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CD Review: George Thorogood and the Destroyers' The Dirty Dozen 

The Deal: The master blaster slams out 12 gnarly bloozerock chestnuts.

The Good: George Thorogood never changes. That's not a bad thing. His determination to wallow in the same three-chord groove for more than 30 years has produced some of the grittiest rock ever recorded. Dirty Dozen is a wham-bam, slam-bang wallop upside the head that'll leave your ears ringing for days. His take on the Holmes Brothers' "Run Myself Out of Town" is a bit slicker than the raw gospel sound of the Holmes boys' version, but it still rocks hard enough to rattle your teeth. Thorogood dumps a heavy dose of funk on "Drop Down Mama" and some backwoods hoodoo slide guitar that makes it sound like the bastard child of Sonny Landreth and creator Sleepy John Estes. However Bo Diddley's "Let Me Pass" needs a speeding ticket. Bo's pelvic-thrusting original is much lustier and more satisfying. The six retreads are outstanding. The two back-to-back Wolf tunes, "Howlin' For My Baby" (Haircut) and "Highway 49" (Bad To The Bone) capture Wolf's feral intensity and guttural ululations. "Six Days On the Road" tailgates Dave Dudley's classic cut without running him off the road. Roy Head's "Treat Her Right" doesn't have quite all the James Brown enthusiasm of Head's but is a rousing version nonetheless.

The Bad: Some might get their panties in a wad because the last six tracks have been previously released. Get over it.

The Verdict: Having all these bone-crushing tracks back to back makes for a cool party record or a great ride-along while blasting full throttle down the highway.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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