Growing up, I learned a lot about music from my dad. He started me off very early on a path of rock, metal, and blues. I can’t say he was always right but there were many areas where he was dead on. I remember hearing George Thorogood as a kid and loving the energy and confidence of the sound. My dad basically “put the kibosh” on my interest by saying the Destroyers were basically, “a bar band.” Now, years later, my love of the blues has grown immensely and I have come across this album. I can’t say this tape proves him wrong but I can say it proves that he wasn’t exactly right.
half a boy Half a Man highlights the strengths and weaknesses of The Destroyers. George and the boys provide a high energy blues rock album. The band is extremely tight and I think that their perfecting timing and execution of simple blues rock overshadows the lack of any balls to the wall virtuoso level performances (I don’t believe that The Destroyers are concerned with that element of playing but it is worth mentioning). This album is tastefully arranged and is a well crafted work of balance and reserved indulgence. GT&TD masterfully transition between Rock and Roll, Blues, and Country.
The songs are mostly straight forward and deal with typical rock and roll imagery: drinking, dancing, traveling, sinning, winning, heartache, and fun. Songs like “Hellbound Train” and “As Long As I Have You” explore darker elements of creative songwriting/story-telling, where as songs like “Be Bop Grandma” and “B.I.G.T.I.M.E.” boldly display the bands corny pop leaning lyrical tendencies. Some of these songs are clearly only present for entertainment value but there a handful of tunes here that have the potential to touch you on some human level, like “Not Tonight”. GT&TD also supply their own brand of booze fueled rock and roll with “99 Days in Jail” and “I Don’t Trust Nobody”
My Dad was on to something as far as recognizing the limitations of George Thorogood’s playing and overall artistic vision. This isn’t Led Zeppelin we’re talking about here. I can understand why he would label GT&TD a bar band and not a world conquering band of truly artist souls. However, it would be wrong to fail to appreciate the beauty and effectiveness of simplicity. The Destroyers always convey their message, when George Thorogood says something, you always get it, and there’s something to be said for that.
It’s not Sgt. Pepper’s but it’s a good album!