Saturday, October 24, 2009


I thought I'd start a new feature here called Album (or Band) of the Week, and take a bit of time to talk about one of my favorites. If you've read this blog at all, you know I'm a Rory fanatic. He was an Irish strat guitarslinger, and he was right up there with the best of them. Although he sold (and continues to sell) millions of albums, he never had the international or American fame of those famous blues/rock guitarslingers like Clapton, Beck, Page or Stevie Ray. I never heard Rory on any radio station except the public and university channels, and he was never a darling of MTV.
But oh how he rocks my philsoul when he is rocking out. And one of the best two disc introductions to Rory is the BBC SESSIONS cd set, produced by his loving brother Donal on Buddah records in 1999. One disc is live tunes recorded in concert on BBC, and the other cd is tunes done in the BBC studios. Several Rory drummers are featured, but most prominent on both discs is one of my favorite drummers, Rod De'Ath.
Sometime in the 1990's, I began seeing "BBC SESSIONS" cd's of great bands appear at Best Buy. I remember buying the Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin versions, and of course they are just excellent. This one is no exception. The sound quality is excellent, even though a few of the tunes were remixed from mono recordings. Most of the tunes were recorded in stereo or with a multi-track, but overall the production and sound is top notch.
It doesn't contain several great person Rory favorites of mine like Tattoo'd Lady or several others, but no matter, since it has some really killer versions of songs like Used to be, Garbage man and so many others.
My personal favorite is What in the world, which features a killer drum sound on DeAth's drums. In contrast with many of his peers at the time who favorited the muted tom sound, Rod has those drums running wide open with lots of sustain and they really ring through on his short interludes between parts of the songs. You can really hear them ring free, and I dig that. I like drums with lots of sustain.
Of course, the sound enginner has a lot to do with the sound of mic'd drums, and the BBC enginner who recorded What in the world was at the top of his/her game that day, I'll tell you.
I once, I say once, got a sound that nice out of drums myself doing a club gig. It was in 2003 at the old Rhythm Room on Washington, backing a singer-songwriter named Elizabeth White. Elizabeth had some really great originals, and it was sorta a folk-rock band with a blues lead guitarist. It worked well. I recorded the gig and it was just fantastic, especially due to the fact that it was a throw down band put together a few weeks before the gig.
So the Rory BBC Sessions is a good introduction to Rory. Of course, I'll be making some other Rory recommendations, or you can hit some of the Rory forums out there and see what other folks have to say about what albums of his they like.


  1. I'm a Rory fan(atic) too and this is a great album for sure.

    As you probably know, a new "best of" collection, "Crest Of A Wave," has just recently been released, and it's encouraging to know that there remains, despite a complete lack of radio play, enough interest in his work to make these releases commercially viable.

    On my blog, i have just started posting YouSendIt links to the songs on what is widely considered to be one of his best bootlegs, from the Cowtown Ballroom, Kansas City, 1974. Have a look!

  2. Thanks for writing in, Freg. Here's the link to Freg's blog...