Articles: June 2006 Archives

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Friday, June 02, 2006
Gary Graff
Special to The Plain Dealer

George Thorogood is the first to admit that his music is "not the most complicated stuff you'll ever hear." But there's a bit more breadth to his new album, "The Hard Stuff" (Eagle), and he wants people to notice that.

"I just want to show that the band has more depth than we get credit for," Thorogood says. " One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer' is practically one chord; so is Bad to the Bone.' They just happen to be our most popular songs, but we do a lot more than that."

"The Hard Stuff" has plenty of the gritty blues-rock that is Thorogood's stock-in-trade, but he and his band, the Destroyers, also delve into Cajun country on their arrangement of Fats Domino's "Hello Josephine," take things to the garage on "Give Me Back My Wig" and "Any Town USA" and bring a rural-roots flavor to "Dynaflow Blues" and Jimmy Reed's "Little Rain." They lend a subtle Latin flavor to Bob Dylan's "Drifter's Escape," while "Cool It!" is a swinging instrumental showcase for Thorogood's six-string and Buddy Leach's saxophone.

"It comes down to this: A good tune is a good tune is a good tune," Thorogood says. "I was talking to a vice president of EMI Records 20 years ago; we were struggling with one album to find the material. He told me a story about being at a party one time, and he went up to Quincy Jones -- the world's most famous producer next to George Martin, right? And he said, Quincy, what makes a hit tune?'

"And Quincy Jones said, Three things -- the tune, the tune and the tune. That's what does it.' I always keep that in mind."

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