May 2006 Archives
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Anyone in search of straight-ahead rock'n'roll and blues will find a robust plateful of blood-red meat and potatoes here. With a dynamic range running from frenetic to ferocious, George Thorogood does not disappoint. A dead-on mix, rightfully treating "restraint" as a dirty word, turns the title cut into arguably the most have-no-mercy rocker Thorogood has ever attacked in his 12-album, 30-year career. Even the slow blues "Little Rain" delivers a sax ride to stir the dead, and "Any Town USA" is pile-driving Thorogood at his best. Any nit-pickers complaining that he has been largely remaking the same record for three decades might as well have asked Muddy Waters why his three-chord blues only had three chords. Thankfully, Thorogood shows not the slightest inclination to reinvent the wheel, happy to keep rolling down the hard-rocking road of which he is a master.
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Rampaging guitarist and vocalist George Thorogood and the Destroyers return on The Hard Stuff (Eagle) with another set of driving tunes performed with maximum energy and intensity. He can get fancy and intricate when he wishes, but Thorogood
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May 28, 2006 -- John Lee Hooker's musical legacy - the blues boogie - remains in good hands with veteran rocker George Thorogood. On "The Hard Stuff," the shaggy growler is still bad to the bone as he leads his longtime band through a generous 15-song collection that mixes originals with choice covers.
Thorogood maintains his unassuming, underrated persona as the leader of the world's best bar band. That's not to say you'd find the man cranking music at Moe's Tavern, but his old-school guitar-bass-drums-sax attack lends itself to alcohol-fueled partying.
The album's best barroom ripper is "Anytown USA," where GT and the boys hail blue-collar rock fans who live in factory and mill towns across America. The tune has bounce without exposing a soft pop underbelly.
Of the album's covers, the Hooker classic "Huckle Up Baby" is a great down 'n' dirty boogie with Thorogood turning in some masterful slide guitar. The band hits its stride, combining barrelhouse roll and raw rock, on the Fats Domino standard "Hello Josephine."
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By Maurice Chittenden of The Sunday Times
George Thorogood, 54, got his timing just right when he emerged from Wilmington, Delaware, in the 1970s with a snarl on his face and a punky edge to his music. A relentless tourer, his energetic stage presence and blues-rock guitar sound brought him a big following in America in the 1980s. His greatest hits package, 30 Years of Rock, has spent 90 weeks on the Billboard blues chart, 50 of them at No 1. He and his band, the Destroyers, tour Europe next month
Thorogood's music is considered by many to be the best to drive to but he dislikes cars (Paul Harris/Pacificcoastnews.com)
When John Peel, the nation
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By Neil McKay
19 May 2006
George Thorogood reckons the blues is something he has a kind of a knack for. He tells Neil McKay his music is just like hamburgers and beer - it will never go out of style
George Thorogood, who makes his debut appearance in Belfast next weekend, views himself as just an ordinary "working class stiff or businessman", doing what he can to make a living.
"Over the years I have had to adapt to certain things. I'm just like any other working class stiff or businessman who has to adapt to what goes on around him," he says.
"If the price of gas goes up then my price has to go up, or if they're not doing concerts in sheds or basketball arenas and going into bars instead, I have to adapt to that.
"I have to adapt to where the business is going. Any successful businessman has to do that, and I'm not unlike the restaurant owner or car dealer or anybody else that has something to sell.
"But there haven't been changes so bad that they've forced me to quit or change the style of music that I play."
Thorogood's style of music is amped up blues and rock'n'roll, but even here there is little room for sentiment.
"What appealed to me about the blues was that it was a very basic form of playing music," he said. "I looked at it as a career move to go into blues, it was something I had a kind of a knack for.
"I'm fond of saying this - The Beatles did what they did, the rest of us play blues. What The Beatles did was so extraordinary and so unique that there was no way in the world that I was ever going to get close to what they did, or what Dylan did, so I said figure out something you can do and go with it.
"You will always get a gig if you are a blues band - OK, maybe it won't be Top Of The Pops or the Ed Sullivan Show, but you'll still work, so that's what I do.
"It's just like if I opened up a restaurant I'd sell hamburgers and cold beer - they'll never go out of style. That's what appealed to me."
Nor does he buy into the widely accepted view that the blues is sad music.
"Most of the blues I listen to is very happy, very up and swinging. The bluesiest guy I ever heard was Hank Williams - I mean his stuff is sad, really sad. He is the blues writer of all time.
"And one of the saddest songs I ever heard, and one of the most beautiful songs, is Yesterday - I mean the guy is sad isn't he?
"A song is going to do one of two things - make you sad or happy - and blues is kind of a broad statement. I listen to certain people and I say, that sounds like rock'n'roll to me, and they go 'no that's the blues cos the guy is black and he's old and he's from Mississippi'. To me that doesn't have anything to do with it.
"Things that Paul Simon has written are very sad and very bluesy. Bridge Over Troubled Water, that's an incredibly great blues song... or Hank Williams' I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, what is more bluesy than that?"
Thorogood has an affinity with great songs, and his live set is bursting with old classics given his unique treatment.
"It's funny - people come up to me and say, 'When are you going to put out a new CD?' but then all they want to hear at the shows is the old stuff, so why bother?
"We keep the old tunes in the show as much as possible because they are the songs that we have built our legacy on.
"I always say that I didn't make those songs famous, they made me famous - Move It On Over would have been a hit no matter who did it, same with One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, same with Bad To The Bone.
"If Dean Martin had done I Drink Alone, or Tom Waits had done Bourbon, Scotch and Beer, it would have been a hit - they're good songs you know. Get A Haircut could have been done by The Ramones or Neil Young or Aerosmith, those sort of anti-establishment type bands, and we're fortunate to have six or seven of those in the show, that we can rotate the new stuff around.
"I mean, can you imagine Tom Jones going on stage and not doing It's Not Unusual? It's not going to happen, right?
"I've turned a lot of people on to songs they might never have heard. I took a lot of obscure songs over the years, like Bottom Of The Sea, I'll Change My Style, Ride On Josephine, I'm Wanted ... I mean, I probably would never have heard Little Red Rooster if it wasn't for the Rolling Stones ... so that's what I did.
"I don't look at myself as an ambassador for the blues, I'm an ambassador for songs. I take obscure material and bring it to the public consciousness."
George Thorogood, with support from The Deadstring Brothers, plays Belfast's Spring & Airbrake (switched from Ulster Hall) on Sunday, May 28. Tickets from usual Ticketmaster outlets.
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By Tracy Rasmussen
Reading Eagle Correspondent
Whatever you do, don't ask George Thorogood to characterize his music.
Have been without internet connection for a week...bad timing! There have been several stories out there in internet land about our guys' new release. Will get them posted up here as soon as I can...