The spirit of 1969 was in the air when John Fogerty made his first ever Ravinia appearance in a career that’s endured from that very decade through the current “Rollin’ On The River” road trip. Though the singer/songwriter/guitar slinger’s been an intermittent solo artist since Creedence Clearwater Revival split in 1972, the inductee to both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Halls of Fame wasn’t shy about performing the group’s enduring material and actually appeared to favor it over more recent outpourings.
Whether it was the chugging “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” and “Down On The Corner” or the growling “Fortunate Son,” “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary,” Fogerty injected some serious steroids into all the golden oldies and consistently demonstrated how his distinctive chops have only sharpened with experience.
After barreling through “Travelin’ Band,” “Green River” and “Born On The Bayou” like a man more than half his 71 years of age, Fogerty gave the packed pavilion and heavily populated lawn a run down of CCR’s entire day at Woodstock. He joked about how far behind the hippie promoters got with the performance schedule, leaving Fogerty and company playing to a mostly sleeping or naked (and sometimes both) crowd in the wee hours of the morning following a tripped out set from The Grateful Dead.
Nonetheless, it’s all fully cemented in history and even birthed the inspiration for the mega-hit “Who’ll Stop The Rain,” which earned an entirely attentive response at Ravinia. Along with a first rate band (anchored by world renown drummer Kenny Aronoff and featuring his son Shane on guitar), Fogerty also peppered in a few of his most magnetic individual selections, such as the swamp rocker “Hot Rod Heart,” the rootsy newcomer “Mystic Highway” and baseball’s best musical friend “Centerfield.”
He also pumped some finger licking good blues into Lead Belly’s “Midnight Special” and a dose of rollicking southern rock into the soul standard “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” though the final round of CCR classics eclipsed many of the front half highlights. Whether it was the chugging “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” and “Down On The Corner” or the growling “Fortunate Son,” “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary,” Fogerty injected some serious steroids into all the golden oldies and consistently demonstrated how his distinctive chops have only sharpened with experience.
For additional information on John Fogerty, visit JohnFogerty.com.
Upcoming concert highlights at Ravinia include Train with Andy Grammer (Aug. 26-27); Seal (Aug. 28); Ms. Lauryn Hill (Sept. 1); Marty Stuart and Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters (Sept. 2); Bonnie Raitt (Sept. 3); O.A.R. (Sept. 4); Classic Albums Live presents David Bowie’s “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust” (Sept. 9); “The Wizard of Oz” with Chicago Philharmonic (Sept. 10) and Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II (Sept. 11). For additional details, visit Ravinia.org.