George Thorogood – Going Back

George Thorogood has been amazing audiences with his frenetic slide work and low down blues since the late seventies. His run of hits and solid albums for EMI Records in the eighties cemented his position in the national consciousness, especially with the modern blues classic ‘Bad to the Bone’. Thorogood’s live shows are legendary and I can attest to this having seen the Destroyers live several times over the years. I have been aware of his modern releases for years, most notably 2003s “Ride Till I Die”, but was totally surprised to come across the 2011 Capitol Records release “2120 South Michigan Avenue”. The album is a tribute to the Chess Records catalog of blues hits, originally recorded at the Michigan Avenue address by legends like Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and Buddy Guy. While Thorogood has been recording superb covers of these blues greats for decades, it is a refreshing and well recorded take on some obscure material and chestnuts that sets this group of songs apart. There are originals and that brings me to the best song on the album: ‘Going Back’. Thorogood penned this song as an homage to the music that influenced his artistry over the years. More than that, it is just a great blues/rock song that delivers his best riff since ‘Bad to the Bone’. ‘Going Back’ literally jumps out of the stereo. The vocal delivery, guitar playing and arranging are some of his best work. I would advise picking up the vinyl 2 disc set (it contains bonus tracks), but don’t miss ‘Going Back’…it is one of the best rock n roll songs of the new millenium!

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