After 15 million albums sold worldwide, more than 8,000 live shows, and an uncompromising catalog of hits that has certified him as one of rock’s most relentless entertainers, the bad-to-the-bone icon has returned home to Rounder Records to release the first solo record of his 40+ year career. Party Of One is Thorogood’s long-awaited tribute to the artists that shaped his musical consciousness. Produced by Grammy-winner Jim Gaines – known for his work with John Lee Hooker, Luther Allison and Stevie Ray Vaughan, as well as several of Thorogood’s biggest discs — the 14 cuts (plus a bonus CD–only track) on Party Of One are a potent platter of traditional blues, classics, and modern blues benchmarks. The album sees Thorogood covering blues masters such as Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, and Elmore James, as well as other legends, including The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, and Bob Dylan. The primarily acoustic instrumentation – including slide, Dobro, and harmonica – is performed entirely by Thorogood live in the studio with minimal overdubs. As Thorogood himself says, "This record is what I was, what I am, and what I always will be.”
Fans of Thorogood and his hard-rocking band, The Destroyers, might be surprised to learn that he began his career as a solo acoustic performer. "I was a street musician for a long time,” Thorogood explains. "And three months can seem like three years when you’re on the streets of San Francisco in the winter. But I finally scored a gig opening for Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, the greatest blues-folk act of all time. The club owner hired me on the spot. Brownie and Sonny wanted me to succeed, so every night I went out there and played better and better.”
Thorogood continues, "During that time, I also played with Hound Dog Taylor and Robert Lockwood Jr., who was taught how to play by Robert Johnson. I was kind of ragged in those days, but these were the kind of people who were in my corner. They all kept saying to me. ‘You’ve got the right idea, kid, but you’ve got to stay with it. You can do this.’ All these years later, that’s what this album means to me.”
Produced by Grammy-winner Jim Gaines – known for his work with John Lee Hooker, Luther Allison and Stevie Ray Vaughan, as well as several of Thorogood’s biggest discs, the 15 cuts on Party Of One are a potent platter of traditional blues, classics and modern blues benchmarks. The primarily acoustic instrumentation – including slide, Dobro, and harmonica – is performed entirely by Thorogood live in the studio with minimal overdubs.
Thorogood brings a distinctive intensity to standards by Willie Dixon ("Wang Dang Doodle”), Brownie McGhee ("Born With The Blues”), Robert Johnson ("I’m A Steady Rollin’ Man”) and the CD-only "Dynaflow Blues”), Elmore James ("Got To Move” and "The Sky Is Crying”) and John Lee Hooker ("Boogie Chillen”, "The Hookers (If You Miss ‘Im… I Got ‘Im)” and a blistering revisit of "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”).
Thorogood also brings his interpretations of tracks by Hank Williams ("Pictures From Life’s Other Side”), Bob Dylan ("Down The Highway”), John Hammond Jr. ("Tallahassee Women”), Johnny Cash ("Bad News”), Texas songwriting legends Gary Nicholson and Allen Shamblin ("Soft Spot”) and The Rolling Stones (Jagger/Richards’ "No Expectations”), Thorogood delivers the full spectrum of modern blues masters.
"Didn’t Bob Dylan start out playing blues?” Thorogood asks. "His first gig, he opened for John Lee Hooker in Greenwich Village. Johnny Cash and Hank Williams all learned by listening to blues. People everywhere can relate to pain more than any other emotion. That’s why the blues will always be timeless.”