A few months ago, thanks to a good pointer from my good friend, Hannah White, I tuned into a live concert/documentary on Netflix. The documentary told the story of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s first ever tour in Europe. It was 1970 and the CCR were arguably the biggest act in the world. They were so successful that they’d edited themselves out of the Woodstock Movie as they really weren’t that sure about the whole escapade. They’d had a run of hits but still not enjoyed their biggest world wide record. They were, in a word, hot.
The first part of the Netflix film tells the story of that first European tour and chronicles the reaction of each member of the band as they encounter the old capital cities. When they get to London they are booked to play at the iconic Royal Albert Hall where, they are aware, all the major bands of the day have performed. The entire show was filmed and the audio and footage has been brilliantly remastered for what is, by any standards a remarkable performance. There is no big light show, no special effects….there may well be no effects pedals…..but there is a four-piece band doing what they do brilliantly. The playing and singing are out of this world and the whole thing captures the glory of the talent that is John Fogerty. It’s his guitar, his voice and of course, his songs which make the performance so mesmerising.
A couple of weeks ago I got to spend a good time with John Fogerty talking about how those songs and that sound still resonates so many years on. We talked about what a huge influence his songs and sound are on contemporary country and Americana acts and how he too was hugely influenced by the country music he heard. It’s in the lyric of Lookin Out My Back Door that John sings:
There’s a giant doin’ cartwheels, a statue wearin’ high heels
Look at all the happy creatures dancin’ on the lawn
Dinosaur Victrola, listenin’ to Buck Owens
On this week’s AC we talk to John about that gig, that sound , these songs and the influence of Bakersfield on CCR and his songs. It’s a fascinating conversation with an artist whi is due in the UK this month and whose voice remains as strong as ever.
We’ll also have an hour of new records from some AC favourites including Brandy Blark, Brandi Carlile and Hank Snow. We’ll introduce you to some fine new cuts from Parker Millsap, Jenny Lewis and Morgan Wade whose gig last week sounded like a triumph. All of this in the two hours we’re on air on BBC Radio Scotland. It all kicks off at five past eight and you can catch us live or later and anywhere in the world on BBC Sounds. Do join me if you can.