We can confidently say that the late-great Rory Gallagher was one of two of the greatest Irish blues musicians, the other being Gary Moore.
William Rory Gallagher was born in Ballyshannon, Ireland on March 2, 1948. From an early age, Rory and his brother were given instruments and encouraged to express themselves, which was often a unique circumstance in those days. Like many musicians growing up in the UK or Europe, Gallagher was fascinated by the music genre, Skiffle. This style was a mashup of blues, jazz, and Americana music played on makeshift instruments. He loved the improvised nature of the style and honored their freedom of creativity.
By the early 1960’s Gallagher had founded the blues-rock trio, Taste. The band was poised for greatness and all the elements of an incredible blues band, including Rory Gallagher’s rip-roaring licks and killer rock voice. Unfortunately, Taste only lasted for about 4 years and two studio albums. Amazingly, the surviving members decided to regroup 36 years later with another guitarist and are still active.
Gallagher went on to host a generous solo career for about twenty years until he passed away in 1995 due to liver transplant complications. He is still considered an Irish treasure and one of the best blues-rock guitarists in history.
Rory Gallagher has influenced handfuls of aspiring and professional musicians, including Davy Knowles, Slash, the Edge, and Joe Bonamassa.
Joe idolizes Gallagher and lists him as a major influence on his playing. At an event at the famed Royal Albert Hall, he was able to play Rory’s iconic 1961 Stratocaster on the song “Sloe Gin!”