[pullquote quote="I told Bo Diddley, ''I can't play blues...'' and he said, 'Neither can I!'" credit="George Thorogood, on playing with Bo Diddley"]Ask [lastfm]George Thorogood[/lastfm] why he did a new album full of blues standards, and he’ll give you a thousand reasons why he’s not qualified to play the blues. And all of them are nonsense.
Though he considers himself strictly a rock guy, Thorogood has considerable blues credentials and keeps finding himself involved in blues-related projects (including sharing the stage with the legendary [lastfm]Bo Diddley[/lastfm]). His new album 2121 South Michigan Ave plays homage to some of the greats, with covers of tunes by [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Chuck Berry[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Willie Dixon[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Muddy Waters[/lastfm] and more. It’s already hit #2 on the Billboard blues chart, so protest as he might, George Thorogood is now officially a “blues man.”
[pullquote quote="There's one song on there I used to do in high school. We did it at Battle of the Bands. We didn't win..." credit="George Thorogood, on '2120 South Michigan Ave'"]The title of the album is taken from a song by [lastfm]The Rolling Stones[/lastfm], which itself was an homage to the great blues legends who recorded at Chess Records in Chicago in the 1950s and ’60s.
An instrumental, the track’s title refers to the address of the Chess Records studio on Chicago’s south side. Names like [lastfm]Memphis Slim[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Buddy Guy[/lastfm] recorded there and immortalized that address as one of the most important blues locations north of the Mississippi Delta. Thorogood drew heavily from the Chess stable when selecting songs for this project.
Fans of [lastfm]George Thorogood[/lastfm] will be interested to hear some of his tales from the early days of his career, which he shares in this interview.
A veteran of Classic Rock radio, he still holds the format in high regard, commenting “If you have something going on at radio, you’re not dead.” His biggest hits are staples of the format, including “Bad To The Bone,” “Movin’ On Over,” and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.” Interestingly the latter tune, probably his best-known, is itself an adaptation of an old blues song by [lastfm]Amos Millburn[/lastfm].
Here’s the full track listing for 2120 South Michigan Ave:
1. Going Back
2. Hi-Heel Sneakers (Feat. [lastfm]Buddy Guy[/lastfm])
3. Seventh Son
5. Let It Rock
6. Two Trains Running (Still A Fool)
7. Bo Diddley
8. Mama Talk To Your Daughter
9. Help Me
10. My Babe (Feat. [lastfm]Charlie Musselwhite[/lastfm])
11. Willie Dixon’s Gone
12. Chicago Bound
13. 2120 South Michigan Ave (Feat. [lastfm]Charlie Musselwhite[/lastfm])