Foghat • Enjoying the Slow Ride

23 Jul
He’s the embodiment of the omnipresent motto: Life is good.
Since 1971, Roger Earl has been the drummer for Foghat. He’s been behind the kit on hits like “Fool for the City,” “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and one of rock’s eternal anthems, “Slow Ride.”
Foghat — Earl, Charlie Huhn (vocals and guitar), Bryan Bassett (lead guitar) and Craig MacGregor (bass) — will headline the 10th annual Boats, Bands & BBQ at the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo at 8 p.m. June 5. More than 30 years after its biggest hits were released, the band is still as busy as it wants to be.
“We kinda do well just about everywhere we go these days,” Earl said last week in a telephone interview. “Everybody loves what they’re doing. We all look forward to going on the road.
“I’m one of the fortunate ones. Other people go to work. I go to play.”
Earl was the drummer for British blues band Savoy Brown, which included singer “Lonesome Dave” Peverett. In 1971, the duo left Savoy Brown, added two more members (Rod Price and Tony Stevens) and formed Foghat. Through the 1970s and early 1980s, the band sold millions of records.
The band went through several incarnations in the ’80s and early ’90s before the original lineup reunited in 1993. The members spent much of the next six years recording and touring. Peverett died of cancer early in 2000; Price, who retired in 1999, had a fatal heart attack in 2005. Stevens left the group in 2004.
The current lineup has been together since 2005 and will release a new blues album, “Last Train Home,” June 15. It was recorded at the band’s house-slash-studio in Florida.
“We’re about 45 minutes from Orlando in the middle of nowhere,” said Earl. “We don’t bother anybody except the creatures.”
Earl divides his time between Florida and New York, where he’s lived since the early 1970s.
“This is where my heart is,” he said of the United States. “I want to become a citizen so I can argue about politics with my youngest daughter at the dinner table.”
Now that he’s past the whirlwind of the early Foghat days, Earl is simply grateful for the career and life he’s been able to create. His wife, Linda, is the band’s manager. He has three daughters and several grandchildren, most of whom were on hand to celebrate his 64th birthday two weeks ago.
“It was a beautiful day, a joyous occasion,” he said. “The only thing that possibly rivaled it was my 60th.”
Thanks to the enduring popularity of “Slow Ride” — it’s featured on “Guitar Hero,” is a staple of classic rock radio and still shows up in movies and TV shows — Earl now plays for fans who weren’t even alive when Foghat was at its peak.
“If feels great, especially when we do festivals and there’s a huge contingent of young people and they’re singing all the words,” he said. “It’s truly gratifying that music we’ve made still means something.”
During the Pueblo show Foghat might play a song or two from the new album, but Earl knows what fans want to hear and makes sure they don’t leave disappointed.
“There are at least six or seven songs we’ll have to play forever — and I don’t have a problem with that,” he said.
Admission to Boats, Bands & BBQ is $3. Kids 12 and younger get in free. Gates open at 5 p.m. June 4 and 10 a.m. June 5. For information, visit http://www.puebloharp.com.

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