Since 1976, they’ve sold over 15 million albums, built a classic catalog of hits, and played more than 8,000 ferocious live shows. They broke records with their 50 Dates/50 States Tour, delivered landmark performances at Live Aid and on SNL, and became mainstays of radio, MTV and stages worldwide for more than two generations. Through it all, they’ve remained one of the most consistent – and consistently passionate – progenitors of blues-based rock in pop culture history.
For the past 45 years, it’s been very good to be George Thorogood & The Destroyers. And in 2021, their Good To Be Bad Tour: 45 Years Of Rock will prove why like never before.
“If you’re content, you may as well be dead.” George laughs with his familiar rasp. “I think everyone has thoughts about retiring, but the phone keeps ringing. You want me and The Destroyers to come to your town, set up our gear, wear some cool threads and play ‘Who Do You Love?’ End of conversation. Let’s rock!”
STEVE EARLE & The DUKES
Steve Earle is one of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters of his generation, a worthy heir to Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, his two supreme musical mentors. Over the course of twenty studio albums, Earle has distinguished himself as a master storyteller, and his songs have been recorded by a vast array of artists, including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, the Pretenders, and more. Earle’s 1986 debut album, Guitar Town, is now regarded as a classic of the Americana genre, and subsequent releases like The Revolution Starts...Now (2004), Washington Square Serenade (2007), and TOWNES (2009) all received Grammy Awards. Restlessly
creative across artistic disciplines, Earle has published both a novel and a collection of short stories; produced albums for other artists; and acted in films, TV shows and on stage. He currently hosts a radio show for Sirius XM. In 2019, Earle appeared in the off-Broadway play Samara, for which he also wrote a score that The New York Times described as “exquisitely subliminal.” Each year, Earle organizes a benefit concert for the Keswell School, which his son John Henry attends and which provides educational programs for children and young adults with autism.
“We’re a Mexican American band, and no word describes America like immigrant. Most of us are children of immigrants, so it’s perhaps natural that the songs we create celebrate America in this way.” So says Louie Perez, the “poet laureate” and primary wordsmith of Los Lobos, when describing the songs on the band’s new album, Gates of Gold.
Perez, once called their powerhouse mix of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music “the soundtrack of the barrio.” Three decades, two more Grammys, the global success of “La Bamba” and thousands of rollicking performances across the globe later, Los Lobos is surviving quite well -- and still jamming with the same raw intensity as they had when they began in that garage in 1973. They don’t get in the studio as often as they did a few decades ago – Tin Can Trust came four years after their previous album of all originals, The Town and the City – but when they do, the results are every bit as culturally rich, musically rocking and lyrically provocative as they were back in the day.
Whenever you drop that proverbial quarter into the virtual jukebox of songs that always manage to reach down and touch your soul the exact moment you cue them up, you inevitably find certain artists have a deeper resonance than others when it comes to providing the soundtrack that mirrors the highs and lows of your own life. The Marshall Tucker Band is one such group that continues to have a profound level of impact on successive generations of listeners who’ve been searchin’ for a rainbow and found it perfectly represented by this tried-and-true Southern institution for over five decades. “I’ve been in tune with how music can make you feel, right from when I was first in the crib,” observes lead vocalist and bandleader Doug Gray, who’s been fronting the MTB since the very beginning. “I was born with that. And I realized it early on, back when I was a little kid and my mom and dad encouraged me to get up there and sing whatever song came on the jukebox. It got to the point where people were listening to me more than what was on the jukebox! There’s a certain frequency I found I could share, whether I was in front of five people or 20,000 people. And once that frequency is there, everybody will listen.”
The Marshall Tucker Band came together as a young, hungry, and quite driven six-piece outfit in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1972, having duly baptized themselves with the name of a blind piano tuner after they found it inscribed on a key to their original rehearsal space — and they’ve been in tune with tearing it up on live stages both big and small all across the globe ever since. Plus, the band’s mighty music catalog, consisting of more than 20 studio albums and a score of live releases, has racked up multi-platinum album sales many times over in its wake. A typically rich MTB setlist is bubbling over with a healthy dose of indelible hits like the heartfelt singalong “Heard It in a Love Song,” the insistent pleading of “Can’t You See” (the signature tune of MTB’s late co-founding lead guitarist and then-principal songwriter Toy Caldwell), the testifying travelogue warning of “Fire on the Mountain,” the wanderlust gallop of “Long Hard Ride,” and the unquenchable yearning pitch of “Ramblin’,” to name but a few. (See, we can hear you singing along to all of them in your head right now as you read this.)