Foghat have been knocking around almost as long as I have and in that time have managed to rack up eight gold records, one platinum and a double platinum record. Formed in London during 1971 by three ex-members of British blues unit Savoy Brown, the band has undergone many line-up changes and played this card to their advantage on new album ‘Under The Influence’, which draws upon these musical collaborations and influences to great effect. Joining founding member and drummer Roger Earl, plus current Foghat inductees Craig MacGregor (bass), Bryan Bassett (guitar) and Charlie Huhn (vocals/guitar), are friends old and new, resulting in an eclectic album of rock, blues, funk and even a little bit of R&B. Written with the help of Buddy Guy alumni Scott Holt and Grammy winning producer/songwriter Tom Hambridge, who has penned tracks for bands such as Skynyrd, George Thorogood and Steve Cropper, ‘Under The Influence’ bristles with energy and fun from first to last. ‘Knock It Off’ rocks with a Bonafide/DC groove, ‘Ghost’ is reminiscent of the likes of Blackberry Smoke with its long slides and smoky vocals, ‘She’s Got A Ring In His Nose’ has the swagger of ZZ Top meets Stevie Ray Vaughan, and ‘Honey Do List’ ups the funk ante, while the cover of the Motown classic ‘Heard It Through The Grapevine’ incorporates some wonderful guitar breaks and backing vocals by the amazing Diana Fuchs. As for fun, look no further than the excellent ‘Upside Of Lonely’, which delivers some of the best lines on the album as it extols the benefits of living alone: “I can stay up late playing my guitar, and the groceries go twice as far. Don’t know why nobody told me ‘bout the upside of lonely!” As well as a showcase for numerous blues/rock styles, Foghat also celebrate the fortieth anniversary of their most famous track, ‘Slow Ride’, by inviting original bass player and producer of their 1975 album ‘Fool For The City’ (from which ‘Slow Ride’ was taken) Nick Jameson to play alongside MacGregor on an updated version of the track and while it may not improve on what is a classic slice of 70s rock, it does bring it bang up to date with their current sound. Foghat are never idle (hell, two members of the band, alongside Scott Holt, recently formed the side-project Earl And The Agitators and often open for Foghat) and for that we should all be grateful. They may be old hands, but boy are they safe hands.