Grinding Stone is hard to place musically in Gary Moore's early, pretty varied career, but fits somewhere in between Colosseum II and Skid Row. In any case, as well as being his solo debut, it is one of Gary Moore's most overlooked albums. A description of the music could be something as seemingly self contradictory as experimental boogie rock, but on the album Moore explores a number of styles, from the title track's instrumental boogie rock to soulful vocals in "Sail Across the Mountain" and 17 minutes of guitar and keyboard excursions in the surprisingly funky "Spirit." In some ways Grinding Stone gives a taste of what would be heard from Colosseum II a few years later, but if the word fusion can be used here, it is not in the generic sense. The album is far from well held together though, and the quality of the songs vary wildly. It may not be an album for the casual metal fan, it is not representative for Moore and it is not his best album. But never again would Moore try such an eclectic mix, and the highly personal and mostly instrumental blues heard on Grinding Stone (for at the core, deep down, it is blues) is not only quite unique, but also far more interesting than the hit list blues he would play in the '90s, and more creative than most of the British blues rock heard in 1973.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Lars Lovén