After many years apart, the original Foghat lineup of vocalist/guitarist Lonesome Dave Peverett, lead and slide guitarist Rod Price, bassist Tony Stevens, and drummer Roger Earl reunited and released the appropriately titled Return of the Boogie Men in 1994. The re-formation was instigated by fan Rick Rubin, noted producer and founder of American Recordings. Return of the Boogie Men is a mixed bag of excellent-to-average originals and electric and acoustic blues covers. Foghat thanks Rubin in the liner notes for pointing the band back to original influences such as Muddy Waters and Elmore James for inspiration. "Jump That Train" is rip-snorting hard rock with wicked slide guitar from Price and inspired singing from Peverett; this fun tune even received a little bit of radio airplay. Waters' "Louisiana Blues" begins and ends acoustically with Blues Traveler's John Popper guesting on harmonica, but the tough electric middle section includes greasy slide guitar. "Motel Shaker" is melodic blues-rock and it's the second best song on the album after "Jump That Train." A four-song acoustic portion includes Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You," Al Green's "Take Me to the River," Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "That's Alright Mama," and Big Bill Broonzy's "Feel So Good." Foghat performs Dixon's song much slower than they did on their two revved up electric hit studio and live versions. Return of the Boogie Men and 1998's live Road Cases unexpectedly became Foghat's final two albums when Peverett died of kidney cancer in 2000.
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AllMusic Review by Bret Adams