Creedence Clearwater Revival left behind one of the most iconic discographies in the history of rock and roll, drawing on the blues, swampy creole influences, early rockabilly, and sweet Motown soul to create their own quintessentially American sound. But it’s incredible to realize that the bulk of their output, four legendary albums and 14 hit singles, were released in a single 18-month stretch between 1969 and 1970. While such bursts of productivity were then within the realm of possibility (consider, for example, Bob Dylan’s stretch from March 1965 to May 1966 which tilted the Earth’s axis), they are now unheard of; how could anyone leave such a mark on the popular culture lexicon in such a short stretch of time?
Well, Creedence Clearwater Revival singer, guitarist, and songwriter John Fogerty did it, and nearly five decades later, we’re still reaping the benefits. Fogerty returns to the Queen City for the second time in three years on Friday, making his Jack Cincinnati Casino debut, and brings with him a songbook with few equals. His shows typically pepper in some favorites from his thirty-year solo career, including his multiplatinum 1985 record Centerfield, but the focus is always on Creedence. And when you can roll out “Susie Q,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” and “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” right in a row, why wouldn’t you? Fogerty also frequently veers away from his best-known singles to highlight album cuts like the criminally underrated “Ramble Tamble” (which The Fader rightfully tried to position as one of the great rock songs of all time, not least because of its majestic bridge) and “Wrote A Song For Everyone.”
Fogerty is joined onstage by a large and accomplished touring band, which includes his son Shane on guitar and legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff, who has also toured with the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, John Mellencamp, and Melissa Etheridge. Together, they bring his CCR heyday back to vivid life. Fogerty’s songs captured America at one of its most volatile points, embodying all of the fear, uncertainty, and unbridled optimism of the late 1960s. Perhaps some of them hold good messages for our own troubled times.