Initial Release: February 18th, 1973 / Remastered Release 2018
Record Label: UMC
Location: Marquee Studios, London. Polydor Studios, London
Producer: Rory Gallagher
Rory Gallagher (Guitars, Vocals, Harmonica)
Gerry McAvoy (Bass)
Lou Martin (Keyboards, Piano)
Rod de’Ath (Drums, Percussion)
In mid ’72 bassist Gerry McAvoy’s flat-mate, drummer Rod de’Ath, deputised for the late Wilgar Campbell and following Wilgar’s departure Rod became a permanent replacement in Rory’s band. After six years of working with the trio format, Rory looked to embellish his sound by introducing keyboards into the line-up. Rod who had been a member of blues band ‘Killing Floor’, recommended to Rory their piano player Lou Martin who ironically hailed from Belfast. The line-up clicked and remained together for some five years this recording being the Blueprint. Originally released in early ’73, the cover features the circuit board of a Stramp ‘power baby’ amplifier which was custom designed for Rory in Hamburg. It was specifically designed to be compact enough to fit into the small luggage compartment of a VW Beetle car, a particular Rory favourite.
Opening with Walk On Hot Coals which went on to become a Gallagher classic, allowed the musicians to really stretch out, particularly the ambidextrous Rod who wove drum patterns for Rory to overlay his blistering guitar work.
Daughter Of The Everglades was inspired by a book that Rory had been reading and is amongst the more melodic compositions of his repertoire and highlights Lou’s contribution to the band.
Banker’s Blues: over a barrelhouse style piano, Rory switches to acoustic twelve string guitar and rack mounted harmonica and demonstrates his ability to put a ‘fresh-coat’ on a Big Bill Broonzy number.
The opening “rocker-style” finger-clicking sets the tone for the demanding Hands Off. Buoyed by his own saxophone section, this shows Rory at his menacing best.
Like many writers, Rory drew inspiration from old trains, and his slick playing on Race The Breeze gives a sense of friction free rolling freight.
When asking his promoters what their next venture might be after his Irish Tour, Rory was bemused to find that the promoter had booked the faith healer Finbar Nolan. Blues music being rich with lyrics of various supernatural powers inspired Rory to write Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son.
Unmilitary Two-Step: a brilliant, whimsical acoustic instrumental which is set to a Scott Joplin type tempo and is full of musical humour.
If I Had A Reason: a soul-searching song with a waltz time country feel, features Rory on lap steel guitar and Lou on honky tonk piano.
Stompin’ Ground: a driving slide track of a prodigal’s return. Following his rigorous touring Rory was much pleased to arrive home in Cork and lay back until the road would call him again.
Treat Her Right: this track, like the former, came to light in an unmarked box. Rory had always enjoyed performing this Roy Head favourite with the Impact Showband of ’65 and had fun with his new band by treating this song to his blistering guitar style.