Brainred Dispatch 

By:Gabriel Lagarde

Much like the raw, defiant guitar riffs that typifies his art, George Thorogood didn't mince words when he was asked about the sixth annual 2018 Lakes Jam festival at which he's slated to perform.

"The perspective?" barked the 68-year-old boogie rocker—he of the "Bad to the Bone" fame—as he spoke to the Dispatch during a phone interview Tuesday, June 5. "The perspective is they're paying me to go out there and put on a great rock and roll show. That's the perspective."

 

Lakes Jam is set to take place June 21-23, at the Brainerd International Raceway.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers will be joining a lineup of performers exemplifying what Lakes Jam is all about—open air, rural Minnesota in the dog days of summer; a bevy of artists and styles that brings out the best in rock and country and hands it back to the fans.

Thorogood, who's been in the business for more than 40 years, has no illusions about what he's bringing to the table.

"I'm a professional entertainer—there's a lot of thought that goes into it, but it's a lot like any other production, like a television show or Broadway play or anything like that," Thorogood said. "People buy tickets and drive a long way and they don't want to be disappointed."

As such, fans can expect timeless classics like "Bad to the Bone" and Thorogood's other lesser-known favorites like "I Drink Alone" and a cover of "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer"—but there's always an effort, he noted, to shake things up and offer a different kind of performance every time he comes back to a venue.

Translation: Don't break what isn't broken, but there's always fresh material to be shared with his fans.

Blues legend George Thorogood will be honored with the 2018 B.B. King Award during this year’s Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Thorogood is the fifth recipient of the B.B. King Award, created in 2014 for the 35th edition of the Festival, to honor and recognize the exceptional talent of an artist who has left an indelible mark on the blues scene. He succeeds to Charlie Musselwhite (2017), Taj Mahal (2016), James Cotton (2015) and the artist in whose name the trophy was created, the late great B.B. King himself.

Having shot to fame in 1977 with their self-titled and now-classic debut album, George Thorogood and the Destroyers have since released a total of 16 studio albums—including six gold and two platinum discs—and amassed an unmatched catalogue of hits that includes I Drink AloneMove It On Over, and Bad to the Bone. But it was their powerhouse live performances that made the band legendary: from opening for the Rolling Stones to their own record-breaking 50/50 tour, or any of their current 100+ shows per year, George and his longtime band remain among the most relentless and relevant classic blues-rock acts on tour today.

Thorogood will receive the award on July 1st at the Festival at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts, during his Festival performance. The band will kick off their 2018 Rock Party Tour on June 23rd and it will continue across North America through to the fall.

Listen to Richie Sambora & Orianthi, Bad Wolves & the great George Thorogood on this episode of Westwood's One's Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon. Firehouse's Bill Leverty co-hosts.

In our first interview, former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora along with Orianthi discuss their new album Radio Free America, the Hall Of Fame induction (approx 17 minute mark), working with Alice Cooper & Michael Jackson, who actually played bass on the classic Bon Jovi albums (approx. time: 21.30), Richie's approach to songwriting, his first solo album, producer Bob Rock, the 7800º Fahrenheit album, Halo Of Flies and much more.

In our second interview, John Boecklin of the Bad Wolves discusses the band's debut album Disobey, starting over, the importance of Metallica's And Justice For All... album to him, covering The Cranberries, moving on from DevilDriver, the tour with Five Finger Death Punch, his gear endorsements and more.

In our final interview, iconic guitarist George Thorogood talks about his love for Canada, his 50 States in 50 Days Tour back in 1981, the effect of classic rock radio, Party Of One (his latest album), what makes a great song, how he writes songs, Record Store Day, the NY Mets and more.

GTD1 300x205Courtesy: Nick Kuhl - The Lethbridge Herald

"You’re never too old for rock and roll, baby,” said George Thorogood late in his set Saturday night.

This became easily apparent for Thorogood, his band The Destroyers, as well as about 2,000 people who weren’t drinking alone at the Enmax Centre.

The 68-year-old rock legend was in Lethbridge this weekend for the penultimate Canadian date of his Rock Party 2018 tour. He played a blistering 90-minute set packed with all of his top hits such as “Bad To The Bone,” “I Drink Alone,” and “Who Do You Love.”

Thorogood was clearly enjoying himself on stage, getting right into his heavy blues riffs and hip thrusting with opener “Ain’t Coming Home Tonight.”

The Delaware native, along with original drummer Jeff Simon, bassist Billy Blough, guitarist Jim Suhler, and saxophone player Buddy Leach, remained his charismatic self throughout the show, proving why he’s sold 15 million albums worldwide and still has legions of fans after more than 40 years of touring.

He also didn’t play any songs from his 2017 solo acoustic album “Party Of One,” choosing rather to keep the volume and tempo at high levels.

After a mid-set run of “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” “Gear Jammer,” fan singalong “Get A Haircut,” the band broke into its biggest hit and signature song, “Bad To The Bone.”

By this point, Thorogood had the crowd in the palm of his hands. Since he’s a crafty veteran, he didn’t stop there.

After a quick musical interlude, he came back on stage wearing a Dylan Cozens Lethbridge Hurricanes T-shirt – to raucous cheers.

“We’ve never had the pleasure of playing Lethbridge before,” Thorogood said. “We hope it’s the start of a long beautiful relationship. We have always enjoyed the support of our Canadian fans.”

Thorogood then closed the show with “Move It On Over,” and “Born To Be Bad.” It was only a 12-song set, but I’m pretty sure everyone who was there Saturday got their money’s worth – as it was a textbook example of a great rock concert.

Before Thorogood performed, opening act Damon Fowler displayed some talent fronting a three-piece blues rock formation. The singer/guitarist from Florida has been releasing work since 1999, but had never toured much in Canada.

“This is just about as far north as I’ve ever been,” Fowler said midway through his 40-minute set. He went on to explain he believes “Canadians are awesome,” detailing a story of when he got a speeding ticket earlier on this tour, which wrapped Sunday night in Calgary.

“He smiled and told me to have a nice day,” Fowler said. “We have some CDs for sale. We need to sell them to pay for the speeding ticket.”

Solid blues riffs and a good sense of humour clearly had Fowler making some new fans Saturday night in Lethbridge.