George Thorogood is now over thirty years and sixteen studio albums into his career. As he approaches sixty he is who he is. He is a first rate guitarist with an exceptional slide technique who produces loud, crunching, and frenetic rock/blues fusion music. If you like one of his albums you will probably enjoy them all.
He and his backing group, The Destroyers, are the ultimate party and bar band. They are road warriors and in the early eighties they played concerts in all fifty states in fifty days.
2009 finds him releasing The Dirty Dozen. He breaks no knew ground and in some ways over the years this may have kept him from being a huge break-out star but he does cover the old very well.
My only complaint is that the album contains only six new studio tracks. The second half of the release is made up of previously released material from four of his earlier albums. The promotional propaganda calls them fan favorites but if you have such albums as Haircut, Boogie People, Born To Be Bad, and Bad To The Bone then you own this material. It may be good but it’s been out there awhile.
The new material is covers of old blues songs which fit his comfort zone well. Willie Dixon’s “Tail Dragger” is the first track and its sound is instantly recognizable. His growling vocals are the perfect match for this and other blues songs. Muddy Water’s “Born Lover” is given a party treatment as his guitar playing is straight rock. He copies Bo Diddley’s chugging rhythms on “Let Me Pass.”
The best of the older material is the Howlin’ Wolf blues standard “Howlin’ For My Baby” which features power guitar playing combined with some superior sax sounds. His take on “Six Days On The Road” takes this old country standard is a unique direction.
The Dirty Dozen is the type of straight ahead smash mouth rock ‘n’ roll that has made him famous and should please both his old and new fans. So sit back, grab a beer and relax because George Thorogood is still “Bad To The Bone.”