Get this crazy baby off my head!


Rory Block

Rory Block - Angel of Mercy - 1994 - Rounder

Angel of Mercy demonstrates Rory Block's skill as a composer. One reviewer of Angel of Mercy in a 1994 Sing Out article applauded the album's format of all original compositions and broader musical experiments: "On this recording, with an all-star group of supporting players, Block maintains those blues roots, but adds healthy doses of folk, pop, and gospel to produce a sound that will appeal to fans of Bonnie Raitt." The album won the 1994 NAIRD award for best Adult Contemporary Album Of The Year. It is not Rory's normal blues or folk album, but it still has elements of gospel and blues, and proves that she can write and sing first class contemporary pop songs without losing any credibility. Buy her great "Best Blues and Originals" album, and there is info on her "High Heeled Blues" album @ RBLOCK/HHB


1. Angel Of Mercy
2. It Ain't Right
3. I'll Be Gone
4. Who Was Calling
5. Somebody's Baby
6. Big Bad Agent Man
7. You Deserve The Best
t8. Love Without The Heart
9. Father And Two Sons
All tracks composed by Rory Block, except "You Deserve the Best" by J.D. Martin


Rory Block (Guitar), (Vocals (Background)), (Harmony Vocals)
Rory Bach (Guitar), (Vocals)
Larry Chaney (Guitar (Electric))
Michael Mugrage (Guitar (Electric))
Jeff Mironov (Guitar (Electric)), (Guitar (Rhythm))
Brendan Croker (Slide Guitar)
Dan Dugmore (Guitar), (Guitar (Steel))
Dave Pomeroy (Bass)
Rob Leon (Bass)
Warren Bernhardt (Piano), (Piano (Electric))
Richard Bell (Organ), (Piano (Electric))
Larry Knechtel (Piano)
Ron Bach (Synthesizer)
John Gardner (Drums)
Jerry Marotta (Drums)
Neal Wilkinson (Drums)
Sam Bacco (Percussion)
John Sebastian (Harmonica)
Vinnie Martucci (Horn), Clavinet)
Paul Block (Harmony Vocals)
James Kasanof (Harmony Vocals)
Jordan Block Valdina (Vocals),(Harmony Vocals)
Amy Fraden (Vocals (Background))


Block moves completely away from the blues form on this release, doing original pieces that evoke the familiar themes of alienation, anguish and romantic conflicts, but in a production climate geared more toward folk and singer/songwriter arrangements than 12-bar settings. She still plays excellent guitar solos and accompaniment, but her vocals are now powerful or mournful, questioning or declarative, and she's unconcerned with trying to capture the quality of someone else's compositions. The disc's final selection, the nine-minute-plus "A Father and Two Sons," reworks the biblical Prodigal son tale with a contemporary focus, featuring wonderful vocal interaction between Block and her son Jordan. This album showcases Rory Block's own sound and vision and deserves widespread praise and attention. © Ron Wynn, All Music Guide

BIO [ © Chris Nickson, All Music Guide ]

Aurora "Rory" Block has staked her claim to be one of America's top acoustic blues women, an interpreter of the great Delta blues singers, a slide guitarist par excellence, and also a talented songwriter on her own account. Born and raised in Manhattan by a family that had bohemian leanings, she spent her formative years hanging out with musicians like Peter Rowan, John Sebastian, and Geoff Muldaur, who hung out in her father's sandal shop, before picking up the guitar at the age of ten. Her record debut came two years later, backing her father on The Elektra String Band Project, a concept album. She met guitarist Stefan Grossman, who, like her, was in love with the blues. The pair would often travel to the Bronx to visit Reverend Gary Davis, one of the greatest living bluesmen. At the tender age of 15 Block left home, hitting the road in true '60s fashion and traveling through the South, where she learned her blues trade at the feet of Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt, her greatest influence, before ending up in Berkeley. It was there that she developed her slide technique (she uses a socket wrench as her slide), but she didn't record until 1975, when she released I'm in Love (a compilation of earlier material, The Early Tapes 1975-1976, appeared later). After two records for Chrysalis, she recorded the instructional How to Play Blues Guitar for Grossman's Kicking Mule label, and later moved to then-fledgling Rounder, with whom she enjoyed an ongoing relationship. She toured constantly, often playing as many as 250 dates in a year, which kept her away from her family -- she'd married and begun having children in the early '70s -- but developed her reputation as a strong, vibrant live performer, and one of the best players of old country blues in America. In 1987 the best of Block's Rounder cuts were compiled on Best Blues & Originals, which, as it said, featured her interpretations of blues classics and some of her own material. Two of the tracks, released as singles in Belgium and Holland, became gold record hits. In addition to her regular albums, Block made a series of instructional records and videos, as well as a children's record, Color Me Wild. Although she had been performing for a long time, the plaudits didn't really begin until 1992, when she won a NAIRD Award for Ain't I a Woman, a feat repeated in 1994 and 1997. In 1996 she began winning W.C. Handy Awards, first for Best Traditional Album (When a Woman Gets the Blues), and in 1997 and 1998 for Best Traditional Blues Female Artist. In 1997 she was elected to the CAMA Hall of Fame, and in 1999 she received yet another Handy Award, for Best Acoustic Blues Album (Confessions of a Blues Singer). Block continued to tour, although not as heavily as in earlier times, and she's often accompanied by her grown son Jordan Block, who also plays on her albums. She remained busy in the early part of the 2000s, releasing six albums, including a live recording. 2005's From the Dust drew raving critical reviews, as did 2006's The Lady and Mr. Johnson, an album that sees Block taking on select songs of her musical hero, idol, and biggest influence, Robert Johnson.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for another Rory Block. John

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi John. Thanks. She's worth it. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Hi aoofc- Thanks for all the work you put into this blog. I have found lot's of great music here. If I may I would like to ask you if you have any Parachute Club albums. I am looking for the first 2 in particular. I would be most grateful.
Take care & Thanks so much. John

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks a million, John for your kind words. If you are interested in "Feet Of The Moon" album, please let me know, and I will post it. TVM, & keep in touch

Anonymous said...

Yes would very much appreciate Feet Of The Moon.
Thanks so much. John

Anonymous said...

dead link, will you please re-post, thank you very much

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Anonymous. Try