The Dirty Dozen - George Thorogood
And what the heck – I myself happen to really like George Thorogood and I am not ashamed to say so. His smile is still deadly – and he plays a mean guitar. So just so you know, I am not a purist-snob in this way.
And yes, okay, I acknowledge that George Thorogood has not always brought a cutting-edge, original take to what he does – it’s blues, it’s often covers, but he HAS done it extremely well and it’s worked for him. The Destroyers were and are a kick-bottom band and George himself needs to be given some significant cred for bringing his own relentless - obviously sincere –premium blend of the blues to a mainstream audience. (Plus, this is most excellent feel-good party music for almost any occasion that features chicken wings and beer!) Let’s not forget either that George remains a sizzling guitar player with a raucous, bad boy promise to his vocals. (His chops, of course, were never really under scrutiny). There is also way more than a suggestion of sex appeal happening here and this tasty guy is pushing sixty ….
But I digress. There’s nothing blues-lite about the latest Thorogood release – The Dirty Dozen. And Dirty or not, it’s as pure George Thorogood and The Destroyers as you can get and was also released on vinyl. (And I like that too, thank you very much). In fact, the cd itself is organized like vinyl – the tracks are displayed as “sides” one and two – featuring new material on one “side” and reliable fan favs on side two. The sides are very, very different in flavour – one is sure to become your favourite and here are mine.
Tail Dragger gets the record off to a flying start and a promise of what is come.
Love what George does with the lyrics on this one – his playful delivery is flawless. I bet this would translate incredibly well before a live audience …
Howlin’ for My Baby is a well known Howlin’ Wolf tune but George makes you reconsider the whole song – and maybe even your lovelife - with his version. It’s a deeply sexual throb with cat-calling saxophone in the background and loads of solo work all served up at super human speed. Opens up with what sounds like “Spirit in the Sky” riffs after a double chaser of Red Bull … Oooo-weee, George.
George Thorogood: Guitar and vocals; Jeff Simon, drums; Bill Blough, bass; Jim Suhler, Guitar; Buddy Leach, saxophone.
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