Foghat: Sonic Mojo Review

Sonic Mojo is Foghat’s 17th studio album and is headed up by founding member and drummer Roger Earl. Molly Hatchet veteran Bryan Bassett engineered and co-produced the album and also plays lead slide guitar and contributes backing vocals. Lead vocalist and guitarist Scott Holt and bass player and contributing vocalist Rodney O’Quinn round out the quartet. Eddie LeFebvre helped out by sometimes assisting with percussion. The album contains 12 cuts with six compositions by Foghat or co-authored with them including three with the late Kim Simmonds. The other six are covers by blues and rock legends like Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf and Chuck Berry. The vinyl release excludes B. B. King’s “She’s Dynamite” due to space limitations.

“She’s A Little Bit of Everything” is the first of three songs co-written by the late Kim Simmonds and all four Foghat members. It’s a rocker with a driving combined drum guitar beat interspersed with sonic peals by Bassett and Holt and includes a video. “I Don’t Appreciate You” is a Foghat original composition and includes a second video. It contains a pretty straight forward message as indicated by the title and it’s delivered with tight harmonic vocals singing full speed ahead rock & roll. “Mean Woman Blues” was written by Claude Demetrius and Elvis Presley recorded it and performed it for the soundtrack of Loving You, a 1957 film. Foghat does a more electrified version that Presley combining Holt’s raspy vocals with soaring guitars.

“I got a woman mean as she can be

Sometimes I think she’s almost mean as me”

“Drivin’ On” is the second song on the album that Kim Simmonds and Foghat collaborated on and it’s got a boogie beat with Bassett’s slide guitar work. When the band collaborated with Simmonds he had the lyrics and they channeled the spirit of Slim Harpo to come up with the music. It’s the third song with an accompanying video. Willie Dixon wrote “Let Me Love You Baby” in 1954 but after Buddy Guy recorded it on the Chess label in 1961 it began to attract more attention. Foghat’s version is a rocker with driving drums and screaming vocals punctuated by searing guitar runs. “How Many More Years” was written and recorded in 1951 on the Chess label by Howlin’ Wolf. Echoing guitars proceed to ask the title’s question with metallic precision driven by the throbbing beat of the rhythm section comprised of Earl on drums paralleling O’Quinn’s rhythmic bass guitar. “Song For The Life” was written by Country singer Rodney Crowell in 1976 and has been recorded multiple times by everyone from The Seldom Scene and  Crowell himself to Johnny Cash and Alan Jackson. It’s an upbeat tune that peaks with a guitar solo between lyrics declaring –

“There’s a song for the life I have found

It keeps my feet on the ground”

“Wish I’d Been There” was co-written by Foghat with Colin Earl who is Roger’s brother and was a member of Mungo Jerry. It’s as Country sounding as the subject matter of the lyrics.

“I wish I’d been there when Hank Williams came to town

If I could’ve heard those lonesome blues”

The third song co-written by Kim Simmonds and Foghat is “Time Slips Away.” The song is guitar driven with the ringing notes emanating from Bassett’s slide guitar. “Black Days and Blue Nights” is a rocking anthem written by Foghat that that has a throbbing beat with screaming vocals and a couple of stellar guitar solos.

“That slide has lost it’s mojo

And the strings have turned to rust”

B.B. King wrote and recorded “She’s Dynamite” in 1951 on RPM Records. Foghat’s hard rocking execution of the song throbs with an explosive energy from raspy vocals to precise guitar peals. The final cut on Sonic Mojo is Chuck Berry’s “Promised Land” which was written while he was in prison. The melody is from a traditional American folk song and the journey was mapped out by Berry. Foghat’s version embraces a traditional early rock and roll sound with Earl pounding out a steady rhythm to jitterbug to.

The album is a welcome addition to the Foghat catalogue with excellent songwriting and cover song choices. Roger Earl is the band’s driving force along with Rodney O’Quinn’s bass. Scott Holt’s powerful lead vocals and stellar guitar work is complemented by Bryan Bassett’s amazing slide guitar, production and engineering skills.

The Review 9/10

– She’s A Little Bit of Everything
– Mean Woman Blues
– Drivin’ On
– Black Days and Blue Nights
– She’s Dynamite

The Big Hit

– She’s A Little Bit of Everything

Buy the album: Amazon

Bob Gersztyn

As a teenager in Detroit, Michigan during the early 1960’s Bob Gersztyn saw many Motown and other R&B artists including Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. After his discharge from the army in 1968 he attended school on the GI Bill and spent the next 3 years attending concerts and festivals weekly. It was the seminal period in Detroit rock & roll that Bob witnessed spawning the MC5 and Stooges along with shows featuring everyone from Jimi Hendrix and the “Doors” to B. B. King and John Lee Hooker. In 1971 He moved to Los Angeles, California to finish his schooling where he became an inner city pastor promoting and hosting gospel concerts. He moved to Oregon in 1982 and began photographing and reviewing concerts for music publications. Since that time he has published myriads of photographs, articles, interviews, and contributed to 2 encyclopedias and published 6 books on everything from music to the military. His rock & roll photo art is available for sale on Etsy @: Bob may be contacted personally at

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