CD Reviews

Foghat - 'Under The Influence'

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 03, 2017    
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Is this really Foghat? Yes, it certainly is... just slightly different.

With such an institutional Rock 'n' Blues band as Foghat, one can imagine that the exciting opportunity to release new material may well have been a somewhat daunting proposition also. 'Under The Influence' is the result of such a task and I must say that the current members were up to the challenge!

Right out of the gate, the opening two offerings – the title track and 'Knock It Off' – establish that this is indeed Foghat. Although it's obviously a latter-day incarnation, it's still pure in terms of the essence of the seventies and eighties glory days of this Rocking Blues powerhouse. What with veteran members Roger Earl (drums) and Craig MacCregor (bass) still present, the "Foghat Boogie" remains intact. Long standing vocalist Charlie Huhn (who stepped into the position after the passing of "Lonesome" Dave Peverett) continues to honour the original vocalist with respect and reverence; his vocals are not only Bluesy, they are graceful, emotive and soulful. He is no slouch when it comes to guitar playing either!

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As the current line-up belts out their interpretations, they are mindful of the legacy that has been created. To this end, additional "Blues Masters" were invited to contribute to the recordings including Foghat's original bassist Nick Jameson. Not only that, but given the fact that the original Foghat rhythm section were also members of Savoy Brown (the legendary Blues players from the UK), which featured the equally legendary guitarist Kim Simmonds, it's certainly a pleasure to find him called upon to contribute and to hear his skilled guitar playing on this album as well! The group reveals a new direction with the latest material, but keeps the traditional method of playing when covering some electric standards. They even include an updated 40th Anniversary version of 'Slow Ride' to close out the album, a track that was always a staple of any Foghat performance in years past.

'Under The Influence' is full of Classic Blues/Rock, with the newest songs still steeped in the driving Boogie Blues style of seventies Foghat, yet with just enough of a modern twist. The Foghat twin guitar signature is still there, but now showcased like never before in more than a few of the songs. So, at the end of the day, is this really Foghat? Yes, it certainly is... just slightly different.

Bruce E.J. Atkinson

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