Foghat stalwart Roger Earl’s principal claim to fame — beyond, of course, holding this band together through the losses of both Dave Peverett and Rod Price in the 2000s — is that stomping intro to “Slow Ride.”
And Earl — memorably seen fishing down a manhole cover on Foghat’s smash 1975 album Fool for the City — gives it everything he’s got in that brief moment, otherwise conceding the spotlight throughout a lengthy set on this October 2011 night in St. Petersburg, Florida, to a group that includes Peverett’s old buddy Bryan Bassett (Molly Hatchett, Wild Cherry) on guitar, vocalist Charlie Huhn (Humble Pie, Ted Nugent), and bassist Craig Macgregor — who’s been with Foghat off and on since the mid-1970s.
Together, they offer high-energy, if not necessarily essential takes on crowd-pleasing favorites like the opening “Road Fever” from 1973′s Rock and Roll, a slew of souped-up old blues songs including Robert Johnson’s “Terraplane Blues,” Muddy Waters’ “Rollin’ and Rumblin,’” and Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” to go with the title track from Fool for the City and, of course, “Slow Ride,” which went to No. 20 after its release in December 1975. It’s as loud as it is fun, as brash as it is loose.
The truth is, Foghat (part hard blues band, part scroungy jam band) was always better suited to the relaxed atmosphere of the stage — and that hasn’t changed, even if most of its members have. Their biggest-selling album, predictably enough, was the double-platinum Foghat Live. A quick check finds that four of that 1977 project’s tracks remain in this setlist, yet no one can deny the energy and devotion this newer edition puts into the proceedings. They even add several minutes to what was already a tornadic concert-ending take on “Slow Ride” from Foghat Live.
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