Courtesy American Songwriter

George Thorogood’s most famous song might be a legendarily boastful anthem (“Bad To The Bone”), but the reality is another story. In a recent interview with American Songwriter, he was unfailingly humble and self-effacing, talking far more about the artists he covers on his new solo album Party Of One than about his own talents. But don’t fall for the aw-shucks bit; this is a record that only a charismatic performer and interpreter could pull off, considering the wide range of material included, from humanistic folk to forlorn country to lascivious blues. Here are some of the highlights of the conversation.

What made you decide that now was the right time not just for a solo record, but also for a deep dive into the types of music that inspired you when you were just starting out?

Well, first of all, I’m a realist. At this point, I hadn’t put out any real product in six years and that’s a long time in this business to try and keep your profile up. And I looked back on all the records that we did and said to myself, “What’s something that you haven’t done?” And there was a demand for it from Rounder and it was something that we were talking about for years to do. The timing was just right. Since I haven’t written “Bridge Over Troubled Water” yet, I gotta put out something. This seemed to make sense.