Tuesday, September 15, 2009

John Fogerty's 'The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again' is a first-rate country, bluegrass tribute

For those who believe that a lot of the music coming out of Nashville these days is bland and faceless, take a listen to John Fogerty's new album The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again.

Frankly, this album embraces country and bluegrass music in a way that we are not hearing in Music City. Steel guitars, fiddles, and mandolins are everywhere, and the entire album pays homage to a classic American art form.

Fogerty fans know this album is a sequel of sorts to the original Blue Ridge Rangers' album he released in the early 1970s. He played all the instruments on the original. Though his virtuosity was impressive on that album, he wisely brought in a tight band and guest stars on this one.

Like the original Blue Ridge Rangers' album, this new one also focuses primarily on cover versions of songs Fogerty admires. The cut getting the most airplay right now is his version of the Everly Brothers' 'When Will I Be Loved,' which is a duet with Bruce Springsteen.

Fogerty brings in superstar help on another tune, too. Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmitt sing on Rick Nelson's 'Garden Party.' Though Nelson often got dismissed as just another teen idol, the man had talent. It's good to see that song get more exposure.

If nothing else, the songs Fogerty chose to cover show that he has good taste. Songs on the album include: Buck Owens' 'I Don't Care (Just As Long As You Love Me),' John Prine's 'Paradise,' Ray Price's 'I'll Be There,' and his own 'Change in the Weather.'

Though Fogerty's vocal range has diminished over the years, it is still an important ingredient on this album. When he burst on the scene with Creedence Clearwater Revival, he voice had a deep boom to it that made one think of Howlin' Wolf.

Though that has faded, his vocals on 'Moody River' and John Denver's 'Back Home Again' show that he has successfully changed as time has passed.

The bottom line is this is a first-rate album. Buy it, download it, or do whatever it takes to own it.

1 comment:

Thunder Son said...

Thanks, NightlyDaily, for your excellent post on this album. Once i previewed 'Back Home Again', I downloaded it immediately. I've always been a fan of the majority of John Denver's work, especially the 'Back Home Again' era and earlier. The song was the title cut of the album on which it first appeared. I really like Fogerty's vocals on his rednition and I play it whenever I get the chance. Do I like Fogerty's better? I don't know. Recently, I've only listened to the original song in my head. But I can definitely say Fogerty's version is on an equal playing field with the original.