Alive and upbeat, Irish six-stringer returns to his roots.
1990 was a special year for Gary Moore: the jazz-rock that he played in COLOSSEUM II, the hard-rock he pursued with THIN LIZZY, the shredding of his ’80s solo output and the eclecticism of "Back On The Streets" which signaled the start of the guitarist’s individual way were gone in favor of the genre he loved more than anything. But if the style of that year’s “Still Got The Blues” might seem rather polished, on-stage it was deliciously raw, as documented here, on CD and DVD, where most of the album is given a wilder treatment eliciting a roar of delight from the Montreux Festival’s discerning public.
Three calls, and returns, for encores are the best testament to Moore’s ability to hook his audience, and Gary takes it all in his stride with “Walking By Myself” and “All Your Love” which opens the audio disc of this package and gives the guitarist’s new approach a nice, punchy outline as the six-string elegant twang is smoothed with Don Airey’s organ and the brass quartet’s swing. Sweat running down the main man’s face, he clearly draws much pleasure from the crowd’s participation on “The Blues Is Alright” and “Texas Strut” as well as from the contribution by his guest, Albert Collins – there’s a priceless look into the Iceman’s eyes from the Irishman when the two trade solos on the tremulous “Cold Cold Feeling” that the former sings. They clown together, while keeping the tension, on “Further On Up The Road” whereas the reeds line put on an illustrious spectacle for “Stop Messin’ Around” to contrast economic playing on the track, but “You Don’t Love Me” is effervescent and exuberant, “King Of The Blues” is full of heavy riffage, underpinned by Andy Pyle’s bass, and the boogie “Moving On” rides Gary’s slide and Frank Mead’s harp.
There’s no relying on the hit side of the things, although the title track of “Still Got The Blues” gets an airing, while the cover of Roy Buchanan’s “The Messiah Will Come Again” reveals the roots of “Parisienne Walkways” clear enough to replace it in the set. But then, who needs hits when every performance here is a smash? Witness the artist caught in one of his primes.