fountainhead: September 2007 Archives

read review here

What makes a great rockin' blues song? That is a mystery that I have been trying to understand for years. I could give you examples of great, classic, enduring rock/blues tunes like "One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer", "Who do You Love?" or "Move it on Over" without truly understanding what exactly made those songs so great. One man though, who clearly always understood the question is George Thorogood. His answer in 1982 was Bad to the Bone!

The release of Bad to the Bone, the 25th Anniversary Edition on Capital Records is more than a bit nostalgic for me. I am, in every which way a rockin' blues girl of the 80

included strictly for personal reasons...


Ween signs to Rounder for new album

Writer: Rebecca Bowen
News, Published online on 30 Aug 2007

"I always wanted to be on the same label that put out all those early George Thorogood records and now I am!"

So stated Dean Ween about his band's new allegiance to Rounder Records, which will release its ninth studio album, La Cucaracha, on Oct. 23. Produced by longtime Ween associate Andrew Weiss, this album - Ween insists - is its most ambitious since 1994's under-cleavage celebrating Chocolate and Cheese.

This much can be said, at least: only for Ween would a publicist think it wise to promote a new LP by using descriptors like "redneck scat boogie" and "blistering porn rock" in the same breath.

Ween's website states that the band has already booked an American tour of "pretty much every major city in the U.S.A" Dates to be announced.

Just a musician on the road


view interview here

When George Thorogood comes to the phone, you don't expect him to be singing. Or, at least not singing "Beautiful Girls," the ubiquitous reggae hit from Sean Kingston.

"I can't get that thing out of my head, man. That's a hit," Thorogood exclaims when his musical choice is jokingly questioned.

It's quickly apparent that Thorogood, the tough-playing blues rocker, is a straight shooter with a deadpan sense of humor.

Now 56, he has built a three-decade career on ferocious barroom stompers, usually layered with fluid slide guitar and his growling rumble of a voice.

"The Hard Stuff," Thorogood's most recent album with his legendary band, The Destroyers, retained his tradition of combining original songs with well-chosen covers -- this time Bob Dylan's "Drifter's Escape" and John Lee Hooker's "Huckle Up Baby."

But those who come to see Thorogood live are usually hankering for the one-two punch of "Bad to the Bone" (the album was released earlier this summer in deluxe anniversary form) and "I Drink Alone."

Calling before a show last week in New England, Thorogood talked about that reissued album and why he and The Destroyers aren't the World's Greatest Bar Band after all.

Your Richmond show is just you, but you've done -- and are doing some more -- dates with Bryan Adams. That's an interesting combo. I know you guys have known each other awhile, but how did the tour come about now?

We met in the'80s but reunited for these dates. But let me set you straight on something first: A rock star goes on tour. A musician goes on the road. This band goes on the road.

OK, so what's it like going on the road with Bryan?

He's such a great writer. The tears always come when I hear "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman." What Bryan wants to do is play rock, like Jimi Hendrix.

Bryan's expertise lies in doing very tasteful ballad things. His rock statements are OK, but he outshines himself on his other things.

Are you a road hound or has it gotten tiring over the years, being on the road for months at a time?

I've never been out eight or nine months at a time. I do enjoy it because I balance it. I'm home five or six months, I'll go out for a month, then home three or four weeks.

I enjoy playing new material for new people. The only [artists] who are out there 10 months a year are the people who need the money. I'm a live performer. I make a record so I can perform.

Does it feel like it's been 25 years since "Bad to the Bone"?

Never look back, just keep moving.

What goes through your mind when you're singing that song live for the 10,000th time? Is it more of an obligation, or with it and "I Drink Alone" do you genuinely feed off the audience's excitement?

Both. It is an obligation, because that's what people paid to hear. When you go to see the Stones, don't you expect to hear "Jumpin' Jack Flash"?

I like the song myself, but of course I'm feeding off the audience. If it's a great audience, it's a great show.

How involved were you in the 25th anniversary edition of "Bad to the Bone" that came out this summer?

We rerecorded half the songs on there. The original recordings sounded terrible. We didn't have another guitar player, and the cat recording us didn't know jack about what we were doing. That was far and away not our best record.

They wanted us to rerecord three; I said let's do five. This is the way those songs should have been done. The original ones, they're the outtakes! What you have now is the real deal.

You bill yourself and The Destroyers as the World's Greatest Bar Band, but I think a lot of people might say you're selling yourself short because you're such a good blues player.

No, we're the World's Greatest Live Band.

OK, but all of your logos say Bar Band.

It sells T-shirts.

You've covered everyone from Bob Dylan to Nick Lowe. What are you looking for when it comes time to decide what you're going to cover for an album?

A good song. It's not rocket science. But there's a difference -- Linda Ronstadt and Joe Cocker do covers, I do obscure material. If it weren't for The Beatles, what kind of career would Cocker have?

Once in a while, we'll be stuck on a record and we don't have enough material so I'll write a song, or the record company will press me to do a popular song, like "Hand Jive" or "Johnny B. Goode." It comes back to business.

Richmond is the last date on this leg of the tour. Have any plans for your month off?

Minding my own business! OK, I gotta go. Adios!