"Lonesome" Dave Peverett - lead vocals, guitar; Roger Earl - drums; Rod Price - lead guitar, slide guitar, vocals; Nick Jameson - bass guitar, vocals; Craig MacGregor - bass guitar, vocals
Before there was ever a band called Foghat, core members Tony "Tone" Stevens (bass), Roger Earl (drums), and "Lonesome" Dave Peverett (guitar/lead vocals) were important early players in guitarist Kim Simmonds' British blues outfit, Savoy Brown. Based in England, Stevens, Earl and Lonesome Dave played on classic Savoy Brown albums such as A Step Further and Raw Sienna, more than aptly backing vocalist Chris Youlden.
When Youlden left in 1970 the band was reduced to a quartet, with Peverett taking over on vocals for the Looking In LP later that year. The three musicians probably would have remained working for Simmonds indefinitely, but the band leader was restless over the direction of Savoy Brown and he resolved to clean house. Stevens, Earl and Lonesome Dave were out of a job, more or less forcing them to form Foghat, which they did, circa 1971. Adding Rod Price on lead guitar and support vocals, and signing to the Bearsville label (home to Todd Rundgren and later Paul Butterfield, among others), the newly-formed Foghat set out to conquer America. Earl, Peverett and Stevens had seen and learned quite a bit through their several years of touring the states as Savoy Brown. They knew there was a ready market of young music fans all across the U.S. who were hungry for blues-infused rock. All they had to do was punch it up a notch or two and take it on the road.
Foghat's success was swift and fairly amazing, as they eclipsed the popularity of Savoy Brown in short order, graduating to arena-size live venues in the space of a few years. The custom jet plane they traveled in to all corners of North America (British rock fans, for the most part, were not about to embrace Foghat as their own), with which they are pictured on the cover of their Rock & Roll Outlaws album, was pithy testament to their quickly-achieved status. Like Savoy Brown, Foghat went through a shift in personnel. By the time of the band's 1975 LP Fool for the City - Foghat's best-remembered studio album, containing their signature tune, "Slow Ride" - producer Nick Jameson was filling in for the departed Tony Stevens. Later, retaining Jameson as both engineer and producer, the band brought in Craig MacGregor to play bass on tour.
The King Biscuit live Foghat installment is taken from two different phases of the band (1974 and '76), and appropriately, these concert tapes include performances of the Lonesome Dave tunes "Fool For The City" and "Slow Ride," as well as Foghat's rowdy cover of "My Babe," an early Sixties repertoire staple of The Righteous Brothers, who originated it.
If "My Babe" sounded charged-up, then the band's update of the 1950s R&B favorite "Honey Hush" was really over the top. First done in 1953 by the great Big Joe Turner, one of the original architects of rock 'n' roll, Foghat were evidently more intensely influenced by Johnny Burnette's rockabilly version from 1956, since Lonesome Dave mentions the Burnette recording before they tear into it here. It was numbers such as this that defined the Foghat concert experience in their heyday.
Add to that the band's homage to Chicago blues men Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters ("I Just Want To Make Love To You") and this King Biscuit presentation takes us back to a less complicated era, to the days when good-time music ruled.