The Long Road Home: In Concert
First Appeared in The Music Box, December 2006, Volume 13, #12
Written by Kirk deCordova
If there were any remaining doubts that John Fogerty was back, his latest career-spanning compilation ought to dispel them. Having resolved his longtime differences with the Fantasy label, Fogerty now is redeploying many of his past hits via retrospective packages and live recordings. His most recent effort The Long Road Home: In Concert is a two-disc collection of material that was captured on September 15, 2005 at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles. If that sounds familiar, itís because this is the same event that spawned a similarly titled DVD this past summer. No matter ó throughout the endeavor, Fogertyís vocals sound as forceful, raw, and urgent as anything that he did during his days fronting Creedence Clearwater Revival, which isnít too shabby considering that the group disbanded more than 30 years ago.
Even though the tracks on The Long Road Home: In Concert havenít been arranged chronologically, both Fogertyís solo work and his CCR material mesh together into a seamless offering that provides listeners with a terrific cross-section of his storied career. Although many bands have tried to copy his style, none have been able to duplicate the magic that he is able to create on stage. A natural showman who knows when to talk and when to rock, Fogerty effectively summarized his career in the concertís opening statement, "What Iím all about is playing rock ínĎ roll, so letís get to it!"
Most of Fogertyís signature hits with CCR are featured on The Long Road Home: In Concert, and these include Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Down on the Corner, Traveliní Band, Lookiní Out My Back Door, and the unforgettable Whoíll Stop The Rain. Better still, Fogerty makes his solo material as compelling as his CCR tunes. Highlights include his 1985 Top 10 single Old Man Down the Road, the perennial baseball anthem Centerfield, and one of his more recently penned compositions Dťjŗ Vu (All Over Again). The latter song is a haunting ballad during which Fogerty draws an insightful comparison between the Vietnam War and the present conflict in Iraq.
While the combination of Fogertyís songwriting and vocals undeniably power the performance, itís his supporting cast that pushes the material over the top. The outfit features the polished guitar work of Bob Britt and Billy Burnette, the pounding bass of George Hawkins, Jr., the supporting keyboards of Matt Nolen, and the steady drumming of John Molo. Together, Fogerty and band keep the music flowing for almost an hour and a half, which surely is enough to satisfy even his most hardcore fans. Even though great hits such as Midnight Special, Susie Q, Heard It through the Grapevine, and I Put A Spell on You didnít make the cut, The Long Road Home: In Concert is so well paced and well executed that itís hard to complain. In fact, the collection effectively chronicles the career of John Fogerty by capturing all of his intensity, energy, and power.
The Long Road Home: In Concert is available
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2006 The Music Box