By Grahame Rhodes of 'Blues in the Northwest' (Before the new Sinnerboy)
the last ten years, Barry Barnes has led the excellent Sinnerboy, one
of the premier Rory Gallagher tribute bands, who have toured extensively
around Europe, Scandinavia and the USA. However the band is to split
next year and he will be concentrating on a solo career, and therefore
comes his first solo cd “Rory!” – a heartfelt collection of both some of
the great man’s songs and some of the country blues tunes he used to
cover, from the likes of Blind Boy Fuller, Leadbelly and Son House.
got the Rory bug seeing him live for the first time in 1969, and was a
major fan after that, and he was already a country blues fan from
listening to his brother’s vinyl collection, here he pays homage to his
favourite guitar player of all time, and a fine job he has done too –
the tracks recorded in a variety of locations as far apart as Dublin,
Athens and Yorkshire!
Eight of the tracks were laid down at Reaction
Studios in Athens, including an acoustic take on the superb “Moonchild”;
the very old song, “The Cuckoo”, and a slide work out on Son House’s
immortal “Death Letter Blues”. A highlight from the Greek recordings is a
beautiful version of “I Fall Apart”, a Gallagher song from way back on
his debut solo album in 1971, and delivered with skill and passion here
by Barry Barnes.
A rowdy Dublin crowd in the Temple Bar Music Centre
are enthusiastic on the opening “Pistol Slapper Blues” by Blind Boy
Fuller, famously recorded on the “Live In Europe” album, and a fine “Out
On The Western Plain” – the Leadbelly song that used to feature in Rory
Gallagher’s acoustic interludes. Paul Westwell helps out on harmonica
on Big Bill Broonzy’s “Nothin’ But The Devil”, recorded at Calder
Studios in Yorkshire, as was the rousing “Barley And Grape Rag” . . .
featuring some sweet violin from Tracy Smith, with Dave Burns (double
bass) and Ozzer McLoughlin (drums).
As a Rory ‘nut’ myself I
thoroughly enjoyed this album . . . . great singing and playing, but
with fun as well – check out the unlisted closer!) – nice one Barry . . .
and more power to him for keeping the memory of the legendary Rory