Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Foghat - Foghat

In 1972 the AM radio was filling with singer/ songwriters, a bit of cool soul and lots of bad pop. When you would actually hear a rock'n'roll band filled with electric guitars, it was a true thrill. That's what Foghat provided when their head-bobbin', blues-rock take on Muddy Waters' "I Just Wanna Make Love To You" would come on the air. True, this was more of an FM radio staple, but gawdam if it still isn't a fun romp through this number - yeah, it's not nearly as sexy as Muddy's or as frantic as the Stones, but this is 70's rock'n'roll. Two guitars, bass'n'drums, runnin' through blues-based rock'n'roll - in this case with cool, twin lead guitars and Lonesome Dave's excellent vocals! This put the group on the map and was the impetus for their later superstardom.

Coming from Savoy Brown (where Dave, drummer Roger and bassist Tony apprenticed before grabbing Rod Price and forming this combo), the boys were steeped in the British blues scene, where a number of cats were finding success updating the blues with loud'n'heavy, hard rock arrangements, as they pulled off on the opening hit song. With some poundin' piano and melodic guitar licks, "Trouble Trouble", an alcoholic's plea,  comes off as a modernized 50's rocker, "Leavin' Again" has intertwining riffs and a somewhat slower, cool, almost funky, groove, "Fool's Hall of Fame" chugs along with a hip, pop-blues feel, and "Sarah Lee" is a bit more of a mid-tempo, tuneful, guitar-pickin' number, but still with a nice vibe.

They continue with almost the same feel, although a bit more drivin', in "Highway Killing Me" (dig Price's slide guitar work here), and then move into high gear for a rip-roarin', piano pumpin', riff-tastic take on "Maybelline" (spelled wrong, funnily enough, which I never noticed before). Another ode to drink'n'poverty, "A Hole to Hide In", is chock-full of hard-edged guitars, minor chords and blues riffs (almost like later Humble Pie), followed by the closer, a tremelo'd, electric-piano-led ballad, "Gotta Get to Know You", which has such a catchy quality that you're drawn into it, like being immersed in a rock'n'roll pool.

I know that these cats get a lot of flack due to the simplistic nature of the songs and the lyrics, but I'll be damned if this isn't just good time rock'n'roll that I come back to on a regular basis.