Album review: Foghat, Return of the Boogie Men (1995)

 

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 30, 1995

By Steve Newton

Foghat were the gods of boogie when I was a teen—at least they were when Status Quo wasn’t hogging the old turntable. Over time, the band’s obtuse, party-hearty approach came to represent all that was lacking in the decade’s rock scene, but that unflattering reassessment never fazed me. In recent years I’ve proudly replenished my ’70s collection with CD versions of fave “Hogfat” discs like Energized and Rock and Roll Outlaws.

There’s always room for a little mindless boogie at my place.

I never expected, though, that 20 years after “Slow Ride” the original Foghat lineup would re-form and release an homage to its ’70s heyday, but that’s just what it’s done with the aptly titled Return of the Boogie Men. The reunion—which reportedly came at the urging of cutting-edge producer and rock impresario Rick Rubin—shows the band to be at its best on fresh rockers by long-missed vocalist Lonesome Dave Peverett and lead guitarist Rod Price, but the exceptional tunes in that regard (“Jump That Train”, “Nothin’ But Trouble”) are few and far between.

Price still wields a sharp slide, but not even his razor-sharp licks can justify the CD’s abundance of throwaway originals and worn-out blues standards. Damn, I wanted to like this one, too!

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