Nov 5, 2013
01:21 PMArts & Entertainment
John Fogerty Rocks Oakdale Theater in Wallingford Nov. 9
Photo by Brennan Schnell, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
John Fogerty at the 2011 Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest.
This Saturday, Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford will play host to an artist who’s been lauded as “the white Chuck Berry.” For a blues-hollerin’, foot-stomping, high-octane rocker like John Fogerty, 68, that’s high praise indeed—but certainly not undeserved. Born in Berkeley, Calif., this people’s poet came to prominence in the late 1960s as the lead guitarist, singer and songwriter of Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), a band which charted nine Top Ten singles between ’69-’71 and since has sold more than 26 million albums in the U.S. alone.
Infused with Southern cultural iconography—the lyrics were replete with references to bayous, catfish and the Mississippi River—Fogerty’s CCR songs were nonetheless about a great deal more than that, ranging from dark existential poetry (“Bad Moon Rising,” “Run Through the Jungle”) and despairing personal laments (“Lodi”) to angry social commentary (“Fortunate Son,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain?”). After more than 40 years, they’re still a staple of American and world radio. One can hear CCR’s influence in a multitude of rock artists and bands that have emerged since, from Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty to Wilco and Kings of Leon.
Since the band’s breakup in 1972, Fogerty’s been through at least an autobiography’s worth of professional ups and downs, stemming from a series of (to say the least) counterproductive disputes with CCR’s former record company and his former bandmates. After a stumbling beginning to his solo career in the mid-’70s, Fogerty disappeared for nearly a decade, re-emerging in 1984 with a hit album (and title single), Centerfield, disappeared for yet another decade until coming back with 1997’s Blue Moon Swamp, and then disappeared again until 2004’s Déja Vu (All Over Again), an album that indicted the Iraq War as a replay of Vietnam. Amidst the drama, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and, as a member of CCR. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Over the last 10 years he’s finally gotten his bad old past behind him and been busier than ever, playing everywhere from the Hollywood Bowl to the Royal Albert Hall to “American Idol,” starting his own record label and writing a memoir (which will be published in 2014). Currently, the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles is hosting an exhibit of his rock ’n’ roll artifacts called Wrote a Song for Everyone, which runs through January and corresponds with Fogerty’s promotional tour for his new CD of the same name, released earlier this year.
Dominated by vocal collaborations on classic CCR tunes with peers such as Bob Seger, Keith Urban and Kid Rock, the disc also features two new songs—“Train of Fools” and “Mystic Highway”—and earned a five-star review from Rolling Stone magazine. In addition to spotlighting Song for Everyone, the Oakdale show will feature one classic CCR album—either 1967’s Bayou Country or 1969’s Cosmo’s Factory—in its entirety. Whichever one he picks, you can expect it to sound as fresh and vital as it did back then.
For tickets, call the Oakdale Theatre box office at (203) 269-8721 or visit oakdale.com.John Fogerty Rocks Oakdale Theater in Wallingford Nov. 9