By: Kevin McElroy (drums, vocals) Linus Jones Recently I had loaded my iPod with a bunch of Rory Gallagher songs. To this day, I am still perplexed as to why this unique talent never received the recognition that he most certainly deserved. Already a gifted player in his teens, Rory had already developed an esteemed following. In an interview, Jimi Hendrix was once asked - "How does it feel to be the best guitarist in the world?" To which he replied; "I don't know - ask Rory Gallagher." Rory's style can only be described as soulful......Whether playing his own compositions or cover tunes, Rory's gift is the pure emotion that is transmitted through his road worn Fender Stratocaster, that specific guitar - nearly as iconic as the man himself - paint peeled through years of sweat and touring - wailing almost as an extension of the man playing it. Although he recorded dozens of albums through his 30 plus year career - Most fans consider his best work to have been in the 1970's. In those days Rory toured Europe and the US almost non stop and created a large and sustainable cult following. In Germany, Britain, and his beloved Ireland; Rory was a superstar, however, large scale success eluded him in the US and other parts of the world. Admired by blues musicians and rockers alike, Rory shared the stage with many of his era's best known musicians. Frustrations with the record companies and managers and PR people manifested themselves through Rory's increased reliance on alcohol. His drinking didn't always impact his work, it did however, lead to issues with his liver and ultimately to his untimely death in 1995 at the age of 47. Rory, like another contemporary, the late Nick Drake, seems to grow in stature and popularity over the years. A new generation of fans, and the persistence of older fans have led to the reissue of many of his classic albums. Most of his catalog is still in print and readily available on iTunes. Even most recently, fans on Facebook have an online petition to rename the International Airport in Cork, Ireland in his honor! Best of all, we can sit back, turn up the volume, and enjoy his gifted playing over and over again and to hear him say in his charming brogue; "Thank you so much for coming out, and we'll see you all again very, very soon." My fanboy pick for February - Rory Gallagher "Irish Tour 74" - I truly hope you like it.