Gary Moore (1952-2011) blues musician
Elvis Presley and The Beatles made Gary Moore (born April 4, 1952 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) try rock and roll early on in his life. But after seeing and hearing Jimi Hendrix and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers perform in Belfast as a teenager, he started to experiment with the blues guitar himself.
After moving to Dublin, Gary Moore joined local band Skid Row, who renamed themselves Thin Lizzy after some band members left. With the trio Skid Row, Moore signed his first record deal with CBS in 1970, thanks to Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green, who really enjoyed Moore's guitar play. During his Thin Lizzy time, the Belfast guitarist and vocalist repeatedly left (and joined) the band to pursue a solo career.
In 1979, Gary Moore's solo career began seriously with the suggestive single Parisienne Walkways, which offered Moore's classy, blues-soaked guitar and a grumpy Phil Lynott voice. The single from the album Back On the Streets reached number eight in the UK Top Ten in April of the same year. His quite unsuccessful solo efforts in the seventies were followed by a series of moderately thriving solo albums during the 1980's. He had one reasonable UK hit with Empty Rooms in 1985. With 1987's Wild Frontier and 1989's After the War he experimented with Celtic music, but Moore's breakthrough came with the following year's Still Got the Blues.
On Still Got the Blues, Moore mixed traditional blues standards with a touch of his own ideas and delivered an extremely well received performance vocally and instrumentally. The album became a huge success with both critics and the audience. Moore's scorching licks, both technically impressive and soulful, made it no miracle that the single Still Got the Blues became his greatest hit.
The successor of Still Got the Blues was After Hours (1992), which of course continued on the successful blues track. It featured surprising guest appearances by blues hero's BB King, Albert King and Albert Collins. More rock-oriented was Moore's participation in 1994 in the band BBM with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce (former Cream), the abbreviation standing for the initial letters of their surnames. But it stayed a side project as in 1995 he released a tribute album Blues for Greeny to his idol Peter Green, composed entirely of Green originals played on a Les Paul guitar the former Fleetwood Mac musician had given him years before.
Gary Moore still recorded blues albums about once in every two years until his death, such as A Different Beat in 1999 and Back To the Blues in 2001.