Q&A with Skins Willy
Few mainstream rock bands can claim the longevity of Foghat. Over 40 years and the train is still on the track. More important, the band has never wavered from its essential blues and boogie-based foundation. Sure there were the experimental years in the 80s, but at the heart of it all Lonesome Dave Peverett and drummer Roger Earl remained bluesmen.
From the band’s first album, self-titled and produced by Dave Edmunds, blues were always the basis for Foghat’s signature sound. A cover of Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want To Make Love To You” became the band’s debut hit, and while not penned by Foghat, became a hallmark of the band’s ability to make such classics their own.
In 2000, rock and roll lost a true gentleman when Lonesome Dave passed away. Five years later, the man who created Foghat’s trademark slide guitar sound, Rod “Bottle” Price also passed. These days, founding drummer Roger Earl continues to wave the flag on behalf of his fallen brethren. Longtime bassist Craig MacGregor completes the band’s essential rhythm section. Price was replaced in the 80s by Idaho based guitarist Erik Cartwright, when he took an initial hiatus from the band. Then bookending Price’s return and subsequent passing, former Wild Cherry and Molly Hatchet guitarist Brian Bassett took the torch for good.
While it’s hard to imagine anyone replacing Lonesome Dave, because it’s simply not possible, former Ted Nugent frontman Charlie Huhn took on the challenge of wearing those shoes. Huhn brings his own magic to the band, and the current line-up has been together a dozen years now.
Kicking off the new decade, Foghat released the new live album NOT Live At The BBC and the band’s first studio album in nine years, Last Train Home. The latter is the much talked about full on blues album Earl and Peverett had always talked of making. Sadly Peverett could only be there in spirit, but it’s clear after one listen his soul is imprinted on the record.
This weekend, Earl sat down to talk the past, present and future of the band. He shares numerous tidbits about the Savoy Brown days, some of the band’s classic albums, including the fact that the band’s iconic live album was meant to be a two record set, as well as the band’s famous 1977 blues jam in New York with some of the genre’s true masters. It will be another year before tha band returns to the studio for a new album, but a DVD is under construction at this time, and Earl swears they have no plans to retire. Get comfortable, and enjoy a good conversation with one of rock’s iconic legends.