Sunday, 10 July 2016

Taste (album, 1969)

Taste was a blues/rock power trio from Ireland in the late 1960s. It was lead by singer/songwriter/guitarist Rory Gallagher who later went on to a long solo career doing his own thing. Taste only managed to record two studio albums in its short career, they being Taste (1969) and On The Boards (1970). The band had two distinct incarnations. First 1966-68 where the members joining Rory Gallagher were Eric Kitteringham on bass and Norman Damery on drums. From 1968-71, Richard (aka: Charlie) McCracken (bass) and John Wilson (drums) joined Rory and were with him for the recording of the studio albums.These guys are easily up there with the likes of Led Zep, Rush and Cream but never seem to get the biscuit. It’s a rock n roll tragedy. But a kinda good one too.

In a 1977 interview with ZZ Magazine (issue 23), Gallagher said of the early years “It was very much a case of sleeping in the van, and long hard grinds around the various clubs, but it was pretty enjoyable even so... and then we just broke up — Eric wanted to start his own band and Norman wanted to get off the road for a while, and so we packed it in. In Hamburg we'd play 45 minutes in each hour, and we'd go on stage about four or five times a night — that's weekdays… on Saturdays we had to do seven sets. I was never there for months on end, like the Beatles, but it was good hard labour all the same. I wasn't complaining though, because in the showband it wasn't unusual to do five hours on your feet without a break... you'd get off the stage and your fingers would be mashed to pieces. I enjoyed every minute of Hamburg though. .. . it was fun unlimited really, because you often shared the bill with another band, and we used to have a lot of good times.”

A 1969 ZigZag cover featuring Frank Zappa

Gallagher moved into blues from a Chuck Berry style of playing: “ I began to hear people like Buddy Guy, and some of the older acoustic players... it was just a gradual move; for instance I found out about Willie Dixon from Chuck Berry records, and then discovered he also wrote songs that were recorded by Muddy Waters.. . . and so I got into his music. You know how you get interested in something and try to find out more it was like that really."

Touring with Blind Faith in 1969, taste passed up the option of gigging Woodstock. “I remember the agent coming on board the bus in New York and asking if the package, which was Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends and Taste, would be interested in going up to Woodstock.Clapton was at the top of the bus and he turned around and asked for a show of hands and it got voted down and voted down by quite a bit. The guys in Taste, Rory included, kept their hands down - they felt they weren’t important enough to be given a shout. Eric wanted to do it and I remember whispering to him that, with all due respect to democracy, it was his shout basically but it went to a vote and Woodstock went on without us.” Although Rory and Taste missed out on the chance to play to 400,000 fans at Woodstock, just a year later, the band performed before an estimated 600,000 at the Isle of Wight. The band’s performance was captured on film and has been released on DVD.

Taste (1969) Track listing:
"Blister on the Moon" - 3:26
"Leavin' Blues" (Huddie Ledbetter, Rory Gallagher) - 4:15
"Sugar Mama" (trad. arr. Gallagher)- 7:14
"Hail" - 2:35
"Born on the Wrong Side of Time" - 4:00
"Dual Carriageway Pain" - 3:13
"Same Old Story" - 3:32
"Catfish" (trad. arr. Gallagher) - 8:04
"I'm Moving On" (Hank Snow) - 2:29

All tracks were composed by Rory Gallagher except where stated, and produced by Tony Cotton. It was released on the Polydor label in Europe and Atco in North America.

North Utsire

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