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Gary Moore

Close as You Get

(Eagle Rock Entertainment; US: 29 May 2007; UK: 18 Jun 2007)

By now Gary Moore has hopefully made a few more North Americans appreciate the blues. While longer in the tooth than perhaps Robert Cray in terms of career, Moore is definitely one of the more consistent blues guitarists around. And this album is no different. The majority of these songs are dirty blues rock, beginning with the slow but steady “If the Devil Made Whiskey” where Moore churns out some fine bottleneck blues on the bridge. But things slow down early with the soulful, mournful “Trouble at Home” and the equally pleasing “Have You Heard” as Moore shows his chops throughout. There are some rather routine tracks like the rockabilly romp “Thirty Days” and the ordinary “Evenin’”, yet Moore picks it up with the stronger, bluesy beauties like “Hard Times”. The highlight of the album might be the harmonica-laced “Checkin’ Up on My Baby” which works on several levels. Another gem is the lengthy “I Had a Dream” which would be the perfect complement to Clapton’s “River of Tears”.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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