Fresh Evidence

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Fresh Evidence
Studio album by Rory Gallagher
Released 1 May 1990
Recorded Maison Rouge, Redan Recorders, Music Station and Audio One
Genre Blues rock, blues, zydeco
Length 55:10
Label Capo (UK)
Intercord (US)
Producer Rory Gallagher
Rory Gallagher chronology
Defender
(1987)
Fresh Evidence
(1990)
BBC Sessions
(1999)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Blogcritics (not rated)[2]

Fresh Evidence is Rory Gallagher's eleventh and last studio album. The album was unusual in that Gallagher used more additional musicians and spent more time recording than he normally did. Not as unusual, the songs show his love for blues artists such as Robert Johnson and Son House and for other genres such as Zydeco as well. The album explores themes of ill health, mortality, and fighting back against overwhelming odds. It shows the toll that Gallagher's health problems were starting to take on him.

Background[edit]

After the release of the album, Gallagher gave several interviews where he went into some detail about the songs and his way of making music. He emphasized how he modeled his music after folk and blues legends such as Muddy Waters. "So this folk music tradition of passing on, picking up, and stealing goes on like mad! If I'm doing a blues number I can do it very traditional if I want to; I can also add my own twists to it."[3]

Gallagher said that the song "Heaven's Gate" is about a man "haunted in a room in a terrible condition. It's a semi-redemption type of song and it's also slightly preaching to people that you can't bribe St. Peter." His inspiration for the song is the blues song "Hellhound On My Trail" by Robert Johnson.

"The Loop" is a jazz instrumental. The song title refers to the Chicago loop the center of downtown Chicago that is demarcated by the CTA elevated train tracks that make a loop around it. The sound of a train pulling up to a stop is heard at the beginning of the song.

"Walking Wounded" is a song about a man who is down but still fighting. Gallagher said it was partly inspired by his health problems.[4]

"Kid Gloves" is about a prize fighter pressured by the mob to throw a fight who refuses to give in. It is one of many Gallagher songs inspired by hardboiled fiction and film noir.

The music for "Middle Name" is inspired by blues legend Slim Harpo. For the story Gallagher "tried to create an image of being down around the bible belt with a guy stuck in a situation searching for someone that could be his wife or someone else before a big storm or Armageddon or the Holocaust."

“King of Zydeco" is inspired by the music of Clifton Chenier whom Gallagher called the "B.B. King of Zydeco". Chenier died before Gallagher was able to meet him, even though they played at least one music festival together and the regret over that lost opportunity inspired the song.[5]

Recording[edit]

Gallagher's studio albums were often recorded rapidly, in as little as two weeks. This was partly due to time limitations caused by his heavy touring schedule[6] but also due to the fact that Gallagher was always more comfortable in front of a live audience than in the studio.[7] However, Gallagher spent six months recording Fresh Evidence. He described the recording of the album as follows:

"It took enough out of us, I can tell you. It took about six months to make, which is quite a long time really. It sounds like relatively simple music, but we were trying to get a good vintage, ethnic sound in the production and everything else. We used a lot of old valve microphones, tape echo, old spring reverbs and things like that, instead of using all the digital equipment."[8]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Rory Gallagher except where noted.

Side one

  1. "Kid Gloves" – 5:40
  2. "The King of Zydeco" – 3:43
  3. "Middle Name" – 4:15
  4. "Alexis"(instrumental) – 4:07
  5. "Empire State Express" – 5:08 (Eddie "Son" House)

Side two

  1. "Ghost Blues" – 8:01
  2. "Heaven's Gate" – 5:09
  3. "The Loop"(instrumental) – 2:23
  4. "Walkin' Wounded" – 5:09
  5. "Slumming Angel" – 3:40

CD bonus track

  1. "Never Asked You for Nothin'" – 4:29
  2. "Bowed but Not Broken" – 3:26

Personnel[edit]

Invited guests

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Britton, Wesley (13 August 2011). "Music Review: Rory Gallagher – Defender, Fresh Evidence, BBC Sessions, and Wheels Within Wheels | Blogcritics". blogcritics.org. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Connaughton, Marcus (2012-09-07). Rory Gallagher: His Life and Times. Collins Press. p. 1919. ISBN 9781848891531. 
  4. ^ Prasad, Anil. "Rory Gallagher Outside the Establishment". rorygallagher.com. Retrieved 19 June 2013. my health wasn't very good at the time. It's not written in the first person as such, but I suppose it's written from the point of view that if you're at a very low ebb, you still have fighting spirit. 
  5. ^ Prasad, Anil. "Rory Gallagher Outside the Establishment". rorygallagher.com. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Cariappa, Shiv (January 8, 1997). "Interview With Gerry McAvoy". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 22 June 2013. GM: A chemistry, yeah absolutely, plus the fact the early Rory Gallagher Band from 1971 -- I mean the amount of gigs we were doing. We were doing over 200 gigs a year. A lot of work in the States as well. 
  7. ^ Connaughton, Marcus (2012-09-07). Rory Gallagher: His Life and Times. Collins Press. pp. 1133–1143. ISBN 9781848891531. 
  8. ^ Prasad, Anil. "Rory Gallagher Outside the Establishment". rorygallagher.com. Retrieved 19 June 2013.