George Thorogood & The Destroyers
AKIL THOMPSON, Guitar and Vocals
DWAN HILL, Keys and Vocals
JIM ANTON, Bass and Vocals
JASON ESKRIDGE, Percussion and Vocals
BARRY ALEXANDER, Drums
GEORGE THOROGOOD & THE DESTROYERS
JIM SUHLER, Guitar
BUDDY LEACH, Sax
BILL BLOUGH, Bass
JEFF SIMON, Drums
A professional musician since age 12, Grammy-nominated Jonny Lang rocketed from his hometown of Fargo, ND, to international renown in his mid-teens. While kids his age were still playing high-school gigs, he was touring with the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith and trading licks with B.B. King and Buddy Guy. At age 15 he topped the Billboard New Artist chart with his debut album. Lang’s most recent album, Turn Around, is different from his previous ones. Instead of deep blues and searing rock ’n’ roll (although the guitar is still there, whispering sometimes, occasionally even screaming), now it’s just one voice in a chorus of sounds—the tight band, the passionate singing, and lyrics that conjure beauty as well as pain and speak the truth, all at the same time. “With this album I want to focus, more than ever before, on my purpose in life,” Lang explains. There is plenty of gospel in Turn Around, especially in the choir that riffs through “Thankful” and “It’s Not Over.” But rustic country, Motown funk, jazzy folk and other influences flavor the music, too. In this varied setting, “gospel” has more to do with the spirit that animates these tracks than any category it might inhabit. Produced by Ron Fair, Turn Around is Lang’s fifth album—but it’s also the first of what he feels will become his most moving and enduring work. “Every record I’ve done has felt progressively more and more like the real me,” he sums up. “But more than anything I’ve done, this one comes straight from my heart.” Tonight marks Jonny Lang’s third performance at Ravinia Festival, where he first appeared in 2005.
GEORGE THOROGOOD AND THE DESTROYERS
For George Thorogood and the Destroyers, touring is essential. “It’s always been about the live show for me,” says George. “From day one I set out to be a live performer more than anything. All of my favorite artists—Little Richard, J. Geils, Mitch Ryder, Chuck Berry—they were all great live. And the Destroyers, we strive for that. We’re still working at it, and we’re still working.” The brash, iconic and outspoken Thorogood spent the majority of the past year on the road and is doing the same in 2009. The signature magic of George Thorogood and the Destroyers kicks into high gear on stage. The band released its self-titled debut album in 1977 and quickly established itself as a radio favorite and as a touring machine. Described as “the world’s greatest bar band,” the group has had tremendous success with Thorogood’s original compositions like “You Talk Too Much,” “I Drink Alone” and, of course, “Bad to the Bone.” He’s also had hits with covers of iconic blues-rock songs like “Who Do You Love” (Bo Diddley), “Move It On Over” (Hank Williams) and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” (John Lee Hooker). Released in 2004, Greatest Hits: 30 Years of Rock was Billboard’s number-one blues album in both 2004 and 2005, and the band’s 16th studio album—2006’s The Hard Stuff—hit number-two on Billboard’s Blues chart. Tonight marks George Thorogood & the Destroyers’ second performance at Ravinia Festival, where they debuted in 2004.