'Kickback City' Melds Rory Gallagher's Crime Noir-Themed Songs with Ian Rankin Novella

Eagle Rock Entertainment recently released Kickback City, a unique immersive album inspired by the crime noir passion and music of Rory Gallagher.

Featuring a specially compiled album of Gallagher’s best crime novel-influenced music, the package also includes an exclusive new novella by Ian Rankin, fully illustrated by graphic artist Timothy Truman. The album also includes narration by Aidan Quinn.

Inspired by Gallagher’s passion for crime novels, Kickback City is a creative collaboration combining the words of Rankin, the illustrations of Truman and music of Gallagher. The result is a new kind of concept album — a must-have for fans of Gallagher, Rankin and graphic novels.

Throughout his life, Gallagher was a fan of the crime noir genre, and much of his work was inspired by the characters and themes found in the cult detective novels of authors such as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.

Examples of Gallagher’s best crime-inspired material are central to the Kickback City album, providing the soundtrack to Rankin’s newly created novella, The Lie Factory. Gallagher’s lyrics and song titles are cleverly woven in to the story.

International award-winning novelist, Ian Rankin and his hard-boiled, hard-living central protagonist, Detective Inspector John Rebus, are great fans of Rory’s work.

Says Rankin: “I was approached by Rory’s brother Donal Gallagher who asked if I knew that Rory was a big fan of crime fiction? And of course when you look at it, the songs, the lyrics and especially the titles: Kickback City, Continental Op (the title of a Dashiell Hammett book) it all makes sense. Donal mentioned that he was thinking of putting together an album of Rory’s songs that are to do with crime and thriller elements and asked if I wanted to get involved. It was great fun and writing the story for the Rory Gallagher album was just obvious to me. It would be noir, the classic Raymond Chandler or Philip Marlowe private eye.”

Kickback City is completed by visuals created by Truman (DC Comics / First Comics). Also a life-long Gallagher fan, the musician, writer and illustrator has been working in the graphic novel industry since the '80s and is internationally known for his art design for the Grateful Dead. His first series was the title Grimjack, a futuristic private eye who became one of the most popular characters of the time.

“I was turned on to Rory’s work in 1973 when I was a junior in high school in West Virginia. One Friday night, I turned on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and that’s when I first saw Rory. He immediately blew me away. I thought he was the greatest guitarist and performer I’d ever seen and I’ve been a devoted follower of his music ever since,” added Timothy Truman.

Kickback City will be packaged like a hardback book housing three audio discs, including an audio version of the book read by actor Aidan Quinn (Legends Of The Fall, Michael Collins), the 44-page novella The Lie Factory and four “crime scene” postcards, and the crime-inspired Gallagher compilation album. The set also includes a collection of live “crime” tracks (Kickback City Live) recorded at the Cork Opera House, never before available as an audio release.

For more information, visit rorygallagher.com.

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