Living Blues - pp.54-57
"With a characteristic sardonic tongue and open-key slide guitar fills, George Thorogood pays homage to the most famous address in the blues -- the legendary Chess studios of Chicago's 2120 South Michigan Avenue."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.1033 stars out of 5
-- "This may be George Thorogood's 15th album of blues-rock, but his passion for the genre clearly remains undiminished."
Uncut (magazine) - p.1004 stars out of 5
-- "[I]t finds Thorogood's turbocharged blues as rousing as ever..."
Personnel: George Thorogood (vocals, guitar, slide guitar); Jim Suhler, Buddy Guy (guitar); Charlie Musselwhite (harmonica); Buddy Leach (saxophone); Kevin McKendree (piano, Hammond b-3 organ); Tom Hambridge (drums, percussion, background vocals); Jeff Simon (drums); Rio Thorogood, Marla Thorogood (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Michael St. Leon; Tom Hambridge.
Liner Note Author: Chris Morris.
Recording information: RaxTrax Recording, Chicago, IL; Route 44 Studio, Sebastopol, CA; The House Of Blues Studios, Encino, CA.
Photographers: Ebet Roberts; Brian To; Billy Blough.
George Thorogood & the Destroyers have never made their debt to Chess Records a secret, so an album-length tribute to the home of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley is a logical move for the rough and tumble blues-rockers. This is so firmly within Thorogood's wheelhouse that 2120 South Michigan Ave -- its name saluting the Chicago address of Chess Studios and the Rolling Stones instrumental saluting the hallowed location, the Stones' song turning a young Thorogood on to the wonders of Chicago blues -- feels like it could have been recorded at any stage in his career. Only the odd instance of Auto-Tune -- and it is truly odd on an otherwise rocking version of "High Heel Sneakers" graced by a cameo by Buddy Guy -- marks this album as a 2011 release, and that's a good thing: the Destroyers are always best when they stick to the basics which these ten Chess covers, two newly written tributes, and Stones' cover are. Thorogood's specialty has never been subtlety, so barreling through these tunes at a breakneck pace is par for the course, but what makes the record work is the group's palpable love for the material, and producer Tom Hambridge's willingness to leave some grit in the grooves, an inclination that largely mitigates his temptation to occasionally dabble with an Auto-Tune that is entirely unnecessary for music this simple and raw. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine