Decades Live

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While the album's title is deceiving -- all but five of the 18 tracks on this double disc originate from the '90s, and 11 of those are from the same show -- this is an adequate, well-recorded document of both the original and re-formed versions of Foghat running through their established repertoire. It also works as a tribute to Lonesome Dave Peverett, the group's lead singer and primary songwriter, who died of cancer in February 2000, about a year after the most recent recording here. Since the band hit their peak in 1977 with their first live recording (a 1977 version of "I Ain't Got You" is this disc's oldest, tightest, and most succinct performance and might even be an outtake from that album), this can't help but be a retread. Still, the group retains most of their original lineup and their sweat-stained boogie-blues remains energetic enough, even though at over two hours, this is a bit much for all but the most dedicated. Extended versions of "Slow Ride" (at nine and a half minutes), "Chateau Laffite '59 Boogie" (nearly 15 minutes), and "I Just Want to Make Love to You" (which clocks in at a whopping 16-plus minutes) will tax the endurance of anyone who wasn't at these shows, and even some who were. Rod Price is a talented slide guitarist, but when he lays into one of his lengthy, gritty solos, a little goes a long way and most of them overstay their welcome. Regardless, the band plays with a hunger and passion that many younger musicians can't muster. Additionally, the recording quality is remarkably clean yet rough enough to shake the foundations as they boogie on through the seemingly interminable set. So if you're a fan, throw your lighters in the air and climb aboard for the slow ride. If not, this isn't the place to start.

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