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Thorogood, George: Party Of One

Known for his work with The Destroyers, George Thorogood has, after four decades of music, hits and tours, decided to hold a Party Of One with his first solo album. So named because what you hear is George on his lonesome, it's little surprise that on this first solo venture, Thorogood has looked over his shoulder to his blues heritage. Bringing together a selection of standards from the genre - some well known, some maybe not so much - the mix of acoustic guitar cuts and some with resonators, ensure that the likes of Brownie McGhee's "Born With The Blues", Elmore James' "The Sky Is Crying" and Robert Johnson's "I'm A Steady Rollin' Man" are bent out of shape in an unexpectedly authentic style. Added to the mix are a few less obvious selections for an album steeped in the blues, but with the masterful hand of a seasoned veteran at the wheel, Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle", The Rolling Stones' "No Expectations" and Johnny Cash's "Bad News" are all recrafted into stripped back workouts that fit these surrounds extremely well.

Thorogood does break out the electric guitar on a few occasions, Elmore James' "Got To Move" and John Hammond Jr's "Tallahassee Women" both dripping with blues grit. Occasionally harmonica, dobro and slide are infused into the songs to heighten the authentic effect, but for the most part Party Of One really is a collection of tracks with few overdubs and no pretensions to be anything other than it is; stripped back blues played with power and no little love. With a hugely sympathetic production courtesy of Thorogood's ex-collaborator and Grammy winner Jim Gaines, there's no denying the authentic sound this album aims for and scores a bull's eye with. The difference between this intentionally simple fare and George's work with the Destroyers one of it's many successes.

Closing the fourteen track effort out comes a 1999 live, solo rendition of The Destroyers' John Lee Hooker cover-hit "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer", proving to any doubters that for all that band's loveable rock bluster, they too are bluesmen at heart. The only thing that's left to say? Well, that with Party Of One, George Thorogood is undoubtedly b-b-b-b-b-bad to the blues, but it sure feels good.

Track Listing
1. I'm A Steady Rollin' Man (Robert Johnson)
2. Soft Spot (Gary Nicholson and Allen Shamblin)
3. Tallahassee Women (John Hammond Jr.)
4. Wang Dang Doodle (Willie Dixon)
5. Boogie Chillen (John Lee Hooker)
6. No Expectations (The Rolling Stones)
7. Bad News (Johnny Cash)
8. Down The Highway (Bob Dylan)
9. Got To Move (Elmore James)
10. Born With The Blues (Brownie McGhee)
11. The Sky Is Crying (Elmore James)
12. The Hookers (If You Miss 'ImI got 'Im) (John Lee Hooker)
13. Pictures From Life's Other Side (Hank Williams)
14. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (John Lee Hooker)
15. Dynaflow Blues (Robert Johnson); bonus track available on CD version only

Added: August 18th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Party Of One at Rounder Records
Hits: 1091
Language: english

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