After a run of best-selling blues-based albums in the early 1990's, Gary went away from the blues for a couple of albums-just for a change of pace and creative stimulation. 2001 saw him return to his beloved blues with renewed energy.
A more stripped down approach was utilized; guitar, bass, keys & drums were the basic line-up, with horns only appearing on one track. A mix of blues standards and Moore originals were passionately rendered by Gary and his band.
In addition to his usual Les Paul & Stratocaster, a flock of new instruments appeared; Gibson's ES-355 & ES-335 were prominently featured, as well as a Les Paul double-cut,and-on the opening cut "Enough Of The Blues"-a Dobro resonator guitar, which stars the album with an old-record style scratchiness. After 12 bars the sound clears and the band hammers. Good opening.
B.B. King's "You Upset Me Baby" is the only track to feature Gary's "Midnight Horns", and they make this tune swing.
"Cold Black Night" is the most rocking of any of Gary's blues originals. The bass and drums lay down a super-fast 12 bar groove, and Gary plays at an even faster tempo during his lead guitar breaks. The chromatic climb with the Wah-Wah pedal puts the 'rock' into blues rock.
T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday" is an incredible 1-take live in the studio performance, with Gary turning in one of his all-time best performances, including the vocals. No overdubs-just blues at it's best.
Gary's arrangement of Clarence Carter's "I Ain't Got You" is very much like the Yardbirds arrangement, except Gary blows the pants off of Eric Clapton's original lead work (no offense, E.C.).
"Picture of the Moon" is a gorgeous ballad that has the electric for the blues feel, but some nice nylon string work to evoke images of Spain. Tastefully done.
"Looking Back" is a Johnny 'Guitar' Watson tune that John Mayall covered with Gary's mentor Peter Green on guitar. The arrangement is essentially the same, and it rocks.
"The Prophet" is an instrumental in the style of Gary's 1987 classic "The Loner". Very emotional, dark & moody.
"How Many Lies" is a rocking blues shuffle that chugs along nicely, balancing guitar and vocals just right.
As he often does, Gary ends the cd with a somber moody vocal. On this album, it's "Drowning In Tears", which is possibly the album's only weak point, as it drones on and on and on... This is negligible, as the rest of the album more than makes up for it.
The 2nd disc is a dvd which is re-mixed in 5.1 surround sound. Gary has a little anecdote for each song accompanied by a still shot from the albums photos on the inner sleeve. A truly great blues rock effort. 5 stars.