Always reviving

Loved this Tom Moon piece for NPR about CCR, my first favorite band. Discovering my dad’s copy of the Creedence Gold LP in the basement early in high school was pivotal. Then making Chronicle one of my first compact discs, then I may have written an essay about Green River for sophomore year English class. Anyway…

Lots of acts managed a long string of hits. Very few were able to thread that string into a coherent and sustained evocation the way Creedence Clearwater Revival did. The songs offered scenes of placid rural life far from the purview of most pop – peering into shadowy swamps and bayous populated with all manner of creatures, characters with deep flaws and big hearts. Fogerty told Musician magazine’s Paul Zollo in 1997 that his breakthrough in that regard came late at night, during a period when he was struggling with insomnia.

“I was probably delirious from lack of sleep. I remember that I thought it would be cool if these songs cross-referenced each other. Once I was doing that, I realized that I was kind of working on a mythical place.”

Out of that place came a series of deceptively simple songs that stand alongside the works of Mark Twain and William Faulkner – musical-literary inventions that conjure the idyllic waters and mists and wildness of a remote America, and in the process, reveal clues about the whole country’s soul.

The article came late this summer with the release – the first release ever (long story, but Moon summarizes it well) – of Creedence’s set at Woodstock. Some of the reviews out there say the band sounds more aggressive and live than they do on their previous live material, and I couldn’t agree more. The earlier sets show how tight CCR was as a band – they’re clearly live but sound so close to the album versions. Here at Woodstock, you can feel that talent but also hear live fire.

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