Former Creedence Clearwater Revival leader Fogerty's first album since 1986's broodingly flat Eye of the Zombie, '97's Blue Moon Swamp finds him returning to the roots-rock ways of his old CCR glory days. Deceptively rela... more »xed in the Creedence manner, this collection seeks to evoke the mood and tone of Southern swamp blues, with generally successful results. Highlighted by rockabilly-tinged tunes like "Southern Streamline" and "Hot Rod Heart," the album's clear standout track is "One Hundred and Ten in the Shade," on which Fogerty, ably backed by gospel vocal group legends the Fairfield Four, uncannily reconstructs the sound of Southern field hollers. --Billy Altman« less
Former Creedence Clearwater Revival leader Fogerty's first album since 1986's broodingly flat Eye of the Zombie, '97's Blue Moon Swamp finds him returning to the roots-rock ways of his old CCR glory days. Deceptively relaxed in the Creedence manner, this collection seeks to evoke the mood and tone of Southern swamp blues, with generally successful results. Highlighted by rockabilly-tinged tunes like "Southern Streamline" and "Hot Rod Heart," the album's clear standout track is "One Hundred and Ten in the Shade," on which Fogerty, ably backed by gospel vocal group legends the Fairfield Four, uncannily reconstructs the sound of Southern field hollers. --Billy Altman
Toni B. (twintoni) from ORANGE PARK, FL Reviewed on 9/13/2006...
Fogerty still has the great voice we love from CCR music.
Return of the Legend
Kevin L. Nenstiel | Kearney, Nebraska | 04/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Creedence Clearwater Revival, the quartet that gave us such classics as "Down On the Corner" and "Proud Mary," cranked out three albums in the year 1969. In this day, when we've grown accustomed to artists sometimes going as long as six or seven years between albums, this seems staggering. It's even more staggering when you consider that CCR's lead singer and songwriter, John Fogerty, hadn't released an album in eleven years prior to Blue Moon Swamp.Fogerty has been one of the overlooked voices of a generation. His eloquent blues on songs like "Wrote a Song For Everyone" exceeded the description of the emotions of the hippie generation we remember from bombastic groups like The Doors. Where Jim Morrison declared, "We want the world and we want it now," Fogerty and CCR sang, "I saw the people standing a thousand years in chains. Somebody said it's different now, but look, it's just the same." This may be less likely to grab the ears of listeners, but it was more moving to a generation that was searching for a standard of hope and vision.But that generation is no longer composed of youth in search of an identity, oppressed by the system. The Baby Boomers ARE the system. Members of the generation dominate politics, technology, culture, and anything else you can name. Does John Fogerty, the Willy of the Poor Boys, still have something to offer the world in this environment?Absolutely. Perhaps the epitomy of growing old gracefully, Fogerty embodies the spirit of youth in a man his age (he was 51 when he recorded Blue Moon Swamp). However, he's no longer singing about how he ain't no fortunate son or how he remembers the bayou. He's facing the world as an adult, a strong voice for maturity with sophistication and style.This album with which he celebrates this maturation is a strong, evocative piece. Don't take my word for it, however. In 1997, the Denver Post compiled lists of the ten best albums of the year for rock, country, blues, and classical music, each by a different critic. This album was on all the lists except classical. Moreover, after failing to garner the coveted award for years, this album won Fogerty his first Grammy as a musician. If the critics love it, it must not be too bad, right?Starting with the song "Southern Streamline," about the wanderlust we go through at least once in our lives, Fogerty grabs the listener with a blues-based force that was not much in evidence on his last album, the critically panned Eye of the Zombie. Other songs, like "Hot Rod Heart," about a man who feels a need for speed, and "Bring It Down to Jelly Roll," about dancing being panacea, are strong and enjoyable. It seems Fogerty's eleven years of navel-gazing weren't wasted -- the blues basis that propelled the popularity of CCR is back in evidence.The album isn't perfect. There are a couple of pieces of filler material, particularly the song "Rattlesnake Highway." There's no strong single off the album, which is why it didn't get the kind of commercial success it deserved. However, as the relative success of the album indicated, it's strong enough to support itself on its merits and the name of the artist.Fogerty himself makes some wise choices. Unlike his previous two outings, the good but flawed Centerfield and the commercial failure Eye of the Zombie, he exerts limitations on his great instrumental ability. On the other albums, Fogerty played many instruments himself, but on this one, he sticks to his strength, playing the guitars, and only the guitars. This includes the masterful steel guitar on "Bring It Down to Jelly Roll" and dobro on his paean to his wife, "Joy of My Life."This song is possibly the masterwork of the album. Its country-blues tone is reminiscent of CCR's "Looking Out My Back Door" or Fogerty's solo debut, the bluegrass Blue Ridge Rangers. Where many artists become enrapt in a strong style and repeat themselves, however, Fogerty tinges this song with a jazz undertone and mixes in a syncopated drum line that keeps it lively and inventive.Nor is this the only strong song in a traditional vein. Perhaps the greatest tribute to Fogerty's awareness that he isn't a kid anymore is "Hundred and Ten in the Shade," a blues in the style of Muddy Waters, backed with the gorgeous vocals of gospel team The Fairfield Four. He sings of working hard, getting tired, and begging to be carried away from the misery. Fogerty knows he's getting old, but he's managed to maintain the vitality of youth with a grace we could all long to emulate.Fogerty maintains his importance to the Baby Boom he helped voice, not by pretending he's still a kid as many of his peers do, but by showing it's possible to accept aging and even imminent mortality with grace. He indicates that it's possible to maintain the vibrancy and spirit of youth as one ages, without having to resort to childish antics. Life remains worth living in the face of death, joy is to be had in the presence of pain, and youth can be retained without being juvenile. These are messages too few are willing to broadcast -- and messages Fogerty embraces with a passion most of us can only long for. When we're all his age, may we all be as joyful and alive as John Fogerty is."
A Real Gem-It Just Doesn't Get Any Better!
Sam Bethune | Lincoln, Nebraska USA | 01/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Blue Moon Swamp is, to my thinking, a breakthrough album of sorts. John Fogerty stopped making records after the somewhat uneven Eye of the Zombie about 12 years before, and with this CD he is back and better than ever.The best track on this disc, by far, is Hundred and Ten in the Shade (for which Fogerty taught himself to play dobro). You can practically feel the sweat dripping off of your body when you listen to it. Blue Boy and Bringing It Down to Jelly Roll (the latter a tribute to Jelly Roll Morton) are also worth a listen. And then there's Joy of My Life, a great love song written by Fogerty for his wife which features a first rate dobro solo.In many ways, this is Fogerty's best solo recording and one of the most polished collections of songs ever released by any artist. As I recall, it won a well deserved Grammy for record of the year in the year of its release, and after one listening you'll instantly know why."
John Fogerty's BEST-EVER?
Henry R. Kujawa | "The Forbidden Zone" (Camden, NJ) | 02/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is AMAZING. I love just about EVERY song on this album, especially "Southern Streamline", "A Hundred And Ten In The Shade" (with the incredible Fairfield Four, who toured as John's warm-up act!), "Bring It Down To Jelly Roll", "Walking In A Hurricane", "Swamp River Days", "Rambunctious Boy", and "Blue Moon Nights". But particularly "Hot Rod Heart"-- the guitar work on this song thrills me to no end every time I hear it! This is not only clearly John's best solo album, it may be the BEST album he's EVER done! What a charge to hear this got the Grammy for "Best Rock Album of the year", one of the few times something I liked got such recognition. In fact, that year BLUE MOON SWAMP was the ONLY album by any "known" artist to even get into my personal "top ten"! For anyone looking for good NEW music, it's out there; I recommend The Friggs' ROCK CANDY, THE SPY-FI SOUNDS OF THE OMEGA MEN, Ben Vaughn's RAMBLER 65, Kevin Johnson's PAROLE MUSIC, The X Brothers' SOLID CITIZENS and The Brain Surgeons' MALPRACTISE (all from '97)."
Blue Moon Swamp
arunas carl blandis | Sydney, Australia. | 05/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A rock & roll artist's greatest attribute is the vocal delivery of the song. This is how rock & roll music differentiated itself from mere pop music in the middle nineteen fifties. Presley definitely had it, some other singers had it, Fogerty especially had and does have it.This album is not rated a five star album because of the vocal delivery of the material by John Fogerty. It rates a five star because of composition merit and musicianship. It is an album which demonstrates much variation and nuance. Regrettably, the adrenalin driving Fogerty voice is adjusted to a 'clinical laboratory' delivery to compliment the near perfect instrumental performance of John Fogerty and the backing musicians in the acoustically sensitive recording studio.Let the passionate and enduring fan not be disappointed. This is a truly great album and very well sung. This critique becomes very obvious to the new listener when they hear "the voice" here, growl and scream the lyrics of most of these songs on the 'Premonition' video (see separate review) and fewer on the 'Premonition' album.In this album Fogerty adds another great classic 'Hot Rod Heart' to his "motoring category of songs". This super composition joins other memorable greats such as 'Sweet Hitchhiker' and 'Up Around the Bend'.'Swamp River Days'is deserving of mention for lyrics and instrumental backing. This is one of Fogerty's greatest songs and on the 'Premonition' album the delivery of this is extraordinary, again vintage John Fogerty.'Rattlesnake Highway' and 'Walking In A Hurricane' are traditonal rock & roll "struggling loser" songs delivered more typically Fogerty - absolutely excellent.'Blueboy'is an interesting track especially with the inclusion of the "chattering crowd background" and "The Waters", a group which added so much to the live edition of this song. 'A Hundred And Ten In the Shade' with the gifted "Fairfield Four" is a track for which Fogerty fans have been waiting a long time. Fogerty stretches his "agressive falsetto" vocal range so effectively against the backdrop of brilliant harmony from the "Fairfield Four", the unintending result electrifyingly adding significant stature to the field of popular music.Country and western songs are instrumentally and vocally well handled by Fogerty. 'Bring It Down To Jelly Roll' and 'Rumbunctious Boy' are a good example and blend well into the selection on this album. Catchy "boy needs girl songs" 'Southern Streamline', 'Blue Moon Nights' and 'Joy Of My Life' balance the album away from rock towards country, the tribute to Julie(his wife) meaning much to Fogerty and this comes through markedly.'Bad Bad Boy' is an unusual song because Fogerty seldom takes the "senior" or "parent role" in his music. He is more the underdog confronting the establishment, (viz. 'Porterville' & 'Born On The Bayou') his music and its delivery very much suited to this platform. This is a most interesting departure from the norm.There is little wonder that this is an award winning album. For composition and musicianship this is not bettered by any other Fogerty album! Add this to your collection, you will play it often, joyfully. To the passionate and enduring fan, always have the live version of 'Premonition' handy, so that you can hear one of, if not the greatest voice in rock & roll music "do his stuff" on eight of these compositions, in "his way" again."
John Fogerty does not disappoint you
L. B. Ivarsson | Rock City | 03/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is by far the best of John Fogerty's work after Creedence Clearwater Revival. Fans of CCR won't be disappointed in this more or less root rock oriented release featuring some excellent tunes. You get traditional rock in "Southern streamline", and a heavy approach in "Walking in a hurricane". All combined with some groovy tracks as well as some slower blues inspired numbers. I guess Fogerty doesn't give a s**t about contemporary music and that's the way we like it. Highly recommended!"