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John Fogerty

The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again – 2009 (Fortunate Son/Verve)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by John Fogerty

John Fogerty released an album as "The Blue Ridge Rangers" in 1974, a country covers disc where he played every instrument and scored a minor hit with Rockin' All Over the World. Leaving behind his Creedence Clearwater Revival Days, Fogerty launched a very successful solo career.

But now he has returned to his Blue Ridge Ranger days with a difference - this is a group concept as Fogerty includes such stalwarts as Kenny Aronoff, Buddy Miller, Greg Leisz, Hunter Perrin, Jason Mowery, Chris Chaney, Jay Bellerose, Dennis Crouch, Jodie Kennedy, Herb Pedersen and Oren Waters.. He also sounds like he's having a lot of fun with the songs, such as the Everlys' When Will I Be Loved with Bruce Springsteen helping.

Most everything works quite well here without much of a difference between this and Fogerty's solo discs, although there is definitely more of a country vibe going on. Picking songs such as Buck Owens' I Don't Care (Just As Long As You Love Me) will ensure that. His recutting of Change in the Weather is not all that divergent, and he gives it a more soulful reading than just about anything else on the 12-song recording.

He gets to the emotional core of John Denver's Back Home Again, slowing it down slightly and clearly putting the emphasis squarely on the vocals with mandolin punctuating the song. For Fogerty, the song may not only refer to the Denver song, but a welcome, albeit different, trip back to his past.