June 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm #990
I have not been able to access the new website since its inception, so just reregistered. Wanted to share the below with everyone. The writer of this article was at John’s concert when he played in New Orleans for the Blue Moon Swamp tour for the first time since 1972 when Creedence last played in the city. Love the mention about Jazz Fest in April 2014 and that is something we can all pitch in and help with by emailing Keith or the person who produces the festival, Quint Davis. Having John back in the Big Easy would be great and I know anyone who travelled here would have a blast! Enjoy the article….I could not get the pictures with the article to copy here. Sorry.
John Fogerty remakes classics from his Creedence Clearwater Revival and solo catalogs, in collaboration with a range of rock and country artists, on his ‘Wrote a Song for Everyone’ CD.
Keith Spera, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune By Keith Spera, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
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on June 20, 2013 at 2:05 PM, updated June 20, 2013 at 2:35 PM
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Truth be told, I don’t need to hear “Stairway to Heaven” again. Or “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” or “Sweet Home Alabama,” or “Hotel California,” or any number of classic rock standards that radio stations have played ad nauseam for four decades.
That doesn’t mean they are not among the greatest songs in rock history. They are. But at this point, there’s little to be gained from additional listens.
Which makes flannel enthusiast John Fogerty’s new CD, “Wrote a Song For Everyone,” all the more remarkable.
Fogerty’s Creedence Clearwater Revival catalog is, like the aforementioned warhorses, overplayed. But on “Wrote a Song For Everyone,” released in late May by Vanguard Records, Fogerty and an A-list roster of collaborators remake a dozen songs from his past. As a result, they are reinvigorated, ready to be discovered all over again.
Fogerty’s wife, Julie, is credited as the album’s executive producer; according to his liner notes, she came up with the concept and persuaded him to see it through.
“Wrote a Song for Everyone” isn’t a tribute record. Fogerty served as the album’s producer and is an active participant throughout on vocals and guitar, even as the guest artists are empowered to do what they do.
As the opening salvo, Foo Fighters and Fogerty tear into Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” amping the outrage of the original. “Fortunate Son,” it turns out, translates just fine to scalding hard rock; Fogerty stands toe-to-toe and goes blow-for-blow with Dave Grohl’s gloriously ragged rasp. It is garage rock with arena rock production values; the adrenaline is irresistible.
Just as quickly, the album downshifts as country picker Keith Urban’s banjo and sunny voice usher in a joyous “Almost Saturday Night,” which originally appeared on Fogerty’s 1975 self-titled solo album.
In general, country artists are a natural fit for his material. Miranda Lambert’s robust twang finds the heart of the “Wrote a Song for Everyone” title track. The Zac Brown Band fits seamlessly into the arrangement of “Bad Moon Rising.” Nashville guitar ace Brad Paisley trades licks on “Hot Rod Heart,” from Fogerty’s 1997 solo album “Blue Moon Swamp.” Alan Jackson and a fiddle are right at home on “Have You Ever Seen the Rain.”
Elsewhere, Kid Rock rises to the challenge of “Born on the Bayou,” which he reportedly recorded unsolicited and mailed off to Fogerty. Jim James and his My Morning Jacket cohorts haunt “Long As I Can See the Light.” Dawes tees up “Someday Never Comes” for Fogerty, who seems to relish the opportunity to play up the bittersweet sentiment of the refrain. Bob Seger inhabits “Who’ll Stop the Rain” to such a degree that it seems as if Fogerty wrote it with Seger’s world-weary delivery in mind.
Fogerty’s lifelong fascination with south Louisiana was evident in his lyrics; CCR even titled its 1972 swan song “Mardi Gras.” It was inevitable, then, that he found his way to New Orleans for one of the new album’s tracks.
The closing, born-on-the-bayou take on “Proud Mary,” recorded at Piety Street studio in Bywater, features powerhouse contemporary R&B singer Jennifer Hudson, backed by an extensive Louisiana cast: pianist Allen Toussaint and his band, the Rebirth Brass Band, Rockin’ Dopsie Jr., and Cajun musicians Marc and Joel Savoy.
The two new songs on “Wrote a Song for Everyone” indicate Fogerty’s creative well, though stingy, has not yet run dry. Hearty harmonies and hooks elevate the country-flavored “Mystic Highway” to the level of his best work. “Train of Fools,” while not as luminous, is solid.
Other veteran rockers occasionally view their catalogs through a new lens. Robert Plant, slated to perform at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts on July 17, remakes Led Zeppelin anthems as Americana meditations.
But none have re-recorded their classics as successfully as Fogerty and friends on “Wrote a Song for Everyone.” It sold 51,000 copies its first week of release, enough to enter the Billboard 200 album chart at No. 3 – the highest debut of his entire career.
Rolling Stone awarded the album five stars, among many other, equally favorable notices. Fogerty has booked an extensive tour for the fall, with more shows to follow next year. As of yet, there is no New Orleans date (Jazz Fest 2014, perhaps?).
His relationship with his Creedence Clearwater Revival past is troubled, to say the least. He is estranged from former CCR drummer Doug Clifford and bassist Stu Cook, who continue to tour as Creedence Clearwater Revisited (the fourth original member of CCR, Fogerty’s older brother Tom, died in 1990).
Legal entanglements involving his early compositions have cost him enormous sums of money and frustration. Early on, Fogerty signed away his publishing rights to CCR’s label at the time, Fantasy Records. Years later, the head of Fantasy sued him for allegedly plagiarizing himself (a jury decided that he had not, in fact, committed copyright infringement).
So perhaps “Wrote a Song for Everyone” was, on some level, Fogerty’s attempt to reclaim his own songs from their complicated history. Remade with new collaborators, they shake off the dust and sparkle. They deserve to be heard once again.
Keith Spera can be reached at email@example.com or 504.826.3470. Follow him on Twitter at KeithSpera.
Uptown New Orleans, LA
University Uptown, LAJune 25, 2013 at 10:34 am #996
BEAUTIFUL WRITING, thank you so much for bringing it on over here to the Fogerty Swamp, Miss Nawlins!
I’m so happy for John’s huge success.
His wonderful songs have so much life inside of them. I LOVE THE NEW CD!!!! I have been listening to it all day long!!!! It truly grows on you and in your musical soul. X O
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