blues

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Blues Therapy featuring Larry Dillard - Molly May - Drink That Wine

Molly May

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Blues Therapy featuring Larry Dillard - Still Give Me the Blues - Drink That Wine

Still Give Me the Blues

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Blues Therapy featuring Larry Dillard, Shadi Frick, Matt Linsin, Jack Hammond, and the Streets Construction Horns - Hurricane - Drink That Wine

Hurricane

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Blues Therapy featuring Larry Dillard, Shadi Frick, Matt Linsin, Jack Hammond, and the Streets Construction Horns - Set Me Free - Drink That Wine

Set Me Free

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Varsity Center Balcony Theater • Carbondale: Ivas John featuring Wil Maring, Robert Bowlin, Brian Curran, and the Gordons

Wil Maring - Bottomlands - The Calling

Bottomlands

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Wil Maring - Flapping My Wings - unreleased

Flapping My Wings

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Wil Maring - Keeper of the Farm - The Calling

Keeper of the Farm

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Wil Maring - Open Road - The Calling

Open Road

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Wil Maring - Rows - The Calling

Rows

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George Thorogood and the Destroyers: Making HerrinFesta Bad... to the Bone

Venues & Businesses
Herrin Fest

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American Lion: Roaring Blues


Who: George Thorogood and the Destroyers / American Lion
What: HerrinFesta Italiana (blues, classic rock)
Where:
When: 2017-05-29
“Rock ‘n’ roll never sleeps,” George Thorogood tells Nightlife in his throaty, rock ‘n’ roll ravaged
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

“Rock ‘n’ roll never sleeps,” George Thorogood tells Nightlife in his throaty, rock ‘n’ roll ravaged voice. “It just passes out.”

He’s not kidding. Flash back to May 1985. I was still a high-school sophomore when my parents took our family and some neighbors to see Thorogood at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Among other eye-openers that came with this early concert experience: An enormous Hell’s Angel, slumped over to our immediate left, remained unconscious through the entire opening set by guitar legend Lonnie Mack. When Thorogood came on, the Angel found motivation to stagger up just high enough so when he promptly collapsed in a heap, he took out the entire row of chairs where we were sitting.

We didn’t need seats anyway. Thorogood and his band, the Destroyers, kept the audience on its feet with the kind of ferocious, kinetic show for which they were already long known.

Live and on the many great recordings he’s released since 1977— covers of John Lee Hooker’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” and Hank Williams’s “Move It on Over,” originals “I Drink Alone,” “Get a Haircut,” and especially “Bad to the Bone”— Thorogood and the Destroyers combine uninhibited Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry guitar riffs with a house-party atmosphere, some Little Richard-style a-wailing sax, and perhaps deepest mastery of the Bo Diddley beat this side of the late, great originator himself.

Southern Illinois gets a chance to experience these Thorogood hallmarks when he and the Destroyers close down HerrinFesta Italiana Monday, May 29 on the Piazza Stage. American Lion will warm up (and audiences should hope this local band brings their tuba player with them for an especially unusual blues experience).

Thorogood gives intensely physical performances— he’s always in motion, a blur of pirouettes and duck walks— and tours constantly. When asked how he stays in good enough shape to maintain that pace, he seems a little taken aback by the question. Then Thorogood injects a little humor in his response.

“I’ve always respected the value of a good night’s sleep. It’s a new formula that just came out,” he jokes. “It’s a real revelation in good health. Get as much rest as you can, a good amount of exercise, and a sensible diet.

“Doesn’t that sound really revolutionary?” he laughs. “That’s what they’ve been telling us since we were ten years old anyway.”

Thorogood’s propensity for playing covers sometimes masks his excellent songwriting. “Miss Luann” and the jubilant “Back to Wentzville,” both from Bad to the Bone, shine especially bright; the latter is perhaps the finest Chuck Berry tribute ever recorded. On 2120 South Michigan Avenue, “Willie Dixon’s Gone” stands tall amid a collection of classic songs, most of which were recorded at the title address of Chess Records in Chicago. Quality control, however, prevents Thorogood from placing a greater emphasis on his own material.

“I only put out the good ones,” Thorogood says. “I’ve written hundreds of them, but some of them aren’t very good. I’m not going to release [an album] and say, ‘These are all originals,’ and half of them are lousy. That’s not the way to do business.”

Though Jim Suhler (guitar) and Buddy Leach (saxophone) are more recent additions to the Destroyers— the former joined by 2003 and the latter by 2006— Jeff Simon (drums) and Bill Blough (bass) have played with Thorogood since his first album. Thorogood answers quickly and succinctly when asked how much of his success he attributes to the unusual level of stability he’s enjoyed from his backing band. “All of it,” he says.

Yet Thorogood is the only musician who plays on his next album, Party of One, due August 4. The collection of classic and recent blues songs returns Thorogood to his pre-Destroyers days, when he served as a local acoustic warmup act for touring blues legends Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Hound Dog Taylor, and Robert Junior Lockwood.

The approach was to record some of the things I had been doing a long time ago before I put the band together,” Thorogood says. “And there were some things that I did that I later adapted to the band....

“I’m glad I’m finally getting around to it,” he adds. “I wish I had done that first in seventy-three and then moved on to a band.”

Meanwhile, an all-electric, full-band performance with the Destroyers awaits at HerrinFesta.

Tickets for Thorogood’s concert range in price from $25 to $45. For detailed festival schedules, entry forms, advance tickets, and more information, log on to <http://www.HerrinFesta.com>. For more about Thorogood, visit <http://www.GeorgeThorogood.com>.

who: George Thorogood and the Destroyers / American Lion

what: HerrinFesta Italiana (blues, classic rock)

where: Piazza Stage

 

when: Monday, May 29

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