The making of The Essential Acoustic Rory Gallagher part 1

GregJohnson September 28, 2012 1
The making of The Essential Acoustic Rory Gallagher part 1

The Essential Acoustic Rory Gallagher is the latest book in the best-selling series for guitar, The Essential Rory Gallagher, and the first to focus solely on the Irish guitarist’s acoustic work.

To find out more about the title, the Musicroom blog caught up with the book’s editor Adrian Hopkins and arranger Arthur Dick to chat about how The Essential Acoustic Rory Gallagher tab book came together and their efforts to translate the late player’s style and passion to its transcriptions.

In part one of our making of series, we interviewed Adrian Hopkins about the book and how it came to be.

Hi Adrian! How did you approach bringing Rory’s acoustic work to print? How does the new title fit in to the existing series?

A couple of acoustic tracks have been featured in earlier books in the Essential Rory Gallagher series, but this is a dedicated Rory acoustic collection.

When editing the printed music, sometimes the audio could be quite difficult to make out, especially in sections where the guitars are doubled. That’s why it was important to have a session guitarist involved with the book’s production, especially the arranging and analysis of Rory’s music and playing. Arthur’s ears are fantastic; he can really hear all the nuances like the quarter-tone bends and slides.

There were also some other unique elements to consider such as in Bratcha Dubha, there’s a harp, which we’ve obviously had to arrange for guitar.

What do you think of the finished book?

This is the first Rory book I’ve edited and I’m really pleased with how it’s come out. Obviously we’ve followed in the same vein as the previous books, with a photo section and a foreword this time provided by Martin Carthy, which I thought was very beautiful.

What are your thoughts on Rory Gallagher as a guitarist? What were his strengths and qualities?

I’d only heard a few songs before I started working on this new collection, but I would definitely call myself a fan now.  I also happened to see the recent documentary Ghost Blues, and was just blown away. I was struck by the passion of the performances; he made it look so easy!

It may sound a little clichéd, but he had the whole package – song writing, singing, technique – all of it.

Why do you think he continues to be so popular?

People will always seek out good music that’s from the heart; and I think anybody who hears and enjoys his music is aware of that.

Click here to read part two of our making of feature by session guitarist and arranger, Arthur Dick.

The Essential Acoustic Rory Gallagher is available now from Musicroom.com.

Watch Rory Gallagher playing Barley & Graperag (featured in an earlier Essential Rory Gallagher title) and Pistol Slapper Blues live at the Hammersmith Apollo in 1977:

What do you think of Rory Gallagher as a guitarist? How does his acoustic tracks compare to his electric work?