I first heard of Rory Gallagher when I saw footage of him from "The Old Grey Whistle Test" which was recorded in 1976 (when I was aged one). The track was a fast rocker with a memorable riff so good my friends played it in their band. Although we did not know the name of the song! Then one day recognised it being played from a pub jukebox which featured this album.
Anyway, the track was Let Me In which is a great opener to Against The Grain. Souped Up Ford is also a super charged rocker and follows a Gallagher tradition in singing about speed (such as Country Mile).
The stand out track for me though is All Around Man, an urgent blues rocker that begins with Gallagher screaming and crying together with just his electric guitar until the band kicks in with a stop-start blues rhythm. Fantastic!
A great acoustic moment is Gallagher's version of Leadbelly's "Out On the Western Plain," with its combination of Indian chords, American Delta folk and cowboy "yippee-ki-yay" chorus. Bought and Sold, with Congas is the hit single that never was, and Gallagher records a playful cover of Sam and Dave's I Take What I Want.
Presumably the album was named Against The Grain as Rory as remaining true to the music he loved while his contempories were moving into more commerical sounds. This is one of Rory's finest, matched only by Calling Card and the two early live albums, and features a good mix of rock, delta blues and country.