 2002 album Scars. For those who might be less familiar with Moore’s body of work, it wasn’t until about 2001 that Moore, who was also known early in his career for rock compositions with Thin Lizzy and Skid Row, really started to focus solidly on his blues chops. A Different Beat was an experimental record for Moore that really started his transition back to the blues in more focused fashion. Keeping that in mind, it makes sense why BMG and Sanctuary opted to present two of Moore’s biggest blues records for this collection. In the same vein, the inclusion of songs from A Different Beat also explains the & Beyond portion of the collection’s title. The songs taken from that record, as few as they are, give audiences an interesting look into Moore’s attempts to branch out beyond the standard 12-bar blues, and in turn makes this collection that much more interesting. When those experimental songs are joined with the collection’s more standard blues works, the whole of the collection insures listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment. Keeping this in mind, the collection’s featured songs are themselves only part of what makes this collection of interest. Its sequencing is just as important to note as its songs.

While this compilation focuses only on one specific period in Gary Moore’s career, audiences will note the compilation never once sits too long on one of the featured albums. Over the course of just the collection’s first five songs, the collection switches back and forth constantly between Back to the Blues and Power of the Blues. From there on out, that variety continues, with selections from Scars and A Different Beat thrown in to keep things fresh and to keep audiences engaged. The variety doesn’t end when the collection’s first disc ends, either. Rather, it continues solidly throughout the whole of the compilation’s second disc. The maintained engagement insured through the compilation’s variety also insures listeners’ continued entertainment. Keeping that in mind, it becomes clear why the collection’s sequencing is just as important to its presentation as its songs. Even with all of this in mind, the set’s sequencing is not the last of its most important elements. The arrangements presented throughout the course of this collection play their own key part to its presentation, too.

The arrangements that are presented in this collection’s featured songs are so important to note because of the range of influences that they exhibit. throughout the course of the set’s two discs and 28 songs, audiences are treated to songs that clearly boast influence from the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, B.B. King, John Mayall and others. The 12-minute-plus ‘Ball and Chain’ is just one of the featured songs that conjures thoughts of Vaughn. That’s thanks not just because of the arrangement itself but also because of Moore’s own vocal delivery here. Moore actually sounds eerily like Vaughn here; so much so that it would be easy to mistake the two for one another. The collection’s opener, ‘Enough of the Blues’ conjures thoughts of King’s work with Eric Clapton on Riding With The King while ‘You Upset Me Baby’ is full on B.b. King style work. ‘Bring My Baby Back’ is more akin to works from John Mayall. ‘Evil,’ on the other hand could just as easily likened to works from Albert King, another of Moore’s contemporaries. Between these songs and the others included in Blues and Beyond, it becomes clear how important each influence and arrangement is to the collection’s whole. They show Moore’s expert ability to emulate the noted musicians while also paying tribute to them with his own works. It is a telling statement, needless to say. When this is kept in mind along with the collection’s featured songs and their sequencing, the whole of those elements makes the recording in whole one that, again, is sure to interest Moore’s fans as well as blues fans in general.

BMG and Sanctuary’s new Gary Moore compilation Blues and Beyond is a collection that is certain to interest Moore’s fans and blues aficionados alike. That is due in part to a set of songs that focuses primarily on a period in which Moore was devoted in his blues compositions. It also adds in a touch of his more experimental material for additional interest. The collection’s sequencing is just as certain to keep listeners engaged as the songs themselves. Much the same can be said of the songs’ arrangements. Each noted element is important in its own right to the whole of the collection’s presentation. All things considered, they make the collection in whole one that is as welcome an introduction to Moore’s work as a continuation for those fans already familiar with the famed guitarist. With that in mind, it is an interesting new collection that any blues fan will appreciate. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Blues and Beyond is available online now along with all of the latest Gary Moore news at:

Website: http://www.gary-moore.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gmooreofficial

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Blues Virtuoso’s Debut EP One Of The Year’s Best

Courtesy:  Swing House Quality Recordings

Courtesy: Swing House Quality Recordings

Jared James Nichols’ new EP, Old Glory and the Wild Revival, is one of the best new EPS of the year, and one of the best rock records of the year overall.  It only boasts five tracks.  But if those five tracks are any hint, then the future is very bright for this young guitar virtuoso.  The EP’s opener, ‘Blackfoot’, is a powerful first impression for Nichols and his band mates.  This blues-rock infused song will have any listener moving right from the first notes.  Nichols himself sounds almost like fellow blues guitarist Johnny Lang in his vocal style on this song.  The solos are blistering to say the least.  And considering that Nichols is only in his twenties and is able to smoke the strings in such impressive fashion is mind blowing.  Together with his band mates, Nichols will have audiences instantly comparing him not just to Johnny Lang, but even to the likes of Kenny Wayne Shepherd and even Derek Trucks if not the master himself, Stevie Ray Vaughn.

The fun bluesy guitar licks don’t end with the EP’s opener.  Listeners will instant get thoughts of Foghat, Ted Nugent and so many other famed guitarists of days gone by when Nichols and company launch into ‘Can You Feel It.’  This up-tempo rocker is just as certain as ‘Blackfoot’ to get audiences moving whether in their homes or even in their cars.  It’s a nice piece for those Summer road trips.  It’s just as great for a weekend party in the warmer months of the year.  Its energy is evident not just in the musical side of things, but also in the lyrical side.  Nichols and company come across as singing about a woman here.  The chorus singing together late in the song, “Don’t you need it/Babe can’t you feel it” will most certainly have listeners singing along happily.  It would be so easy to see this song being performed live if only because of that.  And that’s a good thing.  It’s one more element that makes it such a fun song.

Things let up only slightly after ‘Can You Feel It’ in the EP’s penultimate song, ‘Sometimes.’  This song is slower than ‘Can You Feel It’ or ‘Blackfoot.’ But it is still another nice, heavy blues based rock song that is just as certain to become a favorite with its solid musicianship from Nichols and his band mates.  It is a straight up blues influenced song all the way through, from its music to its lyrics.  Nichols writes about overcoming life’s tough times as he writes, “Take the backseat baby/Cause I found my way/Gonna ride into/A brand new day/Gotta  hold on tight/to the things I love/Kiss the ground/And thank the lord above/Don’t think you’re the only one/Your day don’t end/When darkness comes/ Sometimes you cry/Sometimes you lie/Sometimes you gotta reach up for the sky/And look for the full moon/To carry you home.”  That positive sentiment mixed with the influences from the likes of Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Lynyrd Skynyrd makes this one more impressive piece of the overall puzzle that is Nichols’ new EP.

Jared James Nichols takes his listeners on quite the trip with his ne EP over the course of the record’s first four songs.  It ends just as solidly as it began on ‘Take My Hand.’  The song starts off slow and gentle with just Nichols singing and picking a steel guitar.  That slow open eventually builds into another blues based song that rocks just as hard as the other songs on this record.  The control that he and his band mates have throughout the song absolutely demands this song be part of Nichols’ live set.  One need only close one’s eyes, and one can see the lights shining bright on stage, highlighting every single note as audiences pump their fists in the air.  Simply put, this song could not have been better placed in this record.  It leaves audiences wanting more in the best possible fashion by the time it hits its final notes. Nichols’ new EP is available now, and it can be ordered online at http://www.facebook.com/jaredjamesnichols and http://www.reverbation.com/jaredjamesnichols.  Fans can also check out both websites to check out Jared James Nichols’ latest tour dates.  Audiences will have their chance to experience this outstanding new EP live as Nichols will be performing live tonight in Sturgis South Dakota at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Festival.  And then on the 8th and 9th, he will be in Salt Lake City, Utah before moving on to Boise, ID on his way to the West Coast.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.