Get this crazy baby off my head!


Gerry McAvoy

Gerry McAvoy - Can't Win 'Em All - 2010 - Angel Air

Incredibly, it took almost 30 years for this album to see the light of day. Nine Below Zero bassist Gerry McAvoy was still a member of Rory Gallagher's band when he began work on his first solo album and, while it would take him a few years to get it finished, dipping in and out of the studio as Gallagher's schedule allowed, by the mid-'80s he had emerged with a solid 11-song collection that, as he explained, wrapped up all of his influences in one. Rounding up songs that he'd been accumulating for years -- several of which would have sounded great in Gallagher's hands, incidentally -- it's a solid British blues album, tough and tuneful, and powered, unsurprisingly, by some of the most inventive bass playing around. But it isn't just a bassist's album -- a full band pounds behind McAvoy, while he adds vocals and guitars to the brew as well. © Dave Thompson © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/cant-win-em-all-r1830577

Gerry McAvoy is an exceptional and gifted Irish blues rock bass guitarist who is known for his 30m plus years playing bass with Rory Gallagher and was the only consistent factor on all of Rory's 14 solo albums which have sold over 30 million copies worldwide. After Gallagher's death in 1995 Gerry moved on and joined Nine Below Zero whom he still plays with today all over the world. 2005 saw the publication of his autobiography "Riding Shotgun-35 years on the road with Rory Gallagher and Nine Below Zero". "Can't Win 'Em All" is his first solo album and captures not only his solid bass line, complex notes, rhythms and song writing skills as well as his deep warm enchanting vocals. © 1996-2011, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates & © 2010 MVD Entertainment Group. All Rights Reserved © http://mvdb2b.com/s/GerryMcAvoyCantWinEmAll/SJPCD321

Bassist for the late great Northern Irish blues guitarist Rory Gallagher, and after the death of that doyen of the blues, Gerry became bassist for Nine below Zero, how can Gerry fail to be a hit with your old scribe? He's a bassist, the anchor of a band and keeper of the boogie, and he played with one of your old scribe's favourite bluesmen (so I must've seen him live many times including at the first ever gig at the UK National Exhibition Centre after Rod the God refused to play an untried venue and Rory was shoehorned in for his second Brummie gig that year). This album might be called Can't Win 'Em All, but McEvoy sure can win most. Mostly gems and few fillers on this solo outing. Raunchy boogie, dense dynamics, like coked up Canned Heat. this white boy plays the blues with the unique flavour born not from the cotton fields but from the urban troubles of Ulster. Sound quality is as clean as it oughta be for this genre with convincing drums despite some obvious compression and artificial reverb. Any slicker would devalue the performance, and an unusually convincing lateral soundstage for a multitracked recording; predictably little depth but what there is preserves the cymbals in the same plane as the skins, avoiding the close mike problem of cymbals too close for comfort. This disc remains in the current playlist stack next to the CD player. © Mark Wheeler & Reviewer: Mark Wheeler - TNT UK Reviewed: June-July 2010 © 2010 Mark Wheeler - www.tnt-audio.com http://www.tnt-audio.com/topics/angel_air_july_e.html

For over twenty years Irish bassist Gerry McAvoy was Rory Gallagher's right hand man as he held down the bottom end for the famous guitarist, logging countless miles on the road as well as playing on every one of Rory's solo records from 1970 to 1990. After parting ways with Rory in 1990 McAvoy took drummer Brendan O'Neil with him and joined forces in the newly revamped lineup of British blues band Nine Below Zero, where McAvoy has remained to this day. With a recent flurry of activity in the Nine Below Zero camp, new album, couple of stellar reissues & celebrating their 30th anniversary etc… the timing for McAvoy to launch a new solo album couldn't be better. With Gallagher it seemed that Gerry was rarely called upon to contribute as a songwriter, but with Nine Below Zero and now with Can't Win 'Em All he's shown that in addition to be a gifted musician he's an accomplished writer as well. Although no actual specifics are given the songs on Can't Win "Em All were recorded in different locations at various times in the 70's and 80's, but for some reason they're only seeing the light of day now. Some of the musicians helping him out here are his Nine Below Zero cohorts, O'Neil, harmonica player Mark Feltham and ex-Manfred Mann guitarist Dave Flett. Revealing his love for 50's rock 'n roll, straight ahead rock and of course the blues, songs like "Troubled Heart", the bluesy swagger of the title track and "Help Me Through The Day", along with the punchy horns featured prominently on the Junior Wells cover "What My Mamma Told Me", certainly wouldn't have sounded out of place on any of Rory's records. While I wouldn't consider Gerry to be a particularly strong lead vocalist, he doesn't try to push things outside of his range, and his voice does have an endearing appeal to it. In the end if you've followed Gerry McAvoy's career at all for the past forty years I don't think you'll find that the material on Can't Win 'Em All strays too far from what he's been known to do. However, what this album really does is offer the listener a bit of unique insight into who Gerry McAvoy is as both a musician and a songwriter, because this is certainly one musical vision that he can truly call his own. Reviewer: Ryan Sparks & © Ryan Sparks - Score: 3.5 stars © Sea of Tranquility http://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=9473

Good album from the great Irish bassist, Gerry McAvoy, (formerly with the late, great Irish blues legend Rory Gallagher), featuring original compositions and a few standards. Gerry recorded these tracks at various locations during the 70's and early 80's during gaps in Rory Gallagher gigs and recording sessions. The tracks have remained unreleased for at least thirty years, but the music here even if it "Can't Win 'Em All", will certainly win over a lot of people who like good blues, rockabilly, R&B, and funk. Gerry McEvoy played with Rory Gallagher for over 20 years and played on most of Rory's albums. Sound quality on "Can't Win 'Em All" is @ 160 Kbps. Audio could be better, but the recordings date from different venues and time periods. Audio quality varies from track to track, but the album is very listenable. Give Rory's great "Top Priority", and "Fresh Evidence" albums a listen. Nine Below Zero's "Both Sides of" album @ 9BZ/BSO N.B: Details on "Can't Win 'Em All" are "sketchy" to say the least. Some catalogues list Track 8 on the album as "I Gotta Move". The album here has Track 8 listed as "Oh' What A Shame". 1 Are there more versions of this album? 2 Does anybody know who Jimmy the Greek is and what he plays on the album? 3 Can anybody list exactly which tracks are composed by Gerry McAvoy? 4 Has anybody any info on Gerry McAvoy's "Bassics" album? Thanks!

TRACKS / COMPOSERS [Where known]

1 Misunderstood - Gerry McAvoy
2 Chose To Sing The Blues - Ray Charles, Jimmy Holiday
3 Born Too Late
4 Troubled Heart
5 Behan
6 Can't Win 'Em All
7 Midnight Man
8 Oh' What A Shame
9 Runaway - Del Shannon, Max Crook
10 What My Mama Told Me - Junior Wells
11 Help Me Through The Day


Gerry McAvoy - Bass, Vocals
Tommy Willis, Davy Flett - Guitar
Ian Kewley - Keyboards
Brendan O'Neill - Drums
Mark Feltham - Harmonica
Jimmy the Greek - Unknown


Gerry McAvoy (born John Gerrard McAvoy, 19 December 1951, Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland) is an Irish blues rock bass guitarist, who is best known for his twenty five year long friendship and professional association performing with Rory Gallagher between 1970 and 1991. A melodic bassist, McAvoy provided what Gallagher has maintained a "musical ESP", in performances and songwriting composition, often playing solos within Gallagher's quartets, and most notably, power trios. After Gallagher's death in 1995, McAvoy moved on, and joined Nine Below Zero, with whom he is still active. McAvoy first began his musical career in the Belfast band Deep Joy. During his tenure with Deep Joy he first played with drummer Brendan O'Neill, who was later to tour with Rory Gallagher and appear on Gallagher's last three albums Jinx, Defender and Fresh Evidence. McAvoy began listening to blues records at an early age. As well as rock and roll, his main influences include Muddy Waters, Paul McCartney and Jet Harris. In his autobiography he cites his brother-in-law (of the same name) as an influence on much of his musical taste. He mostly plays Fender bass guitars, particularly Precisions, owning a 1955 butterscotch blonde Precision and a 1975 cream Precision. However his main stage bass guitar is the black Music Man StingRay. He also owns a black Silvertone bass. For amplification, he uses a Trace Elliot V6 amplifier and a 4 X 10 speaker cabinet, a Peavey T1-15 and a Marshall bass 30W. 2005 saw the publication of his biography Riding Shotgun - 35 years on the road with Rory Gallagher and Nine Below Zero.


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


p/w aoofc

unkerz said...

Thank You,looking forward to hearing this.

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

Thanks,unkerz...I wish audio quality was better. TTU soon

Danneau said...

Saw Gerry a couple of times and never figured him for a first-line bassist, sorry to say. I always thought that Rory Gallagher must have been a loyal sort. That said, the shows they played were a lot of fun and RG really ripped it up. Thanks for this--it's a rarity, I'll wager.

Eric said...

Rory's longtime right hand man.
Always liked his bass playing.

Another good bassist just released his first solo album.
I figure you're well aware of David Hull given the music convos we've had.

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

Howzitgoin'? Eric?! Many people don't rate Gerry very highly. I suppose everybody's ears were listening to Rory's wizadry. I think Gerry has been overlooked. Do you like 9 below Zero? Have you heard Buddy Miles' early '70's "Live" album featuring David Hull. Great stuff! Cheers, Eric. TTU later...P.

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

Hi,Danneau. I dunno! I always liked Gerry's bass playing. Rory didn't pick a dud! Better than Ringo's drumming with the "Fab Four"!! The album IS pretty rare, and audio quality is erratic. Still, I thought it was worth posting. Thanks a million, Danneau. TTU soon...P.

Eric said...

@ Paul,I'm well thanks,hope the same on your end.
Really? I'm surprised anyone would have anything negative to say about Gerry's bass work.
Many don't understand that in the trio context the guitarist usually prefers an "anchor" to lay a solid bottom.
Now in Cream of course Jack & Ginger could stray from the standard grooves because they came from jazz back rounds.

I kind of like Nine Below Zero, but not a huge fan.
My buddy saw the double bill of Nine Below Zero and Alvin Lee in a nice sized club.
Nine Below opened,then Gerry and their drummer backed Alvin.
He said they were really good.

I do in fact have Buddy's live album.
I had him autograph it too :D
I had him sign a bunch of things, a few I posted in the memorabilia section of the blog.

Really wanted to get Mitch to sign some things,but it wasn't meant to be.

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

Hi,Eric. Danneau's comment here is not too enthusiastic. But that's great. I love to hear varied opinions. Rory was loyal, but also very conscientious about the quality of his music, and personally,I feel that he was complemented very well by all the musicians he played with. I understand everything you say about bass anchormen, and the jazz aspect of rock (rock musicians with jazz backgrounds). We musicologists know our stuff!! I'll have to take more of an interest in your blog. I need a p/w don't I? 9 below 0 are ok...fairly straightforward, uncomplicated stuff. A Larry Carlton in there would improve the music. Great hearing about your memorabilia and experiences. I won't see any of your stuff on EBay!! Thanks a million, Eric, my friend. TTU v.soon. I'm not posting as much lately...Serious illness in my family at the moment, but the music WILL CONTINUE, come Hell or High Water...Cheers!!

Eric said...

@ Paul, Sure Paul I agree it's refreshing to read positive/negative views.
Truth be told the types that always say (not here,in general)bore the standard "Oh it's incredible etc" fare bore me.

Then of course when you do voice some objectivity people can resort to nastiness because your opinion wasn't in sync with theirs.
Eh, that's the internet.

Yeah,I'll never sell any of my memorabilia. (well sure hope not to!)
I never bought any sigs either.
I like getting the stuff in person.

I view Gerry's bass work akin to say Tommy Shannon and what was required of them.

Shannon ( and drummer Uncle John Turner) got criticism in Johnny Winter's early band as not being fancy enough with their chops.
But as Johnny explained in his bio. they weren't trying to be Cream,it was a straight up blues rock group.
He wanted that solid foundation.
I think Rory was the same way.
Maybe in "Taste" he was going more for a Cream type thing.

Sorry to hear of the family illness, here's wishing everything works out soon. :D

I'll send you another PW if needed for our blog.

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

Hi,Eric. I know what you mean, My descriptions and opinions of albums definitely give rise to some crazy and unfair comments. I like to give a brief synopsis of the album posted, and give it a HR (Highly Recommended),or a VHR (Very HR) rating. That's my judgement. But in reality these descriptions are like explaining how good a football game was to a blind man. The music has to be heard to be rated. I also try to give an unbiased opinion. I love Steely Dan, but if I don't like some of their stuff, I'll say it. I never was overfond of "Charlie Freak", and "The Great Pagoda of Funn". There's more! But as you say, some people think their fav. artists' music is sacrosanct and above criticism. "It takes all kinds to make a world"! Yes, Rory liked the trad. trio format. Gerry McAvoy is no Chuck Rainey, but his solid, uncomplicated playing suited Rory's song structures and guitar styles. Hey! Maybe I'll see your Rock Museum some day. I'd love to see your collection! Will you e-mail me that pw, Eric, please? And thanks for asking about my family. My mother is slowly on the mend. She had major surgery, and her doc's prognosis is good. SFSG! TTU soon, Eric, my friend...P.

Eric said...

@ Paul, Good convo.
I made a typo in that I meant to type:
"Truth be told those types that always say(not here,in general)the standard "Oh it's incredible" etc fare bore me.

Damn, I forgot to send you your new PW,please excuse.I'll get it to you now.

Agreed about Gerry's playing.
I think it also went beyond his playing why Rory had him on board for so long.
They were very tight.
My buddy I mentioned who saw Alvin Lee / Nine Below Zero (and collects himself) chatted with gerry a little post gig and when he mentioned Rory (my friend is a big fan of his,saw him live several times)he said you could tell it was genuine feeling there.
He had Gerry sign a bunch of stuff too.
I missed that gig.

Well I wish your mom a fast recovery.

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

Thanks,Eric. This lil' ol' album is earning a lot of interest! I have a little problem. Your p/w is not giving me access to your blog. Help!!!!!....Cheers!...P

Eric said...

@ Paul , The one I sent isn't working?
Hmm, I'll resend again,might be on my end = I sent the wrong one. lol

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

No,probs, Eric. Thanks...P.