Foghat Live 2
The more things change, the more they remain the same. In some cases, like the revolving door of today’s manufactured “artists,” that’s a bad thing. In the case of Foghat’s Live 2, the follow up to Foghat’s phenomenally successful 1977 release, Foghat Live, it’s not only a good thing, it’s a great thing. Formed from the remnants of the British group Savoy Brown, Foghat took America by storm in the Seventies, dominating the airwaves with classics such as “Fool For The City,” “Slow Ride,” “I Just Want To Make Love To You,” “Night Shift,” “Drivin’ Wheel” and a handful of other top ten hits. Foghat Live became one of the most successful live albums ever released when it realistically captured the energy and drive of a Foghat show. Now, some 29 years later Foghat Live 2 arrives just as the gas prices have dropped and is poised to be your next great driving record.
From the opening riff of “Night Shift,” the clarity and precision of the musicians, as well as the recording, is evident and the listener can imagine themselves in the front row with their fists a-pumping. This record cannot be played loud enough. Just as with his predecessor, the late Lonesome Dave Peverett, Charlie Huhn is a remarkable lead singer blessed with a strong bluesy voice and ringmaster’s stage presence. Bryan Bassett’s excellent slide guitar work showcases not only his own fantastic abilities but at the same time pays tribute to Rod Price’s original blistering guitar work. Roger Earl’s mammoth drumming and Craig MacGregor’s legendary bass work make up a rhythm section that was the heart of these songs years ago and still remain just as ear-shattering and body-shaking today. Without being clichéd, when you look up “thundering” in the dictionary the pictures you’ll see are of Roger and Craig. Being careful not to duplicate the past live offerings but still being respectful towards the fan’s requests, Foghat rips though some of their classic songs like “Night Shift,” “Take Me To The River,” “Stone Blue,” “Drivin’ Wheel” and “I Just Want To Make Love To You.” The good Lord must have answered a prayer that I sent years ago because also included here are two of my favorite Foghat songs: “Chateau Lafitte ‘59 Boogie” and a hidden gem from their classic Fool For The City album, the powerfully swirling and raucous “Terraplane Blues.”
What makes this record work over other live recordings is the immaculate, yet thoroughly nasty attention paid to the production. This pre-release is currently available as a limited edition on Foghat’s website. The band is currently talking to various record companies, to find the right “vehicle” for promoting this dynamic and commanding record. Once that is finalized the official release will be in 2007, as that marks the 30th anniversary of the first live record. Foghat Live 2 stands on its own as a terrific recording of a travelin’ rock and roll band and is guaranteed to make your accelerator pedal drop lower than the prices at the pump.