The last time I checked, you had to leave a place in order to go back to it. But who am I to quibble with a classic rock radio stalwart who once played pool with Bo Diddley? The album's first track—"Going Back"—sounds like a fair description of what George Thorogood and the Destroyers have been up to for 30 years—cherry-picking the best of the blues and gentrifying the tunes with enough slide-driven hot licks to get radio play.
To be fair, the track suggests we all go "back [to] when the blues was king," specifically when Chess Records was open for business on Chicago's south side at 2120 South Michigan Avenue in the late '50s and early '60s. GT takes us there by covering the classic bluesmen of Chess' heyday: John Lee Hooker, Howling Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon, et al. The aforementioned cherry-picking allows for GT to create an undeniably energetic tribute. Tracks like "Help Me," "Spoonful," and "Bo Diddley" have been bar band staples since forever and the competent Destroyers make George's job of gruffly laughing mid-tune and performing slide guitar wankery sound effortless. This ain't bad; thank Superman it ain't "Bad to the Bone."
George Thorogood plays the Wilma Thursday, August 11, at 8 PM. $32/$31 advance at Rockin Rudy's and ticketfly.com.