Bryan Bassett of Foghat on sharing hits with next generation of fans
Regular listeners know that every Friday, Dori celebrates the weekend by starting the last hour of his show with Jim Carey’s famous quote from the 1999 MTV Movie Awards — “Would it kill you every once in a while to play a little Foghat?” — followed by one of the classic rock band’s greatest hits.
But now you can hear Foghat somewhere besides the Dori Monson Show — at the Angel of the Winds Rivers Run Event Center in Arlington, where the band behind “Soul Ride” and “I Just Want to Make Love to You” will be performing Saturday, Nov. 9.
Bryan Bassett, a member of Foghat since 1989, was happy to hear of Dori’s tradition to kick off the weekend.
“That’s great to hear, it’s a good T.G.I.F. song for sure,” he said.
Bassett started out with 1970s funk rock band Wild Cherry, the band that made it big with “Play that Funky Music.”
“Funny enough, it was my very first time doing a professional recording session,” he laughed. “When that song jumped up the charts, I was like, ‘Wow, this music thing is pretty easy.'”
He jokes that the band “hit the wedding circuit,” as “Play that Funky Music” has been a popular choice for wedding receptions throughout the decades since it was released.
Following his Wild Cherry run, Bassett moved to Florida, where he worked as a studio engineer for blues label King Snake Records and played in a blues quartet.
“Lonesome” Dave Peverett, the founder and lead singer of Foghat, had just moved from the U.K. to Orlando, and dropped by one of the quartet’s performances.
“We played very obscure, old blues music, and Dave was a blues aficionado,” Bassett explained. “We struck up a friendship, and really for a year, my band backed him up on sort of a review thing.”
Peverett invited Bassett to come join his Foghat spinoff, called Lonesome Dave’s Foghat. Bassett did so until the early 1990s, when the original Foghat regrouped and began touring again, and when he joined rock band Molly Hatchet. At the end of the ’90s, Bassett became a Foghat member again, and has remained one ever since, playing around 70 shows a year.
The members may have changed over time, but “we’ve managed to keep the band on the road and playing all these years,” he said. Seeing other 1970s groups who are also still touring, such as ZZ Top, is like a reunion for Bassett and his band-mates.
“We run into so many ’70s acts still on the road and drawing well, so at this part of our career it’s just fantastic and a lot of fun,” he said.
The people who listened to Foghat in their youth now bring their kids and grandchildren to the concerts, passing the joy of the group’s rock music to a whole new generation.
“It’s the songs and the music and remembering those good times,” Bassett siad. “That’s what a lot of it’s all about, I think.”
It is the love of music, not the fame and fortune, that keeps Bassett onstage so many nights a year.
“To do something that you love to do — playing guitar — I’d be doing it whether it’s on tour with a famous band or in my local restaurant with my fellow blues friends, which I do in my off time,” he said. “It’s an activity I love to do, I love to play guitar, so to be able to make a living at it is wonderful. But I’d always be playing guitar.”
Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.