Live at the Blues Warehouse
Varese Sarabande Records
For the past thirty-eight years, Foghat has forged its impeccable reputation as the iconic rock and roll band by doing what they do best, touring and playing live for their fans. Signature songs such as “Fool for the City” and “Slow Ride” have been forever sealed within the Hall of Fame of their older fans’ minds, but the inclusion of “Slow Ride” on Guitar Hero III has helped to cultivate an entirely new generation of Fogheads. This insatiable touring mindset brings us to their latest release, Live at the Blues Warehouse, on Varese Sarabande records. In a recent interview and live in-studio performance, Foghat shows why after almost forty years on the road their adoring fans as well as the press are still talking about them. Launching into the aforementioned “Fool for the City,” the record kicks off in fourth gear and blazingly showcases, for those fast enough to keep up, the band’s irreproachable dedication to their signature style and to their craft.
Lead vocalist Charlie Huhn’s contagious frat boy delivery makes every line come off like an invitation to a Delta House orgy full of blues and brews. Huhn’s astonishing guitar work is the perfect complement to lead guitarist Bryan Bassett’s staggering playing, which has been crafted throughout a career where there probably isn’t enough space available on Google Earth to properly view all of his credentials and contributions to popular music. And if that isn’t enough, try adding a rhythm section comprised of Craig MacGregor and Roger Earl, one that should be sealed in a time capsule so that future generations of musicians could have access to a musical boogie blueprint, showing the perfect foundation and how to build on it.
Listeners are treated to blistering live renditions of some of their beloved classics, such as “Home In My Hand,” Drivin’ Wheel,” “My Babe,” “I Just Want To Make Love To You,” “Chateau Laffitte ’59 Boogie,” “Mumbo Jumbo,” and of course their best known hit, “Slow Ride.” This is quite a unique release due to the fact that an in-depth interview accompanies the music as well. This two-track recording was done at EKO Studios in New York for the Mark Klein Live at the Blues Warehouse radio show which is associated with the Long Island Blues Society. Klein interviews each member individually as well as their good friend and incredible harmonica player, “Lefty” Lefkowitz, who plays on a couple of tracks. Klein’s adulation and enthusiasm for the band makes this a very fun and comfortable history lesson with all the background teasing and general mischief and camaraderie that’s sure to ensue when one member is trying to answer a question in earnest and the other members are determined to break him up — it makes for a fun time had by all.
It’s a fabulous audio-biography that covers it all: from Roger Earl’s remembrances of his days in Savoy Brown (with the late, great Lonesome Dave Peverett), to the forming and reforming of Foghat in the early seventies with Craig MacGregor and the band’s meteoric rise to fame and fortune during that decade. This expansive interview also addresses the devastating loss of Lonesome Dave to cancer in 2000, and Roger’s mammoth decision to carry on without him. In a series of events that seem predestined, Earl chronicles how Peverett, days before his passing, instructed Roger to continue on with his longtime friend and collaborator, Bryan Bassett. After a period of mourning, Roger remembered the name of Charlie Huhn, a singer that both he and Dave had seen a few years earlier and who had really impressed them both. The rest, as they say, was destiny.
For longtime fans this release is a great opportunity not only to hear some terrific and inspired new versions of their favorite songs, but to also spend time with the group in a casual and intimate setting. For the younger fans, this CD is a great chance to learn all about the band, and as a jumping-off point to work backwards through Foghat’s legendary catalog.