Gary Moore’s Essential Montreux is a five-disc feast of fret-burning action

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ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 2, 2009

By Steve Newton

Got someone on your Christmas list who’s a huge fan of wailing rock guitar? Then look no further than Eagle Rock’s five-disc feast of fret-burning action by Irish guitar hero Gary Moore. So what if it contains no less than four live versions of Otis Rush’s “All Your Love”? That tune kicks ass!

Essential Montreux captures hard-rocker turned blues-rocker Moore in sets recorded at Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival in 1990, ’95, ’97, ’99, and 2001. For the most part Moore concentrates on material from his post-metal output that began with 1990’s Still Got the Blues, but there are some interesting sidetracks, such as his blistering version of Roy Buchanan’s “The Messiah Will Come Again”.

Fans of Moore’s pre-blues period will appreciate the inclusion on Disc 3 of the Celtic-tinged “Over the Hills and Far Away” and the gorgeous “Parisienne Walkways”, which he cowrote with former Thin Lizzy bandmate Phil Lynott.

In ’95 Moore released Blues for Greeny, a tribute to his hero Peter Green, so it’s no surprise that the set from that year includes four Green-penned numbers, including “Merry-Go-Round” and “Long Grey Mare” from Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled 1968 debut.

Other blues and rock greats covered on Essential Montreux include Willie Dixon (“You Don’t Love Me”), John Mayall (“Key to Love”), B.B. King (“You Upset Me Baby”), Freddie King (“The Stumble”), Elmore James (“The Sky Is Crying”), T-Bone Walker (“Stormy Monday”), and some dude named Jimi Hendrix (“Fire”).

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