The Gary Moore Band

Grind­ing Stone

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff Reissues -

Gary Moore’s first solo al­bum in 1973 quickly dis­ap­peared with­out trace, and not with­out rea­son. Recorded soon af­ter Skid Row

hugh Fielder

broke up, Moore had not yet sorted out the kind of artist he wanted to be, nor his vo­cal style. And while his gui­tar chops were com­ing to­gether, his song­writ­ing was still a work in progress.

The open­ing ti­tle track is a blues shuf­fle that rocks along with hints of San­tana but with­out con­vic­tion. Time To Heal has an All­man Broth­ers vibe with some neat dou­ble‑track­ing, but the 17‑minute Spirit jam falls apart mid­way through, with some di­rec­tion­less, spacey noodling that should have been stran­gled at birth.

Only Boo­gie My Way Back Home of­fers glimpses of what was to come with the early slide gui­tar. You can also hear hints of how Moore’s song­writ­ing would de­velop on the bal­lad Sail Across The Moun­tain.

But the over­all lack of fo­cus leaves Grind­ing Stone with­out any clear iden­tity. It would take stints in Colos­seum and Thin Lizzy be­fore he could es­tab­lish him­self. 1978’s Back On The Streets is re­ally where the Gary Moore story be­gins. Grind­ing Stone is just for the cu­ri­ous.

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