Roger Earl Of Foghat Says “If You’re Gonna Be Relevant, You Have To Make Music”

Foghat hit #1 on the Billboard Blues album chart with their latest album “Sonic Mojo.” We hung out with Drummer Roger Earl, to talk the album, hear some band history and just have a few laughs.

Foghat released their most recent album “Sonic Mojo” on November 10th, 2023. The bands 17th studio album, it landed at #1 on the Billboard Blues album chart. We recently caught up with original member of Foghat, Drummer Roger Earl, at Boogie Hotel. Roger quickly pointed out to me once we started talking, that the band never had a #1 anything. But what Roger finds most important, is that Foghat are still making music.

As the sole original member of the band Roger ran through the rest of the current personnel. Bryan Bassett (Molly Hatchet, Wild Cherry) on lead/slide guitar, bassist Rodney O’Quinn (Pat Travers Band) on bass. Plus, the newest member, singer and guitarist Scott Holt (Buddy Guy).

Roger described meeting Scott to try and write 3 songs for an album. Roger said of that meeting “Instead of writing 3 songs, we wrote 17. That was the start of a beautiful friendship.” From there they worked on a side project, Earl and The Agitators, until the slot as Foghat’s singer opened and Scott took the job.

That brought up the question of when the band began, the answer, 1971. Roger said the 53 years have gone by “Real quick.” He also said, “I’m still having a blast out there. The band has a great time.” In speaking of the band’s history, we discussed the fact that we were at Boogie Hotel in Port Jefferson, New York. The site of the band’s studio back in the 70′s. Roger mentioned some of the work the band did in the studio here. He also mentioned other people that recorded here including Blue Oyster Cult, Meatloaf and many more. The band even lived here at one point. As much as the beautiful Victorian building is still something to see, it is no longer a studio, the Nieves board having been stolen years ago.

Roger mentioned “The one thing I took from working here, playing here was, that if you’re gonna be relevant, for want of a better word, you have to make music, and that’s what we do.” That’s where we dug into talking about the new album, “Sonic Mojo.” Roger speaking about songs from this album being in the band’s set, side by side with their long-time classic tunes. Roger was more than happy to show off the 180-gram colored vinyl album.

We jumped in talking about the album’s lead off track “She’s A Little Bit Of Everything” that Roger co-wrote. Despite being excited about the album, they did not anticipate it reaching #1 on the Blues album chart. Roger mentioned his first job in a band was being in Savoy Brown with Kim Simmonds and how Kim has writing credits on “Sonic Mojo.” Sadly, Kim passed in December of 2022. Roger had a unique way of being serious and at the same time very funny. Speaking about hoping to be playing into his 90′s. He spoke about physical challenges as a drummer and even broke into a little song.

Next, we spoke about covers on “Sonic Mojo” of bluesman Willie Dixon and country artist Rodney Crowell. That made me ask Roger if he saw himself as member of a rock band or a blues band or does that even matter to him. His response, “No, it’s all about music.” Roger said there was always music in his house. He spoke about his brother being a fan of Johnny Cash, Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. He also said his dad played piano much like Fats Waller.

Foghat is out on the road, where they seem to constantly be. Roger shared that jamming at sound check does lead to new material. We had many laughs, talked music and really, just had a good time. Watch our conversation above, check out a few songs from the album here and make sure to catch Foghat live!!! As Roger said near the end of our conversation “I love my job. It’s not a job, it’s an adventure.”

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