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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Foghat

Last Train Home

Review by Gary Hill

This is being billed as the first Foghat blues album. Really, I’m not sure that title fits. I mean, for one thing, Foghat has always been very blues oriented. For another, I’d consider most of the disc to be blues based rock – in keeping with the band’s catalog. So, semantics aside, this is a great disc. I’d recommend it to fans of the band and to those who have never really checked these guys out, but like bluesy hard rock. Two of the tracks feature guest performances by bluesman Eddie Kirkland. All of the tracks are great.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Born for the Road

I love the wailing slide guitar on the opening section here. This is a real hard rocking tune.  The verse is very much in keeping with Foghat. I know they call this album a blues album, but this is really a blues rocker in the tradition of Aerosmith and others. The instrumental section mid-track, though, is more pure blues. There’s also a killer slow blues jam later in the piece. That section somehow makes me think of Captain Beyond a bit.

Needle & Spoon
This one is more purely blues. Still, it’s got some definite rock in the mix. There’s a killer guitar solo segment later that’s got that old school blues jam style to it.
So Many Roads, So Many Trains
This one is very much a rock meets blues excursion. It’s not that different from some of the type of blues performed by Buddy Guy. It’s another strong cut on a disc with no weak material. I can also make out some Robin Trower here and there. 
Last Train Home
Perhaps the most purely blues number to this point on the disc, this one is gritty and raw. It’s also quite strong. It definitely rocks out later and turns towards metallic blues. 
Shake Your Money Maker
Now, this is the blues. It still rocks out, but it’s a pure blues jam. It’s fast paced and fun. There’s a smoking harmonica solo on the number. 
It Hurts Me Too
Here’s another that’s nearly pure blues. It’s a good tune. The guitar solo section again steals the show. 
Feel So Bad
There’s more Foghat classic rock, but this is still quite rooted in the blues. It’s somewhere in between the first couple tracks on the disc and the two that brought us here. This feels like it could have come from Foghat in the 1970’s. 
Louisiana Blues
The mix here is closer to the pure blues. It’s very much in keeping with the bluesy hard rock of the 1970’s. 
495 Boogie
This instrumental is very much in an old school blues jam style. The piano and harmonica both steal the show at different points in this ride. 
Rollin' & Tumblin/You Need Love
This twofer is in keeping with the style of the disc’s opener. It’s a real screamer. 
In My Dreams (featuring Eddie Kirkland)
The first of two tracks to feature bluesman Eddie Kirkland, this is the most full blues treatment we’ve heard here. It’s also a great tune. 
Good Good Day (featuring Eddie Kirkland)
This has less of a pure blues approach and actually reminds me a bit of some of the soulful rock from the 1960’s and 1970’s. It’s another killer track.
 
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