GOLDMINE PICK: Foghat’s 2010 blues album, ‘Last Train Home’

Foghat
“Last Train Home”
Foghat Records
★★★★ (GOLDMINE PICK)

By Pat Prince

Foghat will always be known as a classic rock band even though its foundation is made up of the pure concrete of vintage blues. A Foghat disc like “Last Train Home,” which is a tribute to the blues, is not at all far-fetched.

The covers of Elmore James songs featured here are really special, “Shake Your Money Maker” and “It Hurts Me Too.” This is a great tip-of-the-hat to the king of slide guitar, who influenced everyone from Brian Jones to the southern rock of the Allman Brothers Band. The best of the bunch, however, is the band’s “Louisiana Blues” take. It’s hard to touch Muddy Waters but it’s nice when you can compliment him this well. And who could disagree that the unique appearance of an 86-year-old Eddie Kirkland is a delight to hear on the last two tracks of “In My Dreams” and “Good Good Day.”

It’s not all blues covers. Blues originals like “Born for the Road,” “Last Train Home” and “495 Boogie” have hints of the blues-influenced rock of the old Foghat.But this is a Foghat I prefer. I outgrew hits like “Fool for the City” but I feel like I can mature nicely with songs like this.

The original songs are just as good as the blues covers. “Last Train Home” may be the best song on the album. With a riff that would make Joe Perry envious, the song rides like a freight train tempting you to jump aboard. Real crossroads-type stuff made contemporary. And what a guitar opener to “Born for the Road.” The guitar introduces the song with slick-like persuasion and gets nasty real fast, and it has an instant stickiness, like the good ‘ol recognizable grit of a barroom floor.

The lead guitar of Bryan Bassett is outstanding on the disc, pure electricity in every note. Listen to the lead solos on the first two songs — “Born for the Road” or “Needle & Spoon” (over a minute of electric guitar bliss) — to become a convert of the new Foghat faithful instantly. The guitar solo in Otis Rush’s “So Many Roads, So Many Trains” has the same melancholic, soul-ripping touch as Jimmy Page on “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” Not quite that brilliant but damn good.

This blues themed album was a dream project of the late Foghat vocalist “Lonesome” Dave Peverett, and Charlie Huhn honors him well. Huhn has the vocal chops to be everything Foghat needs him to be, and he even sounds a bit like a bluesy David Lee Roth (believe it or not) on a song like “Needle & Spoon.”

Aerosmith did a similar blues dedication album in “Honkin’ on Bobo” back in 2004. But Aerosmith sounded less like a blues band. Foghat pull it off with more ease and distinction. You actually believe they could be a blues band, instead of the classic rock band passing off as blues.

6 thoughts on “GOLDMINE PICK: Foghat’s 2010 blues album, ‘Last Train Home’

  1. I call it ultra-loud, heavy boogie, blues metal at it’s finest. These boyz are razor-sharp and with this release, just may be on the verge of striking it big once again. It’s got that feel to it. For the past 10 years, the new lineup has worked hard to not only make a connection with both longtime and new fans alike but to also reconnect to fans of the band of several years ago. With two very good recent releases, Foghat Live II and Live At The Blues Warehouse, the boys proved they’re more than capable of reproducing the classic, arena rocking, Foghat sound that we all loved. With the new release, Last Train Home, returning to the heavy, blues infused, rock sound that reached out and grabbed us as fans several years ago, the “new” Foghat has finally put their stamp on being the real deal and absolutely worthy of carrying on the Foghat torch handed to them by Lonesome Dave before he died. Both Dave and Rod Price would definitely approve of not only this effort but the years of dedication these guys have given of being true to the music that both so dearly loved playing.

    It may be tough getting airplay from classic rock stations because they tend not to play new releases by the bands they play every day, which doesn’t make sense. But this is heavy enough to get the attention of mainstream rock stations. It’s definitely too good to be ignored and light years better than what’s out there today. Several of the bombastic, screamer bands should pay attention and learn something from this band and the great collection of music that’s on this release. The Foghat tradition lives on.

  2. Hi, I am the guitarist/engineer/mixer/mastering engineer for this our latest Foghat release…as you can see I was a bit busy getting this CD out to the world. I am writing this mainly as a thank you to the Mike Carroll response above. Mike you state our purpose and position in the current musical environs perfectly. It is always hard to find your musical footing when someone as important as Lonesome Dave passes on..but we are hard working musician’s that care about our craft and are doing the best we can to live up to and honor the legacy of our dear departed brothers.
    Thank you
    Bryan Bassett

  3. Always been a rock fan and saw Savoy Brown about 1970 in NYC and saw Foghat a few times in the 70s in CT. Always a great show and loved Lonesome Dave. Recently have seen the new Foghat at The Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun and their live show is a must-see. Hats off to you great musicians and keep doing what you do. Lonesome Dave would be proud.

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