CD Review: Gary Moore – Live at Bush Hall 2007

CD Review: Gary Moore – Live at Bush Hall 2007
Eagle Records
All Access Rating: B+

Gary Moore - Live at Bush Hall 2007 2014
Peter Green would have loved seeing Gary Moore on this May evening in 2007. Moore was Green's favorite pupil, soaking in all the blues-guitar knowledge he could from the Fleetwood Mac founder and '60s British blues boom architect.

Performing to 400 people in the cozy environs of Bush Hall, all of whom won tickets to the show from Planet Rock Radio, which originally broadcast it, Moore sweated out a rough-and-tumble set that fervently testified to his mastery of the blues. Live at Bush Hall 2007 is the first-ever audio release of that show, and the sound is exquisite, nicely capturing the intimacy of the setting.

Drawing liberally from Close As You Get, the album he'd released just prior to this outing, Moore led a quartet that included his old Thin Lizzy mate, drummer Brian Downey, through smoky supplications like "Trouble At Home," soulful readings of Phil Lynott's "Don't Believe A Word" and "Still Got the Blues" – two deeper cuts from a catalog begging for greater appreciation – and lowdown, junkyard growlers "Hard Times" and a particularly unruly "If The Devil Made Whiskey."

An ebullient cover of Sonny Boy Williams' "Eyesight to the Blind" allows Moore to display his feel for authentic interpretation, something that's even more apparent in the stunning, bare-bones reading of Son House's "Sundown" – Moore's deft slide guitar work, seemingly dug straight from the fertile soil of the Mississippi Delta, on this version is nothing short of brilliant – that brings the curtain down. And when he turns rowdy, as he does on gloriously rambunctious and raw versions of "Walking By Myself" and Chuck Berry's "Thirty Days," Moore doesn't hold anything back.

Throughout Live at Bush Hall 2007, Moore wrings every ounce of emotion out of his instrument when he bends strings to his will and holds sustains as if he's choking a mortal enemy to death, his elegantly wild leads so expressive, so tightly woven and so vibrant, as evidenced by Moore's 4:34 solo "Gary's Blues 1." If only some of the slower songs weren't so dawdling, a minor quibble by the way, Live at Bush Hall 2007 would be absolutely essential. As it is, it's works as a boon companion to Moore's studio legacy.
– Peter Lindblad

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