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Monday, May 2, 2011

Cry guitar, cry....

A year ago, I didn't know who Gary Moore was. I knew who Garry Moore was - a tv game show host in the 50s and 60s - but not Gary.

I heard about Gary Moore when I read about his death this past February. The small headline said something like: Blues Guitarist Dead Of Suspected Heart Attack. I went on to read about Moore being found dead in a Spanish hotel room while on holiday. Turns out, he played guitar for Irish rockers Thin Lizzy, a band I enjoyed from the 70s.

Intrigued because I love the blues and hadn't heard of him, I visited your friend and mine, YouTube. There, I learned something else about him: He might be the best blues guitarist these ears have ever heard.

What a revelation! He could give sustaining lessons to Carlos Santana, and Steve Vai would approve of his quicks. I'm going to open with Moore sharing the stage with B.B. King. Soooooo many of these Superstar Jam Sessions fall flat. This one doesn't. It takes a minute for the music to start because Moore has to tune up. Once it does, you'll be sorry it has to stop because the licks these guys exchange provide an aural orgasm. (That was for you, Cay. And q. And anyone else who enjoys a naughty pun now and again.)

Crank up those speakers boys and girls.

(I don't know if those occasional, annoying pop-up blurbs I see on the YouTube site will translate to here. If they do, you can close them if you hover your mouse over them to reveal the hidden x.)

Next up is the first clip of Moore I listened to. Like the nearly 10 million others who have tuned in, I became an instant fan. He plays notes with an astounding power and purity and his voice ain't chopped liver. The man could do it all on stage. Here's his Still Got The Blues.

Last, but hardly least, is a live, 1987 performance of Empty Rooms. The YouTube uploader refers to it as Moore's greatest guitar solo ever. I don't know. I haven't heard all of them. But it is four minutes of absolute genius and serves as a wonderful epitaph for yet another rare talent, gone too soon.

Cry guitar, cry....

Thanks to jukeiko, UndeadKuntiz and webmastergarymoorenl for uploading the clips.