George Thorogood is the face, and voice, of the Destroyers. However, the band, performing at Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Tuesday, Aug. 7, is very much a group effort. The blues-rock guitarist has been playing with the rhythm section of Jeff Simon (drums) and Billy Blough (bass) since 1973 and 1976 respectively. Jim Suhler (rhythm guitar) has been a Destroyer since 1999 and the new guy, Buddy Leach (saxophone, piano), joined the band in 2003.
>>Vince Gill to be ‘covered with holiness’ at concert to benefit Oregon District church
In 2017, Thorogood did something out of character when he released his first acoustic album, “Party of One” (Rounder Records). He recently discussed the solo disc, his band and the BB King Award, which he received at the recent Montreal International Jazz Festival.
>> Looking for new places to try? Here are 4 restaurants that opened in Dayton last month
You started off as an acoustic artist, but you didn’t release your first proper solo album until “Party of One.” What took so long?
I originally wanted to make a record like this as my first one and then move on to a rock band like Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival but it never worked out that way. Finally, some of the folks at Rounder Records got with me a few years back and said, “You never got around to making that solo record with acoustic guitars.” I said, “Well, I’m not getting any younger. Let’s do it.” It’s a personal record. It’s got music that influenced me when I was just starting out on the guitar. I like the record but it was kind of a side project. People pay us to rock the joint and that’s what we’re doing when we get back to Dayton.”
You’ve kept the same players together for a long time. What does that mean to you?
It’s a rock foundation you can rely on. Guys like Jeff Beck and Elvin Bishop like to change personnel periodically to keep artistic things flowing, but I want a secure, stable foundation that knows the drill. I can rely on those guys to lock into it every night. It’s a musical comfort as a frontman to know that wall of sound will be behind me to support what I’m doing.
>>New digital ‘escape game’ created by local company to showcase area city
What was it like receiving the BB King award?
It was pretty surreal. BB King is like the Babe Ruth of the blues. He was the ambassador of it: the big guy. He’s the one that sophisticated the blues. When the award was presented to me, I scratched my head a little bit and readjusted myself, but I accepted it in the spirit it was given. I really appreciate it.”
WANT TO GO?
Who: George Thorogood and the Destroyers
Where: Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7. Doors open at 7 p.m.
More info: 937-228-2323 or www.ticketmaster.com
Artist info: www.georgethorogood.com
About the Author