After a recording career spanning 40 years (he released his first album with his band The Destroyers in 1977), George Thorogood has finally got round to recording this first solo effort, the aptly titled ‘Party of One’. On this release, Thorogood pays tribute to the blues musicians who have influenced his own style and approach. The album consists of fourteen covers of classic blues, rock and country tracks by such giants as John Lee Hooker (there are 3 of his tracks covered here - 'Boogie Chillen', which you cannot help tapping your toes along to; 'The Hookers'; and the classic 'One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer’); Robert Johnson ('I'm A Steady Rollin' Man’); Willie Dixon ('Wang Dang Doodle'); The Rolling Stones ('No Expectations'); Johnny Cash ('Bad News'); Bob Dylan ('Down The Highway') and Hank Williams ('Pictures From Life's Other Side').
The album is produced by the Grammy award winning Jim Gaines and its style is a very much raw and stripped back one with each track featuring just Thorogood and his guitar (acoustic, slide or Dobro), with no other backing or instrumentation. I feel this gives the release an honesty and authenticity that serves the songs on offer here well. It also shows how talented Thorogood is as this is him 'warts and all', with no lush production or orchestration with which to bury any blemishes.
I would not count myself as a blues aficionado particularly, but there is something about this album that really appeals to me. I think it's probably a combination of the simplicity with which it is presented and the genuine warmth and affection for the songs, and the original artists, that Thorogood manages to convey through his performance. This release, in all probability, won't interest most rock fans but, if you're willing to give it a chance, you may well be as pleasantly surprised and impressed as I am.
PARTY OF ONE
Review by Dave Uphill
4th August 2017
1) I'm a Steady Rollin' Man
2) Soft Spot; 3) Tallahassee Women
4) Wang Dang Doodle
5) Boogie Chillen; 6) No Expectations
7) Bad News; 8) Down the Highway
9) Got to Move
10) Born with the Blues
11) The Sky is Crying
12) The Hookers
13) Pictures from Life's Other Side
14) One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...this is him 'warts and all', with no lush production or orchestration with which to bury any blemishes."