It seems hard to imagine that George Thorogood and The Destroyers have been around for over 36 years. They were the first hit artists for Rounder Records, who have always been best known for folk, blues, and country, or what is known now as “roots” music.
This year Rounder has rereleased and remastered the two recordings the group made for them, including the eponymous George Thorogood and The Destroyers, first released in 1977. The CD grabs the listener and joyfully rivets the attention now just as it did then.
Roots music was barely heard in popular music in the ’70s, but Thorogood and his band brought so much fun and attitude to their covers of songs by John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters that listeners were won over immediately. With “Madison Blues” and Thorogood’s original “Delaware Slide,” cities that the public had never associated with the blues became hotbeds of blues rock.
From the beginning, The Destroyers lived up to their name, attacking songs with gusto. There has never been anything subtle in their approach. The idea is to get every bit of energy and action out of each song. That’s not to say there isn’t great playing going on. It’s just that technique has never been the point.
This first CD includes the song that has become forever associated with Thorogood and the group, John Lee Hooker’s “One Bourbon. One Scotch, One Beer.” This song proved that Thorogood could, even at that young age, perfectly take on the persona of an older, jaded blues man and make it absolutely believable. It established the sing-along quality of most of the band’s repertoire and let everyone know that this band was in it for fun.
Other highlights of the recording are the aforementioned “Madison Blues” and “Delaware Slide” and Bo Diddley’s “Ride On Josephine.” Thorogood also shows off some great slide guitar on Elmore James’ “Kind Hearted Woman,” and ventures into folk for “John Hardy” and country for “I’ll Change My Style.”
This is a great opportunity to acquire this CD again or for the first time. Old fans and new listeners alike will find it quite a treat.