Courtesy: Foghat Records/Select-O-Hits

Foghat’s Latest Live Recording Is Enjoyable Despite One Imperfection

Veteran rock band Foghat is an interesting band.  The band is celebrating half a century of making music this year.  In the course of that expansive run, the band has released approximately 17 albums, no less than 10 compilation records (counting 2018’s, Slow Ride), but only four (yes four) live recordings.  Those recordings come in the form of Foghat Live (1977), Road Cases (1998), Foghat Live II (2007), and Live at the Belly Up (2017).  One would have thought that over the course of 50 years, the band would have released far more live material, but clearly it hasn’t.  Looking at how much time passed between the band’s existing live recordings, audiences had to wait a long time for those recordings – 21 years between Foghat Live and Road Cases; Nine years between Road Cases and Foghat Live II, and another decade between Foghat Live II and Live at the Belly Up.  Now Friday, after only four years (the shortest wait between live recordings), the band will release what is only its fifth live recording in the form of 8 Days on the Road.  The 14-song concert was recorded pre-pandemic on Nov. 17, 2019 at Daryl’s House Club in Pawling, NY.  It was intended as a celebration of the band’s 50th anniversary.  However, the concert’s set list seems to hint otherwise.  This will be discussed a little later.  To its positive, the recording’s production largely proves positive.  It will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance of the noted set list rounds out the recording’s most important elements.  It will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, the recording proves to be a presentation that most Foghat fans will enjoy.

Foghat’s forthcoming live recording, 8 Days on the Road is an interesting new offering from the veteran rock band.  Being only the band’s fifth live recording in its 50 year life, the recording offers a certain amount of appeal beginning with its production.  For the case of this review, the audio production will receive the most attention since only an audio link was provided.  The concert will release on CD/DVD combo pack and vinyl pressings.  The audio production presented in 8 Days on the Road is its own positive.  Daryl’s House Club is not a large venue.  That means that plenty of attention had to be paid to the concert’s audio.  That is because of how easy it would have been for the audio to become muddied.  Thankfully, that did not happen, thanks again to the painstaking efforts to balance all of the audio.  Each performer’s part was expertly balanced with those of his band mates.  The result of the attention to detail is that the concert’s audio deserves its own share of applause.  While the audio production featured in Foghat’s new live recording is deserving of applause, the concert’s set list is slightly questionable.

The set list featured in 8 Days on the Road is questionable in large part because this recording is being marketed widely as a celebration of the band’s 50th anniversary.  As already noted, Foghat has released 17 albums over the course of its half century in existence.  By comparison, this 83-minute concert’s set list pulls from a very limited portion of that expansive catalog.  To be precise, it pulls from seven of the band’s albums.  Now on the surface that might sound like a lot, considering it is almost half of the band’s catalog.  The reality is that those seven albums run from its 1972 self-titled debut album to its 1978 album, Stone Blue.  That is a small percentage of the band’s catalog, considering that another 10 albums followed in the years to come, including its most recent album, 2016’s Under The Influence.  In short, what the band offers audiences in this latest live recording is a span of only six years of the band’s life rather than a career-spanning set list that could have otherwise featured at least one song each from most of its albums.  To that end, the set list is entertaining.  That is not to be mistaken.  Regardless, the limitation of the set list’s content still detracts from the concert’s presentation.  Luckily it is not enough to doom the recording.  The band’s performance of the set list does its share to keep audiences engaged and entertained.

Foghat’s performance of its set list is important to note because of how much enjoyment it brings to the recording even despite the set list’s limitations.  Front man Charlie Huhn presents a certain swagger throughout his performance for instance.  This can be inferred even in the recording’s audio-only presentation through the relaxed nature in the way he sings each song.  He and fellow guitarist Bryan Bassett pair with bassist Rodney O’Quinn to add to the relaxed sense in the performance in each song.  Drummer Roger Earl (the only original member in the band’s current lineup) is equally relaxed in his performance.  At the same time, he misses not even a single beat throughout the course of the concert, as he keeps the band moving in each song.  The band spends little time between songs bantering with the audience.  Rather, it lets its performance of each song do the talking.  The collective keeps the energy flowing throughout the concert, keeping the energy high from start to finish.  The result of all of this is that audiences at home will remain just as engaged and entertained as those who were in attendance at the concert.  When this aspect and the recording’s production quality are considered together, the pairing makes for reason enough for audiences to take in this concert, even despite the shortcoming that is the show’s set list.  All things considered, the recording still proves itself a presentation that any Foghat fan will welcome into his or her music library.

Foghat’s forthcoming fifth live recording, 8 Days on the Road is an intriguing new presentation from the veteran rock band.  Its interest stems in part from its production values.  The concert’s audio production specifically deserves applause.  That is because of how well it balances everything, considering the intimacy of the venue in which the concert was held.  The show’s set list is somewhat problematic, considering that this concert recording is being marketed as part of a celebration of the band reaching the half-century mark in its life.  Even being so problematic, it is not enough to make the recording a failure, but at the same time still cannot be ignored.  The band’s performance of the concert’s set list is another positive, and makes up for the concerns raised by that element.  That is because collectively, the band puts its best foot forward throughout the concert.  The band lets its performance do the talking instead of wasting time between songs, filling space with banter.  The band’s performance ensures audiences at home will remain just as engaged and entertained as those who attended the 2019 concert.  When this aspect is considered with the positive presented through the recording’s production, those two elements make for reason enough for audiences to take in the concert.  They work with the set list to make the recording overall, a presentation that while maybe imperfect, will still find itself welcome in most Foghat fans’ libraries.

More information on Foghat’s new live recording and live dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.foghat.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/foghat

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/foghat

About Philip Sayblack

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