Set to blaze the trail with their 17th studio album Sonic Mojo, Foghat is poised to release new music for their fans. Achieving eight gold records along with one platinum and one double platinum record, the band that burned up the airwaves in the 70s with the mega-hits “Slow Ride,” “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” and “Fool for the City” continues the spirit of the Foghat legacy.
The current lineup features founding member Roger Earl on drums, guitarist Bryan Bassett, bassist and vocalist Rodney O’Quinn, and guitarist and lead vocalist Scott Holt. Sonic Mojo is a tasty mix of Texas boogie, country, and Delta blues. With the addition of rock-solid renditions of blues classics such as “Let Me Love You, Baby,” and “How Many More Years,” the album also showcases songs co-written by Savoy Brown founder, the late Kim Simmonds.
From the launch, the posterior-shaking “She’s A Little Bit of Everything,” (co-written with Simmonds) has an unpretentious attitude with breaks fit for a crowd rallying sing-along. A celebration of women, the song sets the pace making it a solid opener. The driving “I Don’t Appreciate You” keeps the album in full throttle. Written by all four members, the song departs from the usual Foghat blues style showing that after fifty years in the music business, the band isn’t afraid to try new things.
“Drivin’ On,” (also co- written by Simmonds) evokes an image filled with asphalt and revving engines à la ZZ Top. Bassett’s slide work is exquisite capturing Rod Price’s slide guitar style, which is an integral part of the Foghat sound. “Time Slips Away,” marks the last contribution by Simmonds on the album. A hauntingly relatable song, it deals with the passage of time. As if Simmonds knew he would be leaving us, the song adds a mellow spot to the album — perhaps an area to shed a tear.
Celebrating the Chess Records catalog with Willie Dixon’s “Let Me Love You Baby,” Howlin Wolf’s “How Many More Years,” and the Chuck Berry classic “Promise Land,” Foghat pays homage to their heroes while putting their stamp on each song. Other highlights include “I Wish I’d Been There,” a nod to Hank Williams written with Roger’s brother Colin Earl, and country singer Rodney Crowell’s “Song For The Life.”
Throughout the record, the band is on fire. Bassett’s guitar work steadily weaves itself throughout each song while Holt’s soulful vocal delivery adds to each lyric. Holding down the rhythm section, Earl and O’Quinn are unstoppable, providing a solid backbeat. Sonic Mojo is a testament to Foghat’s longevity delivering roots-driven rock n roll that satisfies.
~ Jason Young