By Jim Davis
TROY — Playing familiar songs night after night never gets old for George Thorogood.
It’s worked for more than four decades — why mess with a good thing?
Forty-five years after his blues-soaked rock rendition of “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” attracted worldwide attention, Thorogood and his band The Destroyers are enjoying a colorful rock journey that’s still going strong.
And — after a year of not being able to play live shows due to the pandemic — Thorogood said he’s as amped to get out on stage as fans are to hear him play.
“I still love playing (those hits) … and we’re playing them for a different crowd every night,” Thorogood said by phone during a recent tour-stop in New Jersey. “The energy is still there. The appreciation is there (and) the fans haven’t missed a beat.”
The Delaware native will bring his Good To Be Bad tour to Troy Sept. 12 when he rocks Hobart Arena for a Sunday evening show. Local band Rusted Reserve is slated to open the evening at 8 p.m.
While Thorogood’s early hits ranged from blues/rock covers of songs by Bo Diddley (“Who Do You Love”), John Lee Hooker (“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”) and Hank Williams (“Move It On Over”), the rocker soared even higher when he penned rock classics “Bad to the Bone” (1982) and “I Drink Alone” (1985).
Fans’ thirst to hear those signature songs over the years — and Thorogood’s live delivery of them — hasn’t waned, he said.
“I could write a book about that loyalty,” he said of fan support he’s enjoyed throughout his career. “It astonishes me every night that the fans of this band have hung in there. We haven’t really done anything new over the past few years. We’re locked into the material we do, and it seems like they never get tired of what we do.”
Thorogood even recounted a gig a few years back at which he promised not to test-drive any new songs.
“I went out and told people we’re not going to do any new songs … and they cheered,” he said. “We’re like sitcom reruns … like ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ and ‘The Three Stooges.’ We’re always on. People say ‘I know how this one comes out … but I’m still going to watch.’ It’s rock ’n roll reruns by George Thorogood!”
And while the set list may not change much, the 71-year-old singer/songwriter said he never has trouble getting excited to play live.
“The motivation really starts when we hit the bandstand and hear the reaction of the audience … That’s what gets us going.”
To learn more about George Thorogood or check out his upcoming tour schedule, visit georgethorogood.com
For ticket information, go to hobartarena.com or call 339-2911.