Released May 1st, 1990
The band came together at the beginning of 1990 and started work on the album that would become ‘Fresh Evidence’. With Gerry McAvoy on bass and Brendan O’Neil on drums, Rory continued with the same winning line-up that had features on ‘Jinx’ and ‘Defender’. However as the title infers Rory was keen to record a diverse, fresh sounding album that would encompass rock ‘n’ roll, blues, jazz & Cajun. To achieve this he used a variety of guest musicians and Lou Martin, on piano, returning to the band after an absence of more than 10 years. This gave him the additional instrumentation he wanted.
The choice of instruments on ‘Fresh Evidence’ throws up a few suprises: Dulcimer, electric sitar and mandola. Rory even using a vibrato arm (he had removed the arm from his Strat very early on in his career). Many people perceived him as a more traditional musician, however he always showed a more flexible approach to the instruments he used, playing saxophone whilst in ‘Taste’ and constantly using a wide variation of guitar tuning to create his own innovative sound. Famously, his slide playing was recognised by Lowell George as being equal to Ry Cooder and Duane Allman.
In the British blues boom of the early 70’s, while many guitarists were getting into fast and heavy (and maybe over-long) guitar solos, Rory was capable of so much more. He would often play acoustic guitar and mandolin, blow a mean harmonica or deliver a vocal of underestimated simplicity. He always strived to express a pure and emotive sound.
I can remember Rory talking to me about the excellence of John Lennon and Brian Joes’ guitar playing. Rory valued the true spirit of the music rather than just technical ability. Throughout ‘Fresh Evidence’ it is easy to recognise he shared their qualities. This superb album shows that Rory was still capable of producing music that could surprise and inspire the listener after 30 years of performing.