Gary Moore
" Essental Montreux "
101 Distribution

Blueswax 6
Rating 5

Overdose on Gary Moore!, (10/08/09)

Gary Moore fans will die and go to happy heaven with this five CD live set that was recorded over a span of ten-plus years. More than sixty tunes are included, six hours worth, and it's exclusively all live concert performances too, as no studio tracks are included. The first disc was recorded in 1990 and boasts four tunes with Moore jamming with the immortal Albert Collins. Check out how these two admirably play off each other and trade off lead solos that are often dizzying and mesmerizing. Much of the material from this first disc derives from Gary's Still Got The Blue, a fan favorite, but the real surprise was Moore's covering Roy Buchanan's "The Messiah Will Come Again" which closes the set dramatically.

Needless to say, with five discs, some tracks are repeated. "Oh Pretty Woman," Otis Rush's "All Your Love," Hendrix's "Fire," "Parisienne Walkways" and others are repeated several times, but the various renditions are welcome and somewhat unique from each other. This makes sense as some of these covers were recorded several years apart. Other highlights include the multiple covers of Peter Green's material. "Merry Go Round," "Stop Messing Around," "Jumping At Shadow," "Long Grey Mare," and "If You Be My Baby" are either Green originals or are tunes Green recorded.

There's also a good smattering of Gary Moore originals as well. There's just so much material here! Other interesting covers include Freddy King's classic instrumental "The Stumble," Little Milton's "The Blues Is Alright," Willie Dixon's "You Don't Love Me," John Mayall's "Key To Love," Jimmy Rogers' "Walking By Myself," Elmore James' "The Sky is Crying," Jimi Hendrix's "Fire," B.B. King's "You Upset Me Baby," and T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday."

Overload or overdose? Your call, but I'd have to say this box set is a bit excessive and probably best suited for Gary Moore fanatics as six hours of live performances equals about two Grateful Dead Dick's Picks box sets, which (other than myself) is too much for most ears to endure. But if you need your heavy fix of Gary Moore, you've come to the right place. So plunk your hard-earned dollars down and enjoy, as there is a good amount to like here. Plus, as Gary is not often seen with any regularity on the North American continent, this box set should fascinate those longing for mega doses of the hard driving Blues-rocker Gary Moore.

Bob Putignano: