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CD REVIEW: FOGHAT – Under The Influence

Promo Image

Label: Foghat Records

Release Date: June 24, 2016

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Foghat – a blues rock band that has been around for decades – looked to PledgeMusic when it came time to record and release their latest disc Under The Influence.  Title track “Under The Influence” kicks off this cool collection of bluesy rockers, including a couple cool covers.  The opening riff sets the bar and standard for the rest of the disc, as does the awesome rhythm section contribution of tempo and control over the flow of the track.  The song grabs you and gets the foot tapping from the first note and doesn’t let up.  “Knock It Off” brings an up-tempo blues rhythm and merges it with a rock groove and riff that morphs into a cool rock track that keeps the energy and cadence of the previous track without becoming repetitive.  “She’s Got A Ring In His Nose” brings a cool blues vibe to the disc, thanks to Charlie Huhn’s vocals, Scott Holt’s killer blues riffs and licks, and the steady hands of Roger Earl behind the kit keeping perfect time when the solos take off at the bridge.  “Heard It Through The Grapevine” is a great cover of a classic track, on which the band really puts their own stamp on the sound and feel while paying homage to the magic of the original.  “Hot Mama” is one of my favorite tracks on the disc, as it gives you a cool rock vibe and sound wrapped around a smooth blues groove.  Earl’s drums add the perfect sound and tempo to the song to keep everything moving, while Holt’s guitars swirl with Bryan Bassett’s leads at various times during the track.  “Honey Do List” is a funk-filled track that brings some cool guitar riffs, solos, and licks to the table thanks to Bassett and Holt.  The lead vocals from Hugh are well-matched by guest vocalist Dana Fuchs and merge perfectly with the rhythm section of Earl and MacGregor.

“Ghost” opens with an awesome groove that marries blues, rock, and a little bit of country without leaning to heavily into any one of the three genres, creating a cool hybrid on this track.  The vocals from Huhn are well suited and matched to the vibe of the musical accompaniment.  “Upside Of Lonely” delivers more blues goodness thanks to the combination of Holt and legendary Kim Simmonds on guitar.  The song has a cool vibe woven through it that gives the song and disc a bit different texture than most of the other songs on the collection.  “Made Up My Mind” is an up-tempo track that delivers some killer licks from the duo of Holt and Simmonds while Earl and bassist Craig MacGregor anchor the bottom end of the track.  The vocals are smoky and add depth to the already killer track.  “Heart Gone Cold” is a chugging rocker that adds punch to the slower end of the musical spectrum on this collection.  The vocals from Huhn swirl in the mix with the guitars and a heavy handed bottom end anchored by Rodney O’Quinn’s bass and Tom Hambridge’s additional Percussion.  “All Because Of You” is another upbeat track that is influenced and rooted in blues, but showcases a classic rock vibe, from the solid tempo and riffs to the groove of the vocals.  Arguably the bands biggest hit “Slow Ride” gets a new polish and shine on this tight redux that features not only early bassist Nick Jameson dueting with current bass player MacGregor, but several fans that contributed to the bands Pledge campaign.  This version is a bit extended, but demonstrates how tight the current incarnation of the band is and how well they respect the legacy of the band and song while adding a modern groove underneath the song, thanks to remaining founding member drummer Roger Earl.  If this track and the rest of the tracks are any indication as to the current bands sound, I can only hope there is more music and more live dates to come for all to enjoy!

Tracklisting: Under The Influence – Knock It Off – Ghost – She’s Got A Ring In His Nose – Upside Of Lonely – Heard It Through The Grapevine – Made Up My Mind – Hot Mama – Heart Gone Cold – Honey Do List – All Because Of You – Slow Ride






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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