Foghat guitarist talks guitars, touring, more before upcoming Ironstone show

Legendary rock band Foghat performs at the Ironstone Amphitheatre near Murphys on Sept. 7.

English rock band Foghat will take the stage at Ironstone on Sept. 7.

The band’s current lineup – lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Charlie Huhn, drummer Roger Earl and lead guitarist Bryan Bassett – has gone relatively unchanged in the past 20 years.

Bassett, who has been the lead guitarist for the group since 1999, said the three have become a musical family over the years touring full-time.

“We have been in the music business since the ’70s, and it’s really been a combination of friendship and musical compatibility,” Bassett said. “We’re like brothers. We enjoy playing together and performing, and we just have a chemistry.”

The band zips around the world a few times per week for shows on their “go everywhere see nothing tour,” as Bassett describes it, since they are usually in and out with limited time to explore.

The touring is much different than it was in the 1970s and 1980s, Bassett said.

Whereas members of the group spent much of their time driving around the country in buses for months at a time, flying has allowed them more time for home life while still being able to tour year-round.

He still loves all of the songs, since “the environment changes so much day to day (from show to show, the songs are) really the only thing that’s consistent.”

Most recently, his favorite is a Tampa Red cover called, “Hurts Me Too.”

The slow blues song is a “nice tempo change in the middle of the set,” Bassett said.

He also really enjoys playing the classic Foghat hits, “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and “Slow Ride.”

Bassett’s favorite part of playing with Foghat?

“It’s just the feeling you get when you’re onstage … being in the zone,” Bassett said. “Certain times when everything’s just right, lights and sound, you’re playing well – when you hit those moments on stage it makes all the traveling worth it.”

At Ironstone, Bassett will be rocking a Gibson SG guitar that he keeps in an open E tuning for slide guitar.

Bassett and the rest of the group is excited to be playing with Deep Purple, especially given the chance to hear Steve Morse, who Bassett called “one of the best guitarists in the world.”

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Reporter

Davis graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Environmental Studies. He covers environmental issues, agriculture, fire and local government. Davis spends his free time playing guitar and hiking with his dog, Penny.

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