I have no idea where the hell John Fogerty’s new album came from, but it seems he wrote a song with, rather than for everyone. Immediately piquing my interest was My Morning Jacket, Foo Fighters, and Dawes—Three bands I love listening to. Yet the featured artists also include country stars like Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley, and Alan Jackson. Bob Seger gets on there, too, as well as Kid Rock (genre still unknown).
Apparently John Fogerty just wanted to re-vamp some of his old hits with some of his favorite bands, and I think that’s really nifty. Good on you, John Fogerty. For me, the pop-country stuff was a big flop. But, there are a few real gems on here. My Morning Jacket, Dawes, and Bob Seger all sound great on the tracks that Fogerty paired them with. There’s something to be said about a rock legend who uses his connections and fame to call upon artists he loves and re-make his own songs, and it’s “That’s pretty cool.”
Creedence Clearwater Revival has always been one of my favorite timeless (for me) bands, giving me those good country-folk, bluegrass-rock, late-60’s stick-it-to-the-man vibes. They hold a special place in my heart, so while I was super excited to see some of my favorite bands collaborating with Fogerty, I figured most of the tracks couldn’t hope to come close to the original. But you can color me pleasantly surprised; Fogerty doesn’t let anyone steal the spotlight, and he maintains enough of the original feeling to keep me satisfied.
Now if you feel so inclined, continue reading my complete, unabridged thoughts on specific songs:
“Fortunate Son” with the Foo Fighters kicks off the album, and John Fogerty still sounds great after 40 years; he still has that wholesome country shout/rock vocals and the guitar solo is really freaking sweet. I honestly just love to see the Foo Fighters involved with anything. When I see Dave Grohl quotes matched to a Dave Grohl headshot on Reddit, I get pretty excited. Good dude, Good band, thanks John Fogerty for making that happen.
I love “Bad Moon Rising,” and I love all the weird punk rock covers that have been done in the past. Yet, putting Zac Brown Band on the track makes me feel really weird. It’s a little too upbeat, everything meshes a little too well, and the vocal harmonies are too acapella-y. It needs more rasp in the voice, and less Zac Brown Band on the track.
“Long as I Can See the Light” is one of my favorite songs. Just fucking great. Maybe I’m biased because I love the band, but My Morning Jacket really does this song some justice. None of Fogerty’s raspy voice at the beginning, but it feels a bit slower, simpler, and kind of lets you just be in the song by the time the guitar solo rolls around. Fogerty comes in after and sounds fucking awesome. It just feels right. Nothing here was overdone. God the second guitar solo is so simply mellow. Well done.
“Born on the Bayou” with Kid Rock really begs the question, “Why?”
“Someday Never Comes,” somehow manages to really combine the essence of a well-put-together Dawes sound, with what you already know about the CCR song. I’m a big fan of Dawes, and their sound might be hard to picture for others, but in my opinion they make pretty simple folky pop songs with pretty full vocals. This re-make is really nice, but not at all CCR-ey. It almost feels like Fogerty is appearing on a Dawes song. I totally don’t mind their harmonizing. I love Taylor Goldsmith’s voice. If you like him, check out Middle Brother, a great side project with Goldsmith, John J. McCauley III of Deertick, and Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit.
Bob Seger sounds awesome, I love his voice, always have. “Who’ll Stop the Rain” was a perfect song for him. Slow, piano-rich, and I just associate the rain with Seger’s thick voice, dripping with emotion, or something like that. His voice is wet and rainy, like you’re in your pajamas at 2pm during a mid-July thunderstorm.
I really tried to give the pop-country influences a chance, but I’m definitely not sold. It’s just not what I like to hear with Fogerty. CCR has a bit of country folk in it, and the pop-country guys like Brad Paisely and Keith Urban kind of just push these songs into a realm that I don’t really want to dance with. My Dad loves Alan Jackson, and I think he best represented modern country on this album. Still not really going to willingly choose to listen to any of those tracks again.
Jennifer Hudson gives her figurative “Howdy” at the end, for that R&B influence. She doesn’t sound bad at all. Fun times were had by all.