Foghat’s ‘Slow Ride’ picking up fans 43 years going
When: 8 p.m. from Thursday, Nov. 1, through Saturday, Nov. 3, and at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4
Where: The Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St.
Cost: Thursday tickets range from $43-$65. Friday tickets range from $49-$70. Saturday and Sunday tickets are $53-$75.
For most people who grew up in the 1970s and early 1980s, the band Foghat was synonymous with its 1975 hit “Slow Ride.”
That song, which topped out at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 the year of its release, still gets traction in countless pieces of popular culture and is instrumental in gaining a new generation of fans for the band.
One of its soundtrack appearances, being featured in the 2007 Harmonix video game “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock,” got lead guitarist Bryan Bassett noticed.
“All of sudden I became very popular in my daughter’s grade school because of that,” laughed Bassett. “That song has helped us keep our fans and add to our fan base, and it’s great to have a song like that helps our career.”
Fans will hear “Slow Ride” during Foghat’s four-night run at the Egyptian Theatre from Thursday, Nov. 1, to Sunday, Nov. 4, Bassett promised.
“Of course, we try to play our most popular songs, ‘Slow Ride,’ ‘Fool for the City’ and other radio hits we’ve had through the years, but we also throw in some deeper album cuts and one or two songs from the new release we have at the time, just for our own entertainment and for the fans who come and see us multiple times,” Bassett said.
Foghat’s most recent studio album was “Under the Influence,” released in 2016.
“The title is a little tongue-in-cheek nod to the music we listened to when we were developing as musicians,” explained Bassett, who cited the blues-rock guitar of Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton as his influences. “If you look at the cover you will see wine kegs with the words ‘country’ and ‘blues’ on them.”
Bassett joined the British rock band in 1999, replacing original guitarist Rod Price. Prior to that, Bassett played in the rock and funk band Wild Cherry, known for its 1976 No. 1 hit “Play That Funky Music,” and in the southern rock group Molly Hatchet, known for their signature tune “Flirtin’ with Disaster.”
Those two bands led Bassett to Foghat. When he was in Wild Cherry, he met Foghat founder Dave “Lonesome Dave” Peverett through a mutual friend, guitarist Pat Travers.
At that time there were two touring versions of Foghat – Lonesome Dave’s Foghat and Foghat itself, which was led by original drummer Roger Earl.
“I had moved to Florida and got involved in the indie-blues market and served as an engineer with King Snake Records,” Bassett said. “Dave had relocated from England to Florida and we became friends.”
Before joining Molly Hatchet, Bassett joined Lonesome Dave’s Foghat and had the chance to perform with the band’s original guitarist, Rod Price, when the original Foghat lineup decided to reunite.
After four years, the original Foghat began to disintegrate, and Bassett was called to replace Price.
“There are always challenges for someone like me who officially joins an iconic band like Foghat,” Bassett said. “I had to live up and maintain the quality of the music. And any guitar player that joins an established band and replaces an original member always has something to overcome.”
Bassett, who also plays in the side band Earl and the Agitators with drummer Roger Earl and guitarist Scott Holt, knew the ultimate test was proving himself to Foghat’s fanbase.
“My job was the cover the band’s songbook,” he said. “I knew I would get to express myself in my solos, but I had to pay close attention to what Rod played and try to duplicate it as much as I can, particularly during the signature melody lines.”
The reward of learning those guitar riffs correctly is seeing the audiences’ reactions, Bassett said.
“The greatest thing for me is to play these songs that people recognize and sing with us,” he said. “There isn’t anything like looking out into the crowd and seeing people singing your songs and having fun.”
Foghat, while having 20 albums under its belt, has always been a live band, according to Bassett.,
“To get the feedback from the crowd gets us going and it becomes like a loop,” he said. “The more people get into it, the more we get into it. And that rock ‘n’ roll energy is what keeps us going. It’s what keeps drawing people to it.”
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