Blues-rock guitarist legend George Thorogood has released his first ever solo album via Rounder.
Party of One, features 14 cuts of traditional blues, classics and modern blues songs, from John Lee Hooker’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” to Hank Williams’ “Pictures from Life’s Other Side” and the Rolling Stones’ “No Expectations.” The CD version of the album will also include a Robert Johnson bonus track, “Dynaflow Blues.”
Thorogood who draws his inspiration from Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor, and Chuck Berry, has never earned much respect from blues purists, but he became a popular favorite in the early ’80;s through repeated exposure on FM radio and the arena rock circuit. Thorogood’s music was always loud, simple, and direct — his riffs and licks were taken straight out of ’50’s Chicago blues and rock & roll — but his formulaic approach helped him gain a rather large audience in the ’80’s, when his albums regularly went gold.
Originally, Thorogood was a minor-league baseball player but decided to become a musician in 1970 after seeing John Paul Hammond in concert. Three years later, he assembled the Destroyers in his home state of Delaware; in addition to Thorogood, the band featured bassist Michael Lenn, second guitarist Ron Smith, and drummer Jeff Simon. Shortly after the Destroyers were formed, he moved them to Boston, where they became regulars on the blues club circuit. In 1974, they cut a batch of demos that were later released in 1979 as the Better Than the Rest album.
Party of One was produced by Grammy-winner Jim Gaines (John Lee Hooker, Luther Allison and Stevie Ray Vaughan), who reunites with Thorogood on the debut solo project, having produced several of Thorogood’s biggest albums to date (Ride ‘Til I Die, The Hard Stuff, The Dirty Dozen). The album’s primarily acoustic instrumentation—including slide, Dobro, and harmonica—is performed entirely by Thorogood.
Said Thorogood in a press release, “I think this is a project that’s long overdue. Maybe it should have been the very first album I ever made. After playing with the band for all these years, I had to kind of reverse my hands and my head in order to do this thing justice. But I think Destroyers fans—and hardcore blues fans, too—are ready for the unexpected. My whole career, I’ve always said, ‘Just give them what you are, and they’re either going to dig it or not.’ This record is what I was, what I am, and what I always will be.”
“I’m A Steady Rollin’ Man” (Robert Johnson)
“Soft Spot” (Gary Nicholson and Allen Shamblin)
“Tallahassee Women” (John Hammond Jr.)
“Wang Dang Doodle” (Willie Dixon)
“Boogie Chillen” (John Lee Hooker)
“No Expectations” (The Rolling Stones)
“Bad News” (Johnny Cash)
“Down The Highway” (Bob Dylan)
“Got To Move” (Elmore James)
“Born With The Blues” (Brownie McGhee)
“The Sky Is Crying” (Elmore James)
“The Hookers (If You Miss ‘Im…I got ‘Im”) (John Lee Hooker)
“Pictures From Life’s Other Side” (Hank Williams)
“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” (John Lee Hooker)*
“Dynaflow Blues” (Robert Johnson); bonus track available on CD version only
*Recorded in 1999 on “Rockline” and dedicated to the memory of host Bob Coburn.
Party of One marks Thorogood’s return to Rounder Records, the roots label with which he first signed in 1976 to record the three albums that launched his recording career.