On June 14, 1995 Rory Gallagher one of the best blues rock guitarists ever, died in a hospital in London at the extremely young age of 47. Rory had received a liver transplant and died of complications occurring after the transplant. A very sad ending indeed as Gallagher was a unique talent starting out in the late sixties with the band Taste (two albums) before going out and about under his own name playing blues, R&B, country blues and around 1980 also heavy rock. From that time I can recommend the studio records ‘Photo-Finish’, ‘Top Priority’ and the live registration ‘Stage Struck’. But Gallagher rose to fame long before that with his unique interpretation of blues and rock, playing original songs or covers, it did not matter to him. After his death his younger brother Donal looked after the musical legacy of Rory making sure that no crap was released. There is a 3-CD version of ‘Blues’, a single CD version with 15 songs and a double vinyl album available. I got myself the 3 CD version which can be divided in 3 categories. The first CD features electric blues, the second acoustic work and the third one is live. The best thing about this whole event that we are dealing here with about 90 percent of material that has never been released before. ‘Blues’ is exactly what it is, an honest look at Rory’s career although the heavier songs that he recorded in his time are not featured (,,Philby’’, ,,Moon Child’’, ,,Shadow Play’’). The songs are in some cases leftovers from album sessions and tracks from live concerts. There are also songs where Rory featured as a guest for greats like Muddy Waters and Albert King, there is a steaming live-version of ,,Born Under A Bad Sign’’ with legendary singer/bassist Jack Bruce. I have really enjoyed ‘Blues’. Okay, it might not be very heavy but Rory’s extraordinary playing and singing is in more ways than one breath taking. This is a release to cherish and to enjoy at any minute of the day. And once again ‘Blues’ features the unique manner in which this Irish icon manages to improvise and do his own thing on the electric or acoustic guitar or any other string instrument. Doing his own thing was important to him. He ignored offers from The Rolling Stones (to replace Mick Taylor) and Deep Purple (to replace Ritchie Blackmore) because he wanted to be free in his music, free to choose his own path. That also involved a lot of drinking for which he paid a heavy price on that faithful day in June 1995, attracting an infection after receiving the transplant. Earlier that year he was unable to finish a concert in The Netherlands due to health issues. Almost a quarter of a century later we are reminded through this release how much of a loss the music world suffered that day. For a fan of traditional blues this is an essential record to add to your collection.