Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Powerful rock 'n' roll is most often a reflection of a state of mind, rather than a set of circumstances. No matter how well the parts may be played, it means little if the feeling isn't there. George Thorogood is a quintessential rock 'n' roller.
To be that, of course, he has to have an osmatic comprehension of the blues idiom. That bridge is crossed every time Thorogood lets loose with some thunder-roll slide guitar or blistering staccato statement accented by body English boldly stating that "tonight's the night."
Thorogood, who is building a strong local following through frequent performances (Wednesday night he was at the Childe Harold), is in many ways rough and almost ready. His voice is unrefined, his playing frequently sparse, elemental.
But he has the feel, he's descended from primitive blues stylists like Detroit's John Lee Hooker and Chicago's Elmore James, both seminal figures among rock 'n' roll roots. Thorogood follows that line, and one also hears a bit of early Carl Perkins and Chuck Berry in the non-blues-dominated numbers. Ultimately, though, the test of the idiom is in its effect on an audience. The packed house, including many area musicans, was treated to fundamental raucous roll.