Archive for John Fogerty

On The Road Again

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2012 by 30daysout

It may not look like much in the photo, but this is the largest convenience store in the world.

In most places around the country, gasoline prices are dipping. You know what that means – summer’s here and the time is right for piling the kids and/or the dog into the car for a road trip.

We were on the road this past week, and deep in the heart of the Lone Star state we wheeled in to a truly awe-inspiring site: the Buc-ee’s truck stop/convenience store just north of New Braunfels, Texas, between San Antonio and Austin.

Buc-ee’s is a chain of stores found along the highways of Texas. They sell typical convenience store junk food, some hot kolaches and fudge and their own brand of beef jerky, hot peanuts, etc. They also sell a wide variety of knick-knacks, cheap Texas souvenirs and similar crap. We’ll get back to that in a moment.

But this Buc-ee’s we visited, it was friggin’ massive! It was at least the size of a Walmart and sure enough, my research tells me at 68,000 square feet it is truly the largest convenience store in the world (Wikipedia is your friend). It also has 60 gas pumps, about 78 toilets and 250 employees.

The Buc-ee’s beaver mascot.

This is the largest store in the Buc-ee’s chain and I’m told when it opened in May there were cars stretched up and down the frontage road just waiting to get in there. People in Texas love Buc-ee’s for some reason; everywhere, I see people wearing t-shirts with the logo featuring a goofy cartoon beaver. Instead of a Disneyland or Six Flags shirt; like Buc-ee’s is the destination tourists really want to make pilgrimage to.

Anyway, back to the crap they sell in the store. There’s a huge rack of CDs, mostly country music, but because it’s Texas the selection is considerably more choice than your typical roadside truck stop. You got yer George Jones, yer Willie Nelson, some Ray Price and even a disc of Johnny Bush. A Dolly Parton disc and wow, even Robert Earl Keen! Unfortunately, there’s Pat Green too.

There were some copies of the great series from New West Records, Live From Austin TX – glorious audio tracks of performances from the great “Austin City Limits” TV show. Here’s Willie Nelson on the show, Robert Earl Keen, Billy Joe Shaver, Kris Kristofferson, even the Texas Tornados (which IMO is the best of the series). You don’t have to go to Buc-ee’s to find these; your friendly neighborhood record store ought to have a good selection, or you can shop online.

There are also discs from Icehouse Music, a company that rack-jobs music from Texas, Americana and roots artists. That’s the label where you can find the great Johnny Bush (he wrote “Whiskey River” for Willie) and his autobiographical Kashmere Gardens Mud, as well as the incredible two-disc tribute to Guy Clark This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark, which features Robert Earl, Willie, Joe Ely, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris and many more.

Some years ago I picked up a CD at a truck stop, California Jukebox by the Flying Burrito Brothers. Now this isn’t the Gram Parsons-Chris Hillman Burritos, it’s the 21st century version, with John Beland and Gib Guilbeau and featuring guest shots from David Allan Coe, Waylon Jennings, Sonny Landreth and even original Flying Burrito steel guitarist “Sneaky Pete” Kleinow. It came out in 2001 from the last incarnation in a long line of imitation Flying Burrito Brothers. It overcomes low expectations and it was a pleasant surprise for me – dig one up if you can. It’s on Icehouse Records, apparently no relation to Icehouse Music above.

Well, this tirade has arrived at a place far from where we started – that’s a nice summer road trip. So, for your summer road trip, here’s a soundtrack for ya.

MP3: “On The Road Again” (live at Austin City Limits) by Willie Nelson

MP3: “White Line Fever” by Joe Ely

MP3: “Truckstop in La Grange” by the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash

MP3: “Bloody Mary Morning” by Johnny Bush

MP3 ” (Is Anybody Goin’ To) San Antone/Texas Tornado” (live at Austin City Limits) by the Sir Douglas Quintet

MP3: “Endless Highway” by The Band

MP3: “Automobile” by John Prine

MP3: “Truck Stop Girl” by Little Feat

MP3: “Highway Cafe” by Kinky Friedman

MP3: “California Jukebox” by the Flying Burrito Brothers

MP3: “Honkin’ Down The Highway” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Goin’ Down To Mexico” by ZZ Top

MP3: “Roadhouse Blues” by The Doors w/John Lee Hooker

MP3: “Sweet Hitch-Hiker (live) by John Fogerty

MP3: “Life Is A Highway” by the Tom Cochrane Band

MP3: “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash

MP3: “Highway Star” by Deep Purple

MP3: “Let Me Drive Your Automobile” (live at Woodstock 40th anniversary) by Canned Heat

MP3: “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf

MP3: “Call Me The Breeze” (live) by Lynyrd Skynyrd

MP3: “The Road Goes On Forever” (live at Austin City Limits) by Robert Earl Keen

Hurricane Season – It’s Baaack!

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , on June 7, 2012 by 30daysout

Hurricane season just got goin’ and I know you folks on the East Coast of the United States are paying close attention this summer. As well you should: Hurricane Irene’s rains devastated a pretty good chunk of the Northeast last year.

Down here in Texas, they like to scare us with stories about what could happen if a monster storm rolled in off the Gulf of Mexico. And I suppose if one of those nasty Cat 5s paid a visit to Texas the result would be less like Irene and more like Hiroshima (or Hurricane Camille). But what good is it to worry – you just stock up on batteries and peanut butter and hope for the best.

And you get your rock and roll tunes ready for the next Hurricane Warning.

MP3: “Change In The Weather” by John Fogerty

MP3: “Blowin’ Like A Bandit” by Asleep at the Wheel

MP3: “Hurricane” by Levon Helm

MP3: “Surfing In A Hurricane” by Jimmy Buffett

MP3: “Hurricane Party” by James McMurtry

MP3: “Mighty Storm” by the Duhks

MP3: “High Water (For Charley Patton)” (live) by Bob Dylan

MP3: “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today” by Peter Gabriel

MP3: “Lost and Found” by the Kinks

MP3: “In From The Storm” by Jimi Hendrix

MP3: “Thunder Island” by Jay Ferguson

MP3: “Walking In A Hurricane” by John Fogerty

MP3: “Like A Hurricane” by Nils Lofgren

MP3: “Here Comes The Rain” by Jan & Dean

MP3: “Riders On The Storm” by the Doors

MP3: “The Rains Came” by Big Sambo

MP3: “Wild Is The Wind” by David Bowie

MP3: “Rock You Like A Hurricane” by the Scorpions

MP3: “Down In The Flood” (live) by the Derek Trucks Band

MP3: “Like A Hurricane” (live) by Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Video/Levon Helm Tribute Du Jour: John Fogerty & the Black Keys

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , on April 24, 2012 by 30daysout

Levon Helm

There have been a lot of tributes to fallen singer Levon Helm since he died last week – none better, though, than this affectionate yet clear-eyed appreciation by Peter Gerstenzang that appeared in the Village Voice. Here is one appropriate excerpt:

After I got the news yesterday that he’d died, I got into the car to drive around and think, two things I’m never good at doing simultaneously. Foolishly, I turned on the radio, expecting to hear The Band’s music blasting, from one end of the dial to the other. I forgot about how doomed my expectation was. Corporate radio was not going to budge its mix of Def Leppard and Rihanna for five fucking minutes to fete this great master of American Music. I thought, none of these programmers realize what terrible fate is awaiting them. And, that, as they say down South, Hell is only half-full. So, I turned off the radio and just started singing “The Weight,” one of the biggest hits The Band ever had and a song that introduced, to most of us little hippies, the first Southern voice since Elvis that didn’t seem scary, or possessed by a guy who had a shotgun pointed at the front wheel of our motorcycle.”

Read the entire Village Voice piece here.

In related news, this appeared on Facebook today:

Message to Robbie Robertson from Dennis Miele: “Robbie, there seems to be a debate about the lyrics to “The Weight”. Can you confirm that the line is ‘Take a load off FANNY’?’

Robbie Robertson: Fanny.

If you are near your computer tonight KUT-FM in Austin remembers legendary musician Levon Helm. Tune in to hear “Levon Helm Rambles Home: An Appreciation,” produced by Paul Ingles, by streaming it on the KUT home page. Show starts at 8 p.m. CDT.

And finally, this tribute to Levon Helm by the Black Keys and John Fogerty took place over the weekend at Coachella:

Levon Helm official website

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

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on September 1, 2009 by 30daysout

John - Front

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

New John Fogerty single debuts today

Posted in News with tags , , , on August 4, 2009 by 30daysout

Fogerty

John Fogerty’s new single, a cover of the Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved?” is scheduled to debut today on his official website.  The track is from his new album The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again, coming out Sept. 1 – grammatical errors and all.  The album features guest appearances from former Eagles Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmidt, and Bruce Springsteen who duets with Fogerty on “When Will I Be Loved?”

As he did on the first Blue Ridge Rangers album (1973) Fogerty dusts off a bunch of covers – the new album features John Prine’s “Paradise,” Buck Owens’ “I Don’t Care,” Delaney and Bonnie’s “Never Ending Song of Love” and John Denver’s “Back Home Again,” as well as Fogerty’s own “Change in the Weather.”

John Fogerty official website

Follow John Fogerty on Twitter

All My (Birthday) Parties

Posted in News with tags , , , on May 29, 2009 by 30daysout

Levon Helm       hank-jr-eagle

Some recent birthdays for rock and rollers gives us a chance to post a handful of tunes for the weekend.  Stevie Nicks, born May 26, is 61 years old; Levon Helm, also May 26, is 67; Hank Williams Jr. (Bocephus), also May 26, is 60; and the great John Fogerty, born May 28, is 64. 

MP3: “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” by Hank Williams Jr.

MP3: “Stoned At The Jukebox” by Hank Williams Jr.

MP3: “White Dove” by Levon Helm

MP3: “Havana Moon” by Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars

MP3: “If Anyone Falls” by Stevie Nicks

MP3: “Stand Back” (Eli Escobar disco mix) by Stevie Nicks

MP3: “Almost Saturday Night” by John Fogerty

MP3: “Centerfield”  (live) by John Fogerty w/Jerry Garcia

YouTube: Levon Helm making his new album Electric Dirt (out June 30)

Play Ball!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2009 by 30daysout
astros-locker-hall-of-fame1

At the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown NY

Starting pro baseball season in the middle of this big economic losing streak might be a good idea, or it might be a bad one.  Good idea – the simplicity and fun of America’s pastime might get our minds off our money woes.  Bad idea – we can’t afford a friggin’ ticket!

But we really have no choice: baseball has its own time, like the seasons.  It arrives, whether we are ready for it or not.  We will soon be wondering about lineups, starting pitchers, Manny, the damned Red Sox and lots more.

They should add a line to every player’s baseball card saying whether or not he took steroids.  They should have Bruce Springsteen play after one game in every ballpark in America.  And they should bring back Lee Elia.  Time to play ball.

MP3: “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” by the Hold Steady

MP3: “Who’s On First?” by Abbott & Costello

MP3: “Catfish” by Kinky Friedman

MP3: “Yankee Stadium” by Nils Lofgren

MP3: “Narragansett Beer” by Curt Gowdy

MP3: “Past Time” by the Baseball Project

MP3: “Go, Cubs, Go!” by Steve Goodman

MP3: “Hank Aaron’s 715th Home Run” by Milo Hamilton

MP3: “Baseball, Baseball” by Jane Morgan

MP3: “Baseball Bat” by Courtney Love

MP3: “Real Men of Genius: Mr. Designated Hitter” Bud Light commercial

MP3: “Centerfield” (live) by John Fogerty w/Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and Clarence Clemons

MP3: “Get The F***ing Job Done” by Lee Elia

YouTube: “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request” by Steve Goodman (Thanks Ken Shane, for the suggestion!)

Walkin’ To New Orleans: Rockin’ Sidney

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 20, 2009 by 30daysout
rockin-sidney

Rockin' Sidney (with accordion) and friends in 1985

We are going to linger for one more day in Cajun country, before making the final push to New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras.  Today we look at one of the biggest hits to ever come out of Louisiana.

In 1984, a strange sound was enveloping the nation.  It could heard squawking from an outdoor stage in Texas or bouncing between the steel and glass skyscrapers of Manhattan.  The sound was the greasy notes of an accordion played by one Rockin’ Sidney Simien, on his song “My Toot Toot.” 

Simien recorded the song in his lavish mobile home near Lake Charles, Louisiana, slathering instruments over a drum machine track.  “My Toot Toot” was a novelty song where the singer warns “don’t mess with my toot toot.”  Of course, people read all kinds of things into the lyric: don’t mess with my drugs,  don’t mess with my (name your favorite part of the male or female anatomy).  The song’s accordion solos just SOUND nasty, so it was easy to read stuff into it, but Simien insisted at the time the “toot toot” of the title is just a Cajun French term of endearment.

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So Long, Bush!

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on January 20, 2009 by 30daysout

 george_bush_holding_breath

Today Barack Obama will take the oath to become the 44th President of the United States.  Millions of Americans will breathe a sigh of relief – not so much that Obama is in the White House, but that George W. Bush is out.   As the Beatles sang, “It’s getting better all the time … it can’t get no worse!

CAUTION: Some of the following songs contain explicit language.

MP3: “George Bush R.I.P.” by Cosmo vs. Flapsandwich

MP3: “Let’s Impeach The President” (live) by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

MP3: “Son Of A Bush” by Public Enemy

MP3: “George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People” by the Legendary K.O.

MP3: “When The President Talks To God” by Bright Eyes

MP3: “Long Dark Night” by John Fogerty

MP3: “Mission Accomplished (You Gotta Have Faith)” by Todd Snider

MP3: “We Can’t Make It Here” by James McMurtry

MP3: “Fortunate Son” by the New Orleans Social Club

MP3: “Bring ‘Em Home”  by Bruce Springsteen

YouTube: A salute to George W. Bush

Cool Covers: “Fortunate Son”

Posted in Cool Covers with tags , , on October 14, 2008 by 30daysout

         

John Fogerty wrote the perfect statement of righteous rage in the late 1960s: “Fortunate Son.”  Creedence Clearwater Revival’s version of the song reached No. 4 on the pop charts in 1969; Fogerty has said it was inspired by watching David Eisenhower and Julie Nixon, the daughter and grandson of Presidents, living their privileged lives on TV.  The song appears on Willy and the Poor Boys, which has just been reissued (again) by Fantasy Records as part of a 40th anniversary celebration; the version included here is a live cut which appears as an extra on the new CD.

Todd Snider is a singer/songwriter from Oregon who’s been knocking around Austin lately; his new album Peace Queer features a stripped-down version of “Fortunate Son” that veers closer to raw blues – it’s just as angry as John Fogerty was four decades ago.  (You can download the entire Peace Queer EP at Snider’s website; just “buy” it for $0.00!)

And a footnote: David Eisenhower enlisted in the Navy reserves to escape Vietnam, and today Julie Nixon Eisenhower supports Barack Obama. 

MP3: “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival (live)

MP3: “Fortunate Son” by Todd Snider

John Fogerty official website

Todd Snider official website