IRISH TOUR – released 21st July 1974
Track 1 – Cradle Rock – this comes at you like a missile, locked on target and fired, it’s on fire, takes no prisoners, you grab it and hang on tight – it’s a blistering, smokin’ fireball of pure Rory energy. Appears on Tattoo, would have been performed live before The Irish Tour, but here it’s something else, Rory at his absolute best, the audience loved it and I love it too, Rory was the best of the best, 10 out of 10 always!
Track 2 – I Wonder Who. It’s a Muddy Waters song, Rory guested on Muddy Waters London Sessions and this was done, that version is on my funeral CD. This totally Rory version is blues just the way I love them, gutsy, seductive, sexy, it pulls your soul out a strand at a time, takes bites out of it then strips your nerve endings to shreds till you drip blues blood – for me this is sheer bliss, heaven on earth!
Track 3 – Tattoo’d Lady. Came from the album Tattoo, its an awesome track on a studio album but live it enters a whole new dimension. I’ve listened a lot to Rory live and also seen a lot of DVD footage and You Tube footage, my great regret is that I never saw him perform live, he must have been something else, I’d have been hooked from day 1 if I had. Smokin’ Hot!
Track 4 – Too Much Alcohol. A song by J B Hutto, but again Rory works his magic on it and it sounds spectacular. Twists and turns, slide work of magnificent proportions, Lou (R.I.P) on keyboards, Gerry on bass and Rod (R.I.P) on drums giving as always the solid backing to perfectly compliment Rory’s lead. Its a really brilliant version, every live version has a few changes, but I have read that Rory would often make these changes as he was singing so some lyrics were always a bit different. Keep the audience on their toes begging for more. I was singing along in the car on the way to work.
Track 5 – As The Crow Flies. Tony Joe White wrote this, I have an album with him singing it but Rory’s sounds more spectacular, Tony Joe even said he really liked Rory’s version. Rory never did anyone else’s songs like a copy or tribute, he sprinkled some Rory magic on it and although the frame is the same it sounds like a different song, it’s brilliant, whether he played electric or acoustic nothing sounds the same, he played every instrument differently so each time he played the same song it never sounded the same, always adding a bit here, changing the tone or key just a bit, keep it fresh, he was a genius, I love Rory’s version of this song
Track 6 – A Million Miles Away. From Tattoo, on the CD of the Irish Tour this track is over 9 minutes long. The intro is stunning, takes my breath away, the solo comes in at about 3 minutes into the song, the notes from 4.26 to 4.42 just totally blow my brain like a nuclear bomb, might not affect other people the same way but it just almost knocks me out cold, its out of this world, I can’t find the words to praise this song highly enough, every version is different but this one for me is beyond brilliant, its cosmic, what Rory does with the strat is jaw dropping.
Its lyrics are tinged with sadness too that even in a room full of people he felt alone – the joint is jumping all around him but his mood is really not in style, the blues want to surround him but he is trying not to let them. He is there but not there, a million miles away from these people all having a good time. There in body but mentally is somewhere else.
I know that feeling myself. Its a brilliant brilliant song, lyrically, musically it really is one of the greatest songs ever written in my humble opinion.
Track 7 – Walk On Hot Coals. First appeared on Blueprint. Over 11 minutes of scorching perfection, 1-2-3-4 Bam! Comes in at a million miles an hour, the pace barely slows, its 11 minutes of pure powerhouse brilliance, Gerry McAvoy’s solid bass as the anchor for the others to hang onto, Rod de’Ath (R.I.P) giving his all on the drums, Lou Martin (R.I.P) providing the keyboards and Rory being Rory and bring brilliant, giving 110% as always, this track hits the listener right between the eyes, its a totally awesome track, absolutely perfect as Rory and the boys were on fire, like a comet blasting through the sky. It slows just enough for the winding up to the virtual frenzy at the end which again smacks the listener right between the eyes!
Track 8 – Who’s That Coming. Appeared on Tattoo, the album prior to Irish Tour, it’s a powerful song, about a dream or ideal woman, called she or her, someone Rory was seeking, she’s always had just what it took, to read me like I was an open book, someone telepathic like himself, studio version is awesome, live it takes on a whole new persona, it becomes cosmic, Rory had the skill and talent to transform his own songs from studio to live, never a carbon copy but becoming something else. It’s a gorgeous song and showing what a great lyricist he was
Track 9 – Back On My Stompin’ Ground (After Hours) – first appeared on Blueprint. The studio version is amazing but live! it takes on a whole new persona, 1-2-3-4 – kaboom and you are hit right between the eyes with a cosmic storm of unbelievable proportions, Rory’s fingers flying on his strat, Gerry solid as always on bass, Rod (R.I.P.) keeping perfect time on drums and Lou (R.I.P.) on keyboards, always live giving 110% of blood and sweat, never ever disappoints, totally awesome track!
Track 10 – Just a Little Bit. This is a gorgeous little number, the tempo is like a train on the tracks, not hurtling, just a steady paced journey. Rory isn’t greedy, he doesn’t want all her love, just a little bit. It’s a fun song, sounds like everyone enjoyed the train ride. I really love this song too.
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