Though Creedence Clearwater Revival was one of the best bands of the Sixties, I’m more fond of the recordings of post-CCR carrier of vocalist John Fogerty. And his best recordings are by far the concert recordings, both the legit ones like this release, he Long Road Home: In Concert, and of course the many bootlegs done as soundboard recordings.
I’m not saying he hasn’t done excellent studio work as he has such as I’m very fond of his Centerfield and… Damn, I can’t think of any other ones I really like. So I guess I am saying I like his live recordings much better than almost everything else that he’s done in the studio. This was recorded on September 15th , 2005 at Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, California. There is a companion DVD that, like this release, is the entire concert. I’ve not seen it but it expect it’s great.
So what do you get here?
First, it’s a relaxed show with a lot of chatter by Fogerty about himself, the band and his music. Yes, I know that this can be scripted as the songs are as I’ve seen band vocalists say the exact same thing at exactly same point at a series of concerts they did on a specific tour, but here it’s feel more natural.
Second, you get a hour and a half of stunning music perfectly clear. The band of John Fogerty (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica, Bob Britt (guitar, backing vocals), Billy Burnette guitar, backing vocals), George Hawkins, Jr (bass guitar, backing vocals), Matt Nolen (keyboards, guitar) and John Molo (drums) have very obviously been playing with him a while as there’s a good feeling to the band.
Third, you get a nice mix of CCR material such as ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain?’, ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘Born On The Bayou’ along with material he wrote after the nasty break up of CCR such as ‘Centerfield’ which may be the best baseball song ever written, ‘The Old Man Down The Road’, and ‘Blue Moon Nights’.
Fourth, his voice is in fine shape sounding as good as when he was the vocalist for CCR. Assuming there were no overdubs (and everything I’ve suggests that), his voice at fifty years of age sound great. Not a small consideration given how some similar roots rockers as John Mellancamp sounded when he that age.
You can purchase this CD (though not the DVD) directly at his website which has news about his upcoming tour and the autobiography he’s working on. The latter is fitting as he turns seventy this year!
(Fantasy Records, 2006)