Review: “The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again,” John Fogerty

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Being a fan of John Fogerty and his music in general, every fiber of my being wants to like his newest, The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again.  It is, after all, a sequel of sorts to his 1973 album as the Blue Ridge Rangers, where Fogerty played all the instruments and covered country classics.  This time, though, Fogerty invites some friends to sit in as he surveys stuff like Pat Boone’s “Moody River,” Ray Price’s “I’ll Be There” and Rick Nelson’s “Garden Party.”

You can certainly tell that Fogerty’s having fun in the studio, and so is slumming guest Bruce Springsteen, on the cover of the Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved?” that closes this album.  And his bluegrass touch is light and refreshing, giving songs like “Never Ending Song of Love” (Delaney & Bonnie) and “Back Home Again” (John Denver) a new, refreshing life.  Fogerty even chips in one of his own songs, “Change In The Weather,” which was probably better the first time around.  It’s kind of nice to hear a major artist like Fogerty get relaxed and playful, so that’s a plus for this album.

But Fogerty, like Springsteen, is one of the great writers of American rock music.  What are guys like that doing messin’ around with making albums full of old songs?  Why aren’t they coming up with fresh new great rock classics?  Maybe this is what they did on their summer vacations.  Hope so, because that means their next albums are gonna be … great?

MP3: “Back Home Again”

John Fogerty official website

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