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| 8 November 2023 | Reply

Label: Foghat Records

Release Date: November 10, 2023

Rating: 90%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Some legends never seem to die and Foghat is one such legend.  Doing what they do best – playing and recording some of the best blues out there today – founder Roger Earl and crew have crafted a disc full of new (and new to me) blues tracks.  Disc opener “She’s a Little Bit of Everything” is a blues rock knockout with all the bells and whistles of classic blues tracks with flashes and nuances of classic rock tossed in for good measure.  The overall vibe of this track sets the pace of what is to come on this disc while giving use sonic glimpses of a little bit of everything they have to offer in 2023, including a co-write from longtime friend the late great Kim Simmonds.  “I Don’t Appreciate You” is a great rock track written collectively by the four band members that has flashes of blues goodness woven into the musical DNA of the song.  The chugging riffs from Bryan Bassett and Scott Holt pair perfectly with Holt’s vocals while the cadence and rhythm are perfectly managed by drummer Roger Earl and bassist Rodney O’Quinn.  “Drivin’ On” is another track the group constructed together with contributions from Simmonds.  The smoky blues guitar on the verse keeps the track anchored while the vocals grow.  As the song progresses, the drums and bass flourish and push this song to the next level as the guitars kick things up a notch and deliver what is sure to be a killer live track in the bands set for years to come.  This one tips its hat to the legacy of Foghat without sounding rehashed.  Howlin’ Wolf’s “How Many More Years” makes an appearance and Holt’s vocals and some smoking guitarwork from Bassett bring a different sound to the song without disrupting the overall groove.  It’s hard to tell sonically this is a composition that is over 70 years old.  “Wish I’d a Been There” leans heavily into the country western side of the blues and gives us a different sound and groove to dig into from the band.  This takes a slight detour from the path cut by most of the other songs here but doesn’t move too far that it doesn’t fit within the structure of the disc; you can still feel the blues in the track.  “Black Days & Blue Nights” provides one of the sexiest grooves on the album and comes from the last original on the disc written by the current lineup.  Be sure to enjoy the ride through the guitar and drum filled bridge — Roger out does himself with his fills and drumming.  This track alone is worth the proverbial price of admission.

“Mean Woman Blues” is a cool blues song penned by Claude DeMetrius that allows Holt’s vocals to push the track overtop of Basset’s guitars while Earl’s drum fills, and percussion additions decorate the bottom end of the track.  Be sure to check out the guitar work on the bridge that pulls in many blues influenced sounds as well as a rock-a-billy feel.  “Let Me Love You Baby,” written by Willie Dixon, gets the Foghat treatment while keeping the spirit and overall feel of the original intact.  The band’s ability to give this song a fresh sound without changing the song speaks volumes of their talent but also their appreciation of their influences and all things blues.  “Song for Life” is another cover, this time from Rodney Crowell, the foursome has given special attention.  The guitars are fun and add to the overall vibe while the drums and vocals make their contributions, but I really enjoyed O’Quinn’s bass runs in the bottom end that added punch throughout the track.  “Time Slips Away” is the final of three tracks to feature writing contributions from Savoy Brown (and LONGTIME Roger Earl friend) Kim Simmonds and the lyrics are almost indicative of the fleeting time we had left with this great musician.  The slide guitar is prominent in this one and adds another dimension to the overall song.  The layered vocal is cool and accentuates the song while the bottom is perfectly controlled by Earl’s drum work.  The guys close out with two covers, the first being B.B. King’s 1951 track “She’s Dynamite.”  The cadence of this song was seemingly crafted for Foghat as it lands in their sonic sweet spot.  The guitar work is simple yet precise while the rhythm section nails the track giving it a bit or rock n roll swagger making this one of my favorite covers of the collection.  Disc closer “Promised Land” takes us out on a blues rock-a-billy tune that puts a perfect bow on the release giving us another listen to the band’s take on a classic.  This version allows the band to individually and collectively shine and deliver the goods one more time.  I cannot wait to see and hear which of these songs the band weaves into their setlist when they hit the road to support the disc and the Foghat legacy.

Tracklisting: She’s a Little Bit of Everything – I Don’t Appreciate You – Mean Woman Blues – Drivin’ On – Let Me Love You Baby – How Many More Years – Song for Life – Wish I’d a Been There – Time Slips Away – Black Days & Blue Nights – She’s Dynamite – Promised Land

Lineup: Roger Earl (drums) – Bryan Bassett (guitars) – Rodney O’Quinn (bass) – Scott Holt (vocals / guitars)







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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