Last Train Home is a tribute to the blues masters who inspired Foghat in the first place. It is a project that Roger Earl and Lonesome Dave had discussed doing for years, but unfortunately Peverett had left us by the time it became a reality. The vinyl release date of February 7 marked the 12-year anniversary of Peverett’s death.
As previously mentioned, two of the 12 songs were written by Kirkland. Three others are Foghat originals, written by various incarnations of the group. Six were written by blues legends Otis Rush, Chuck Willis, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Elmore James (two tracks).
The remaining track is “Needle And Spoon,“ written by Chris Youlden. It originally appeared on the 1969 Savoy Brown album Raw Sienna. For those who may be unfamiliar with the historical roots of Foghat, both Roger Earl and Dave Peverett were members of Savoy at the time. In fact, they left that group to form Foghat, so the inclusion of this song has a special significance.
One of the things about the blues I have always enjoyed is the fact that age never seems to be an issue. For one thing, the songs themselves are “old.” But I was thinking more about the artists. Take Muddy Waters for example. For anyone who has seen The Last Waltz (1978), his performance of “Mannish Boy” just about stole the show - and that is saying something considering the level of talent who performed that night. Waters was 63 years old at the time.
As a band, nobody on Last Train Home can be accused of slacking. In fact, they seem to be egging each other on to stronger and stronger performances. This may sound like a back-handed compliment, but it really is not intended that way. With this set, and the way they play - they are like the ultimate roadhouse blues band anyone could ever hope to see. All 12 songs are great, but I particularly enjoyed the medley of “Rollin’ & Tumblin'”/”You Need Love.” The two Elmore James tracks are very strong, as is the Muddy Waters tune “Louisiana Blues.”