Group members in 1973, as pictured on the back cover of their second album; clockwise from top left: "Lonesome" Dave Peverett, Tony Stevens, Roger Earl, Rod Price
|Origin||London, England, United Kingdom|
|Genres||Blues rock, boogie rock, hard rock|
|Labels||Bearsville, Atlantic, Rhino|
Foghat is an English rock band formed in London in 1971. The band is known for the use of electric slide guitar in their music. The band has achieved eight gold records, one platinum and one double platinum record, and despite several line-up changes, continue to record and perform.
The band initially featured Dave Peverett ("Lonesome Dave") on guitar and vocals, Tony Stevens on bass and Roger Earl on drums, after all three musicians left Savoy Brown in 1971. Rod Price, on guitar/slide guitar, joined after he left Black Cat Bones in December 1970. The new line-up was named "Foghat" (a nonsense word from a childhood game played by Peverett and his brother) in January 1971. Their debut album, Foghat (1972), was produced by Dave Edmunds and featured a cover of Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You", which received considerable airplay, especially on FM stations. The album also included a remake of Savoy Brown's bluesy ode to the road "Leavin' Again (Again!)", and "Sarah Lee", a classic blues burner featuring Price's slide guitar solo. The band's second self-titled album was also known as Rock and Roll for its cover photo of a rock and a bread roll, and it went gold. Energized (1974) came out, followed by Rock and Roll Outlaws (1974) and Fool for the City (1975). In 1975, Stevens left the band due to their endless touring schedule and was temporarily replaced by producer Nick Jameson for the recording of Fool for the City. During the next year, Jameson was replaced by Craig MacGregor, and the group released Night Shift (1976), a live album (1977) and Stone Blue (1978), each attaining gold status in record sales. Fool for the City spawned the hit single "Slow Ride" (which reached No. 20 in the United States and No. 14 in Canada), but the greatest sales figures were reached by Foghat Live, which went double platinum. More hits followed: "Drivin' Wheel", "I Just Want to Make Love to You" (from the live album), "Stone Blue" and "Third Time Lucky (First Time I Was a Fool)". Price left the band in November 1980, unhappy with the group's still constant touring and the shift away from the hard boogie sound toward a more new wave-influenced pop direction. By February 1981, after months of auditions, he was replaced by Erik Cartwright.
After 1978, Foghat's record sales began to slip, and their last album for the Bearsville label, Zig-Zag Walk (1983), only briefly touched the charts at No. 192. MacGregor quit in 1982 and Jameson returned to play on In the Mood for Something Rude and Zig Zag Walk before being replaced by Kenny Aaronson (1983) and then Rob Alter (1983-1984). MacGregor returned in 1984.
The band briefly disbanded in 1984 after Peverett left and returned to England. Earl, along with MacGregor and Cartwright, reformed with a new singer/guitarist, Eric (E.J.) Burgeson, and continued touring as Foghat into the early 1990s. MacGregor (1986-1987, 1991), Cartwright's brother Brett Cartwright (1987, 1988-1989) and Jeff Howell (1987-1988, 1989-1991) alternated on bass during that period, while Phil Nudelman (1989-1990) and Billy Davis (1990-1993) took over from Burgeson. Dave Crigger joined on bass in 1991-1993.
Peverett had returned to the United States by 1990 and formed his own version of the band, Lonesome Dave's Foghat, which featured Bryan Bassett (ex-Wild Cherry), Stephen Dees (bass) and Eddie Zyne (drums). Dees and Zyne had played with Hall & Oates, among others. Former Molly Hatchet bassist Riff West replaced Dees in 1991, and Price made several guest appearances.
In 1993, the original line-up reunited at the urging of producer Rick Rubin. Although Rubin ultimately proved to be unavailable to produce their comeback project, the group went ahead and released a studio album titled Return of the Boogie Men (1994) and the Road Cases live album (1998). Their final album of the decade, King Biscuit Flower Hour (taken from the syndicated radio show of the same name), was released in May 1999 and consisted of live recordings from 1974 and 1976.
After being back together for six years, the original line-up once again ended after Price decided to retire from touring for good. Bassett (who had been playing with Molly Hatchet), from Lonesome Dave's Foghat, was brought in on guitar.
The 2000s saw the deaths of founding members Peverett and Price. Peverett died on 7 February 2000 from complications from kidney cancer at age 56.
Charlie Huhn (formerly of Humble Pie and Ted Nugent) was brought in to replace him on lead vocals and guitar. This line-up of Earl, Stevens, Bassett and Huhn recorded the album Family Joules (2003).
The 2010 version of Foghat consisted of Earl, MacGregor, Huhn and Bassett. Former Rainbow and Black Sabbath drummer Bobby Rondinelli had temporarily replaced Earl for a summer 2010 concert, while Earl was recovering from surgery. At another Foghat concert that summer, after Earl had returned to the band, bassist Jeff Howell temporarily replaced an ill MacGregor. Foghat's next album, Last Train Home (released 15 June 2010), was the culmination of a dream shared by Earl and Peverett. It contained some of their favourite blues songs, three originals ("Born for the Road", "Last Train Home" and "495 Boogie"), and two songs by special guest performer and longtime friend Eddie Kirkland, who was 86 years old at the time. He had played with Foghat as a guest in 1977 at Foghat's "Tribute to the Blues" show at New York City's Palladium, and remained a good friend of the band until he was killed in a car accident on 27 February 2011.
Also performing on Last Train Home were Howell (bass), Colin Earl (piano) and Lefty Lefkowitz (harmonica). According to Earl, the album was "a testimony to Lonesome Dave. We always planned to do this. I am so fortunate to have partners in band members Charlie Huhn and Bryan Bassett who share the same passion for the blues. It was not hard work putting this album together; playing this kind of music is joyous. We had a blast!"
On 9 July 2013, the band released the Christmas song "The Word of Rock n' Roll" a (an instrumental version of "Winter Wonderland") as a single on 5 November 2013, followed by the Live in St. Pete DVD in December 2013.
Longtime bassist MacGregor was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in 2015. The cancer was first detected at an earlier stage in 2012, but MacGregor was not informed until 2015. Following this incident, he became a proponent of a bill that would require physicians to communicate test results with patients promptly. Although still officially a member of Foghat, the effects of chemotherapy made him unable to play music and former Pat Travers bassist Rodney O'Quinn filled in for him on tours. MacGregor died on 9 February 2018.
|Year||Album||US Album Chart|
|1973||Rock and Roll||67|
|1974||Rock and Roll Outlaws||40|
|1975||Fool for the City||23|
|1981||Girls to Chat & Boys to Bounce||92|
|1982||In the Mood for Something Rude||162|
|1994||Return of the Boogie Men||-|
|2007||Foghat Live II||-|
|2010||Last Train Home||-|
|2016||Under the Influence||-|
|2017||Live at the Belly Up||-|
|Year||Single||US Singles Chart|
|1972||"I Just Want to Make Love to You"||83|
|1973||"What a Shame"||82|
|1973||"Ride, Ride, Ride"||-|
|1974||"Eight Days on the Road"||-|
|1976||"Fool for the City"||45|
|1977||"I'll Be Standing By"||67|
|1977||"I Just Want to Make Love to You" (live)||33|
|1978||"Sweet Home Chicago"||-|
|1979||"Third Time Lucky (First Time I Was a Fool)"||23|
|1980||"Stranger in My Home Town"||81|
|1981||"Live Now - Pay Later"||102|
|1982||"Slipped, Tripped, Fell in Love"||-|
|1982||"Ain't Livin' Long Like This"||-|
|2003||"I'm a Rock 'n Roller"||-|
|2016||"Upside of Lonely"||-|