Rick Keene Music Scene; Jazz Festival Review – George Thorogood ‘Destroys’ The Jazz Festival ( for a few hours).
What is there to say about George Thorogood that hasn’t been said before ?
Electrifying ! Exciting ! Raw energy ! Just some of the adjectives used to describe Lonesome George and his music ensemble The Destroyers. Okay – so those words were utilized by George himself. So what ?
One of the reasons George (et al) were here as part of The Montreal International Jazz Festival some forty years following their first Montreal appearance is because George is a salesman. A barterer bent on selling The Blues, the legacy of the Blues and his own Bluesy tunes. George is indeed a salesman but he ain’t selling junk.
Legend has it that George heard the Stones and wanted ( needed?) a guitar in hand. History has it that Thorogood utilized that Chuck Berry, Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Brian Jones and Keith Richards tone to create and master the art of selling energy. The forefathers of The Blues required attitude to make it work. Thorogood took that attitude and defined attitude – ness. Attitude – ness with a capital A.
Earlier in the day – George received the B.B. King Award from the co – founder of the Montreal Jazz Festival Andre Menard at a press conference. During the question and answer period, Thorogood was praised for ‘sticking to his guns and remaining true to himself.’ In true George fashion he quickly dispelled that notion. “It’s all I know. I never tried to become someone else or remain true to my music. Three chords is all I know …”
Before an almost sold out Salle Wilfred Pelletier at Place des Arts, Thorogood went on to display those ‘three’chords with conviction.
Rock Party, I Drink Alone, Bad to the Bone, Move It On Over and One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer were all served in a dirty glass. Shaken – not stirred. Tunes that everyone came to hear set the night right. The stage was staged but the passion was not.
George may be getting older and his movements not as quick as the older days but age will do that to any musician. Active ones such as George are more noticeable when the energy is harnessed instead of wasted. A smart transition for Thorgood as longevity will never end the love affair he has with his fans.
Thorgood has reached the ‘right’ to play as a legendary figure. He is allowed to make mistakes (which he doesn’t) and talk more and play less (which he doesn’t).
In all genres of music, once you have outlived the sin, the business side and all the rotten side orders that come with it and still have gas in the tank to bleed on the stage; you do not drink alone with nobody else.
Everybody is funny that way. Now George is funny too …
George Thorogood will be at Trois Rivieres en Blues in August. Click here!