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Music Review: Gary Moore – Live At Montreux 2010

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Gary Moore had been a fixture at The Montreux Jazz Festival down through the years. Little did he know that when he took the stage at the 2010 festival he had about seven months to live. His last performance, Live At Montreux 2010, has now been released by Eagle Rock Entertainment in CD, DVD, and Blu-ray formats. The DVD and Blu-ray contain two extra tracks plus four bonus songs.

Moore was one of the better guitarists alive when he took the stage in July of 2010, and his performance confirmed that fact. Visually he did not look well as he had gained severe weight, and his voice was not as strong as in the past. In retrospect, it is not surprising that a heart attack would claim his life February 6, 2011.

Over the course of the last couple of decades he had established himself as an excellent electric blues guitarist. This performance, however, takes him in a different direction as it returned him to his rock roots. Gone are most of his blues songs as he resurrected some of his old rock material. He was also in the process of recording a new rock album, which he never finished. Three songs meant for this new album are presented. “Days Of Heroes,” “Where Are You Now,” and “Oh Wild One” were previewed during the concert.

The first three tracks quickly show that he was playing straight rock ‘n’ roll. “Over The Hills And Far Away” featuring fine solo work, “Thunder Rising,” and Phil Lynott’s “Military Man” established a style and sound that would dominate the concert.

The three new tunes are all different. “Days Of Heroes” would have fit in fine with his older Thin Lizzy material. “Where Are You Now” is more atmospheric as the keyboards share center stage with Moore’s guitar. “Oh Wild One” finds him cracking up his instrument for a guitar-based anthem track.

The four bonus tracks were taken from his 1997 Montreux appearance and are included on his The Definitive Montreux Collection. “One Good Reason,” “Oh Pretty Woman,” “Still Got The Blues,” and “Walking By Myself” find him healthy and back in a blues mode.

He was backed by keyboardist Neil Carter, bassist Jon Noyce, and drummer Darrin Mooney.

Moore shall not pass this way again. If you can get past his appearance, the music and especially the guitar virtuosity are as good as ever, which is very good indeed. Live At Montreux 2010 is the final chapter in the career journey of Moore.

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