Blueprint is the fourth album by Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher, released as a vinyl record in 1973. With his first band Taste and with his solo band up to this point Gallagher was one of the first guitarists to lead a power trio lineup. With Blueprint Gallagher included a keyboardist for the first time.
For Blueprint Gallagher replaced drummer Wilgar Campbell with Rod de’Ath and decided to add Lou Martin, the keyboardist from de’Ath’s previous band Killing Floor. This four-piece lineup was to be one of Gallagher’s most successful resulting in many of his most popular songs and documented in live film and TV appearances on shows such as Rockpalast and the Old Grey Whistle Test. The band would play together for five years. Blueprint, as with all the studio albums recorded by the Gallagher quartet illustrated Gallagher’s eclectic musical influences.
The album title and artwork were taken from the blueprint of a Stramp “Power Baby” amplifier that had been custom designed for Gallagher in Hamburg. “It was compact enough to fit into the small luggage compartment of a Volkswagen Beetle” recalled Gallagher’s brother and manager Donal. (by wikipedia)
Kicking off with the furious “Walk on Hot Coals” where Rory Gallagher’s stinging guitar and Lou Martin’s insistent piano pounding spar within the context of one of Rory’s classic rockers, the album presents a well rounded picture of Gallagher’s eclectic influences. A jaunty, acoustic run through Big Bill Broonzy’s “Banker’s Blues” (oddly credited to Gallagher), the ragtime “Unmilitary Two-Step” as well as an unusually straightforward country tune “If I Had a Reason” with Rory on lap-steel and Martin doing his best honky-tonk, effectively break up the blues-rock that remains the soul of the album. The album’s centerpiece, a brooding “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” finds the band locked into a swampy groove for over eight minutes as Gallagher abbreviates his own solo providing room for Martin’s aggressive piano. On “Hands Off” the guitarist even picks up saxophone, and he shows off his spooky Muddy Waters’ inspired slide on the train chugging “Race the Breeze,” one of the guitarist’s best tunes.
The final two bonus tracks tacked on for this reissue don’t add much of interest; an early, shuffle version of “Stompin’ Ground” lacks the tension of the song that later showed up as the only studio tracks on the live Irish Tour 1974 album, and Roy Head’s “Treat Her Right” sounds like a soundcheck warm-up, which it probably was. Concise track-by-track liner notes from Rory’s brother Donal provide useful background information, and the remastered sound taken from the original tapes is a revelation, with Gallagher’s guitar parts and especially vocals, clear and precise in the spiffed up mix. (by Hal Horowitz)
Rod De’Ath (drums, percussion)
Rory Gallagher (vocals, guitar, mandolin, saxophone, harmonica)
Lou Martin (keyboards, guitar)
Gerry McAvoy (bass)
01. Walk On Hot Coals (Gallagher) 7:00
02. Daughter Of The Everglades (Gallagher) 6:11
03. Banker’s Blues (Gallagher) 4:44
04. Hands Off (Gallagher) 4:32
05. Race The Breeze (Gallagher) 6:53
06. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (Gallagher) 8:25
07. Unmilitary Two – Step (Gallagher) 2:48
08. If I Had A Reason (Gallagher) 4:27
09. Stompin’ Ground (alternate version) 3:27
10. Treat Her Right (Head) 4.04