John Fogerty

Blue Moon Swamp

(BMG)

This is an album I bought eagerly at the time of its original release – is that twenty years ago?! Wow…and this new version adds two cuts. What doesn’t Fogerty know about rocking out, running the voodoo down, encapsulating fresh-air country, digging deep into the Blues? Not a lot. Plus that voice and its authority.

Kicking off with Southern Streamline, John breezes into the firm tempo with a tale of trains and clear twanging guitar and rich harmony backing vocals. It’s a real jukebox number but the production just jumps out of the speakers, slivers of pedal steel emphasising that 50s vibe. Hot Rod Heart is a fast-heartbeat country rocker about driving free on the highway. Blueboy recalls Dale Hawkins and vintage CCR, that declamatory voice daring you not to join in on the chorus. That tremelo’d amp guitar weaves in and out.

A Hundred And Ten In The Shade is a more sinister bluesy groove with a Marty Stuart style vocal to suit. You can feel a heat-haze rising from the road. On to the snappy Rattlesnake Highway which always reminded me of Steppenwolf with its eerie electric guitar smears. Bring It Down To Jelly Roll is crisply chorded country rock with pumping bass, irresistible. Walking In A Hurricane is a real stomper, such a gritty ominous sound captured. Always one of my favourites on this album, the singing is up there with Fogerty’s finest. Swamp River Days is surefooted CCR style boogie with spiky axe motifs, plus a Doug Sahm backbeat. Next up, Rambunctious Boy brings the harmony vocals to the front, adding electric sitar and mandolin and of course John knows just how to sing it. Joy Of My Life is rickety slide acoustic territory and you’re on the porch with him. Blue Moon Nights goes acoustic rockabilly and would have suited Johnny Cash, maybe it’s a tribute?

Bad Bad Boy is terrific, riding on mean fuzz guitar chords with wailing voodoo leads. At which point…we get to hear the bonus tracks Just Pickin’ which is very SRV-Buddy Guy and Endless Sleep which is centred on a Duane Eddy-styled riff and an Everly Bros style mid-tempo song. Nothing on here you couldn’t have heard in the 60s, but delivered by a master of these genres.

Pete Sargeant



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John Fogerty

The reissue of John Fogerty's 'Blue Moon Swamp' is out now on BMG.

John Fogerty Photo Credit: Nela Koenig

In addition, John Fogerty will perform a 2018 UK Exclusive show of Creedence Clearwater Revival hits with special guest Steve Miller Band as part of Bluesfest London 2018 on Thursday 25th October 2018 at The O2 Arena, London, United Kingdom. You can read more about it and find out how to purchase tickets here: http://bit.ly/2G8qIRP

For more information visit his official website here: http://bit.ly/2LEf5o0

John Fogerty