The faculty of RockOn Camp are musicians. They bring with them a wealth of experience, techniques, and influences. In genres ranging from folk to jazz, to classic and modern rock, they share their love of music with the students by sharing the songs. Sometimes a song stands on it’s own and the story behind it may not be known, at the same time, the young musicians are getting the thrill of playing it for the first time. But the rock bands of the past and present do have great stories with lessons about the music business and what it takes. Hope you enjoy this story of a band who will hit the stage in the Berkshires in the coming months, with our first blog installment of Rock Legends.
In 1971, Dave Peverett and Roger Earl of British based blues band Savoy Brown formed a new hard rockin band with guitarist Rod Price and bassist Tony Stevens called Foghat. With blues boogie roots, the new band rocked in the spirit of contemporaries Steppenwolf and Free.
They released their self-titled first album in 1972, producing a hit with their hard hitting version of “I Just Want to Make Love to You” a 1954 blues song written by Willie Dixon and first recorded by Muddy Waters. The single reached #83 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later, Foghat’s version of the song was used in the films Dazed and Confused and Halloween II.
Their song “Slow Ride” became a rock classic which was featured on last year’s American Idol. Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta rocked Slow Ride to close out the show.
It was the Fool for the City album, released in 1975, that debuted Slow Ride. That same year, Stevens was replaced by Nick Jameson, and the lineup became Rod Price, Lonesome Dave, Nick Jameson, Roger Earl. This would be the first in many personnel changes but the core of the band always remained Lonesome Dave and Roger Earl.
Following their 1975 release which went Platinum, there was always pressure to produce another song like Slow Ride. “Slow Ride’ became a trademark song for us, and that was where the music headed,” Peverett said. “The band’s sound got bigger. We were playing larger venues, and that sort of influenced our stuff. We wanted songs that would work in front of big audiences.” Night Shift (1976) followed the success of “Fool For The City,” with the hits “Drivin’ Wheel” and “I’ll Be Standing By” (which reached #67). Check out some of their tunes on Foghat.net
Roger Earl reminisces in a recent American Blues Scene Interview:
“Everything seemed to explode around 1975 when we worked 365 days a year and if we weren’t working we were traveling or in the studio. We didn’t have any time off from when we started. Tony Stevens left the band in 1974 so we had a little time off. But then it was nonstop and for me it hasn’t ever stopped.
It is a lot easier in lots of ways now. We really have fun traveling and all the dates we do are fly ins. They supply all of our equipment except for guitars, my snare, pedals, sticks, and stuff like that. And they provide our amp line, lights, and DW drums to my specifications.
It’s like, I don’t have to be on the road for months on end playing in really small, nasty halls just to fill in the days between the better venues. We play 2 or 3 times a week now during the season. It’s great to come home, go fishing, play golf, play with the grand kids. We can even go out and have dinner somewhere in private. Life is good. That is the main difference to the way we tour now. We have our own equipment if we play locally or when we record and practice. It is really good, fun.” Read more…
In 1998, Lonesome Dave was diagnosed with cancer. Still, he decided to tour in 1999. Rod Price chose not to continue touring, so Bryan Bassett, of “Molly Hatchet” joined the band. They continued until fall of 1999 when Dave returned home, cutting the tour short. He passed away in February of 2000. From 1999 through 2000, Roger Earl, Tony Stevens, Lonesome Dave, and Bryan Bassett were Foghat.
They continued touring and recording after losing Lonesome Dave, he would have wished. Roger Earl, Craig MacGregor, Charlie Huhn, and Bryan Bassett have been the Foghat lineup for the past 11 years.
Just released, Last Train Home is a return to the high-powered blues sound that was at their roots. “Born For The Road” kicks it off with attitude and once again their remakes of classic blues tunes like Elmore James “Shake Your Money Maker” and “Louisiana Blues” by Muddy Waters keep the energy going.
The show coming up April 2 at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, is likely to be a great mix of old and new. Let’s hope the Colonial’s lovely plaster work can stay on the walls! More Info. and Tickets.