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The Three CDs

The first full studio recording by John Fogerty in more that ten years, BLUE MOON SWAMP was released in the United States in May 20th, 1997. European release started on May 16th. No South American release information is available, although in certain countries WB is distributing the album. A Maxi-Single has been released in Australia. Look for details here in the next days.

This is how the BMS story unfolded at
The River Rising Mail List:

The Data for the album is:
Title - Blue Moon Swamp
Label - Warner Bros.
Cat. Nbr. - Warner/WEA 45426
by Philip Brady

A promotional single, "Walkin' In AHurricane" is airing now in Europe and the the U.S. A source said: "This (single) is stormin' rock and roll! Any station that has a brain will play it. Any station that doesn't will be left in the lurch."

 

John Fogerty Promotional Cassette, by Bruno Berthold. 55K Gif, no links

Promotional cassette of Blue Moon Swamp, distributed by Warner Bros. to radio stations, retailers and reviewers after April 15. Courtesy of Bruno Berthold, Canada.

Details

 

WARNER BROS. PRESS RELEASE

On April 24, Warner Bros. released this information
on Blue Moon Swamp

Personel:
John Fogerty: vocaly, guitar, lap stell, dobro, bouzouki, mandolin
Bob Glaub: Bass
Kenny Aronoff:drums

Producer:
John Fogerty

Guests:
The Fairfield Four, backing vocals
The Lonesome River Band
Duck Dunn, bass
Chad Smith, Chester Thompson, drums

John Fogerty is a seminal figure in the histoty of rock'n' roll, and Blue Moon Swamp, his first album in a decade, is fully up to his legendary standards.Bristling with energy, bite and Fogerty's trademark guitar choogle, Blue Moon Swamp is a stunning new set of songs that ranks with the finest work's he's ever done. Ranging in sound from Sun session twang to Creedence style rockers to full on 90's electricity, the album was a long time coming, but it was worth every minute of the wait.

The album was produced by Fogerty himself, mixed by Bob Clearmountain and masteredby Jim Ludwig. Most of the album features a core group of Fogerty on guitar and other instruments, along with Bob Glaub on bass and Kenny Aronoff on drums.There are also guest performances by Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and veteran Muscle Shoals bassist Duck Dunn along with gospel harmonies from The Fairfield Four and bluegrass sound from the Lone River Band.

John will be doing extensive press to support BMS and you can expect this album to be one of the highest visibility releases of the year.Ecstatic reviews are a certainty. Expect extensive multi-format airplay as well.(Details of singles and videos had yet to be finalized at press ime).

John plays an extensive tourschedule to support the record throughout the late spring and summer. In addition to Bob Glaub and Kenny Aronoff, the live band will include multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz and guitarist Johnny Lee Schell.

Contributed by Peter Koers
CCR Fan Club

 

SONGLIST

These are the titles of the 12 songs on BLUE MOON SWAMP in the order that they appear on the CD.

1. Southern Streamline
2. Hot Rod Heart
3. Blueboy
4. 110 In The Shade
5. Rattlesnake Highway
6. Bring It Down To Jellyroll
7. Walking In A Hurricane
8. Swamp River Days
9. Rambunctious Boy
10.Joy Of My Life
11. Blue Moon Nights
12. Bad Bad Boy

 

 

Distinguished Music Critic and River Rising Mail List Member Hank Bordowitz reviews BLUE MOON SWAMP - A River Rising Web Exclusive!

John Fogerty
Blue Moon Swamp
(Warner Bros)

Once, when he was still in a band, John Fogerty was one of the most prolific and successful musicians in the world. In the four years or so he recorded with his old school chums and his brother in Creedence Clearwater Revival, they recorded six and a half albums of epochal music. In the ensuing 25 years, he hasn’t equaled that in quantity or quality, save for his first comeback album, 1985’s Centerfield. Now, after 11 years in “retirement,” Fogerty has created a consistent, tuneful album. Blue Moon Swamp has all the ingredients that made CCR and Centerfield living and lasting.

The first single, “Walking In A Hurricane” has the killer beat, great guitar work and archetypal Fogerty growl. “Blue Moon Night” and “Southern Streamline” capture the early rockabilly sound. “Swamp River Days,” reprises “Born On The Bayou” musically and in the nostalgic lyrics. If CCR were still making music, it would sound like this. BMS also displays a modicum of growth. The sweet, bluesy, dobro powered “Joy Of My Life” may be the first love song Fogerty ever recorded, and it was worth waiting for.. You can hear the influence of new friends like Bruce Springsteen in “Hot Rod Hearts.” He also copped the title “Rattlesnake Highway” from The Boss, though it owes more to Don Henley and Jimi Hendrix. “Bad Bad Boy” has the crunch distortion of much contemporary pop metal. Fogerty digs deeper for the roots with the blues ballad “A Hundred and Ten In The Shade” a tune with all the elements of gospel, due in no small part contribution from the Fairfeild Four on backing vocals.. Even throwaways, like “Bring It Down to Jelly Roll” are fun, the mark of a great album. Telling lyric: “It took years of effort to become the mess you see.”

Hank Bordowitz

THE HISTORY BEHIND THE
RELEASE DATE

The release date for BLUE MOON SWAMP in the United States has been confirmed for May 20th, 1997. Most Internet CD outlets carry the same announcement although no Cat. No. has been made public. Warner Bros. Canada has said that they will release the record the same day it's out in the U.S.A. (reported by Jack Bradley, Canada.)

Robert Aerts was told by Warner Bros. Germany that the release there was set for May 16, four days before the north american release. The reason for this might be the need to avoid that European dealers order it in the US. CD's are a lot cheaper in the US than in Europe where a CD cost at least $20 to $25.

Johan Bjernick, from Sweden, says that a southern Swedish evening paper carried a full story on Blue Moon Swamp on Saturday, April 12, with the information of the announced release of the album there on May 16 too. The newspaper also featured an interview with John Fogerty.

A little earlier, Philip Brady, from Ireland, reported that, according to the Irish Warner Bros. subsidiary, the album would be released on June 2nd.

Same thing in Britain. Gary Jackson reports that Warners UK says the release date for the UK is set for June 2nd. "This is subject to change.There are no plans for a single here, so if there are non-album B sides, us Brits might be reliant on our overseas friends for these. Release dates are not the same throughout Europe. The girl I spoke to confirmed that the UK and Spanish pressing plants are not working towards the same date on this one, although some releases are co-ordinated Europe-wide, BMS isn't one of them."

No release date for South America has been signaled to us but most probably what will sell there is the american import as soon as the local Warner offices can get it into those countries. This market is substantially geared towards Latin music and anglo-american pop. The Rock and R&B, not to mention Country music markets are secondary.

"Walkin' in a Hurricane" reported by Dana Doak. Also,he told us no video is planned but Fogerty may participate in an upcoming VH-1 special on JCF/CCR.

 

Blue Moon Swamp Tour poster

Blue Moon Swamp Tour
Newspaper Advertisement
(scan by Inigo Figuracion)

JOHN FOGERTY 1997 WORLD TOUR

The release of BLUE MOON SWAMP will be followed by a world tour. Before that tour, however, John Fogerty will be doing a "Promo Tour" to introduce the album, playing small venues in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. He wil then do a similar promo tour in Europe for about 12 days, although no countries nor cities were specified. After that is finished, Fogerty will then start the full-blown world tour which, of course, will be "all over" and in larger venues. His wife Julie and the children will be travelling with him throughout the tour. Neither of them has been away from their children for more than a few days at a time, and neither want to change that. Reported by Gary Jakson, the UK.

The Promo Tour seems to take of in May. John Fogerty will be playing at the Fillmore in San Francisco the 18 and 19, and then at the L.A. House of Blues on May 21, 23 and 24 (no 22nd). Tickets go on sale Sunday, April 20 at 11:00 AM at $35 each. Fillmore dates by Joe Hannigan and Bob Langlie, House of Blues dates by Nancy Wasovitz, Inigo Figuracion, Michael Rescigno and Jeff Hickman.

According to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (The Daily News), John Fogerty will come to Sweeden in early June and play a (promotional) show at "Circus" which is a very nice 1.700 seat place in Stockholm. This will be the first show John Fogerty plays there since the last CCR show in the early 70s. Reported by Lars Petersson. And it is confirmed: on April 23 it was announced that John Fogerty will headline this years "Lollipop festival" and play here in Stockholm, Sweden on July 25. Other performers at the festival are David Bowie, The Chemical Brothers and De La Soul. Lars Petersson says "This will be Johns first appereance in Stockholm since the early 70s when he was over here with CCR. Im not sure if they played here in 1972 but they played here in 1970 at "Kungliga Tennishallen" (my cousin saw them at the time)." So, the information that was reported a while ago that he would play "Circus" in early June seems to have changed from a small "promo / warmup" gig to a huge outdoor show playing in front of 30.000+ people.

The touring band will include:
Bob Glaub - bass (on album as well)
Kenny Aronoff - drums (on album as well)
Greg Leisz - lap steel guitar
Johnny Lee Schnell - guitar
reported by Johan Bjernick

.

 

FOGERTY FINDS HIS MUSICAL ROOTS IN "BLUE MOON SWAMP"

Review by Graham Niven
The River Rising Web
U.S.A. Manager


John Fogerty has rediscovered his musical identity, and the result is his most enjoyable release to date.

It took several listenings, and some retrospective thoughts. I think one major reason this release is so enjoyable is there are no angry songs on it. No references to bad things in the past or present, except a fairly tame, "She done me wrong" lyric. Fogerty has clearly exorcised some of his personal demons over the last few years, and the net result is an obvious joy in the music. Fogerty's guitar playing is more confident and competent than ever. His songwriting overall is good, as are his arrangements and vocals. There are none of the thinly disguised social commentaries that marked some of his best Creedence era songs.

Fogerty has reclaimed his strongest musical skills. Small things that add up to make great tunes like background instruments, a familiar guitar riff, a Dobro highlight, a 'D' tuned tremolo guitar or a trademark "Wellll..." vocal here and there. One thing CCR music always could do was make me feel better no matter what. BLUE MOON SWAMP'S music does the same thing.

This is Fogerty's best solo release. THE BLUE RIDGE RANGERS is his only effort in the same league, and Fogerty wisely borrows many of RANGERS’ stronger points and puts them to good use on BLUE MOON SWAMP. Pedal steel guitar and Dobro licks in abundance give BLUE MOON SWAMP a definite identity. John uses his trademark 'D' tuned Les Paul Custom tremolo guitar sound on many tracks. The compressed Telecaster sound so prominent on HOODOO and CENTERFIELD is present also. This is Fogerty's home turf musically, and his vocals and musicianship show he is very comfortable here.

There are many hints here of other contemporary artists, including Jimi Hendrix, Warren Zevon, The Rolling Stones, The Pretenders and Bruce Springsteen. It is hard to dislike any song on BLUE MOON SWAMP. Everyone should find several tunes to call their favorites.

Southern Streamline - An excellent choice to start with. It displays a little bit of everything that comprises BLUE MOON SWAMP. A rockabilly flavored song with excellent background vocals and lots of Dobro highlights, with pedal steel guitar licks doing the train whistle sound.

Hot Rod Heart - There is a lot of CENTERFIELD'S "I Can't Help Myself" in this tune, without the drum machine. Fogerty displays more than a touch of Springsteen flavored sounds in vocal style and guitar work here. Which is only fitting since Bruce borrowed heavily from Fogerty over the years. A fresh and very listenable tune.

Blueboy - A tremolo guitar powered rocker, with a guitar hook destined to be remembered as one of Fogerty’s better guitar riffs. A lively background vocal track and bar atmosphere sounds add to the overall juke joint feel of the tune .

110 in The Shade - This is a textbook delta cotton field blues belly rubbing' slow dance song. Add a 'D' tuned tremolo guitar, and great vocals by The Fairfield Four and Fogerty, and you have a wonderful, earthy blues song.

Rattlesnake Highway - This song reprises some of the structure of a couple of songs from Fogerty's EYE OF THE ZOMBIE release. There are also nods to Warren Zevon's "Werewolf of London" and a riff similar to one of The Pretenders' better songs. Not to mention some Jimi Hendrix inspired riffs. Despite all this, it is the weakest song on BMS.

Bring It Down To Jelly Roll - John's tribute to the Rolling Stones. Yes, you read that right. This tune has a personality all it's own with a Farfisa sounding keyboard solo, and lots of great pedal steel guitar, along with Fogerty's unmistakable vocals.

Walking In A Hurricane - Excellent arrangement of a fast paced rocker. Some blistering lead guitar work. Lyrically strong, this tune rocks more than any other on BMS. Fogerty proves he can still rock with this Marshall stack amp and Les Paul lead guitar sound.

Swamp River Days - John sings about his pickup truck. I've been waiting to hear him do that for about 24 years, ever since the BLUE RIDGE RANGERS days. This song is rock, country, rockabilly, nostalgic and very original. It not only sounds the closest to what CCR would have likely evolved into, it also shows John is not afraid to ‘plagiarize’ himself, with all the memories and references to the CCR days and songs.

Rambunctious Boy - Possibly one of the main songs you will find yourself thinking of most when you can't be listening to it. Very catchy lyrics and music. Yes, the words "Rambunctious Boy" can be made into an enjoyable song. Lots of electric sitar is heard in this tune.

Joy Of My Life - The first full tilt love song by Fogerty is a Dobro filled slow song tribute to his wife Julie. The lyrics never venture into soap opera syrup here, and the result is a wonderful musical surprise. More new ground broken.

Blue Moon Nights - This one could easily have been one of the best tunes on the BLUE RIDGE RANGERS album. With a beat similar to "Blue Ridge Mountain Blues", this catchy tune will have you tapping your toes and singing along.

Bad Bad Boy - This blues based rocker has a B. B. King and Robert Cray feel to it, and some excellent screaming lead guitar work. Fogerty's tasteful guitar work is enhanced by a very unique and technically modern guitar tone.

THE LONG AND MURKY ROAD TO BLUE MOON SWAMP

by Graham Niven

A quarter century after Creedence Clearwater Revival disbanded, John Fogerty has finally overcome bitter legal battles and personal demons and delivered his first solid solo release. Fogerty released four solo projects over the years, beginning in 1973 with a well done and somewhat successful collection of country music standards released under the guise of THE BLUE RIDGE RANGERS. Fogerty spent the next two years 'on strike' in a bitter dispute with Fantasy Records over royalties from the CCR years as well as personal contractual doings. 1975's JOHN FOGERTY was released on Warner Brothers Record's Elektra/Asylum label, after Warners honcho David Geffen and Fogerty extracted Fogerty from his Fantasy contract. The 1975 release, which contained songs written while John was still at Fantasy records had some great moments, but was uneven. Fogerty struggled with writer's block, and producing and playing all the instruments himself. Despite these problems, the 1975 album is a favorite to many Fogerty fans.

Fogerty followed up the 1975 Asylum release with another solo album, HOODOO, which was pulled from distribution shortly before it was scheduled for release in 1976. One single from the aborted HOODOO album was released, "You Got The Magic" b/w "Evil Thing". Fogerty stated in a 1985 interview that the decision to not release HOODOO was made after Warner's executive Joe Smith told John that he felt the release was just not a good record. Fogerty agreed.

It was the fall of 1984 before Fogerty had enough material ready to make another album. The first completed song that he felt confident enough to play for Warners was, "I Saw It On TV". Warners liked the song, and this encouraged John to complete what would turn out to be the CENTERFIELD release. CENTERFIELD was another one man band release. The album reached number one on the charts, and spawned several successful singles, the most notable being, "The Old Man Down The Road".

Another song that was notable on CENTERFIELD, in a very different way was, "Zanz Kant Danz", an obvious jab at Fantasy Records owner, Saul Zaentz. Zaentz took legal action against Fogerty over this song, resulting in Fogerty having to redo the song to, "Vanz Kant Danz", and, reportedly, make a monetary settlement and public apology to Zaentz.

In September 1985, Fogerty performed live music for a large crowd for the first time in thirteen years at the first Farm Aid concert in Champaign, Illinois. Fogerty was backed by John Mellencamp's band, which included drummer Kenny Aronoff. Fogerty played three songs, "The Old Man Down The Road", "Vanz Kant Danz" and "Knock On Wood". The crowd welcomed Fogerty back with some of the loudest cheers for any performer.

At the Farm Aid show, after the last song, Fogerty told the cheering crowd that he hoped to see them next year. Fogerty did not have enough material to support a tour to promote the CENTERFIELD release because he refused to play his CCR tunes, a result of the ongoing legal disputes with Zaentz. 1986 saw Fogerty return to the studio, this time with talented session musicians, and the result was another new album, EYE OF THE ZOMBIE.

In August 1986, just before his first tour in fourteen years was to begin, Fogerty was notified of another legal attack from Saul Zaentz. Zaentz claimed Fogerty plagiarized himself with his song, "The Old Man Down The Road". The song supposedly plagiarized from the CCR days was "Run Through The Jungle". EYE OF THE ZOMBIE was met with mixed emotions by critics and fans. During the early part of the tour, Fogerty experienced some vocal problems, which he attributed in part to frequent calls to lawyers while on tour. After the Zombie tour ended, Fogerty again battled Zaentz in court, and in a decision closely watched by the music industry, he defeated Zaentz's plagiarism charges. Fogerty actually played electric guitar from the witness stand, with small amplifier nearby, to demonstrate to the jurors his 'swamp' style of music and guitar playing. This was part of his effort to disprove the ridiculous charge of self plagiarism. Despite the court victory, Fogerty still owed a reported four hundred thousand dollars in legal fees. He later sued Zaentz to recoup the fees, and won.

Sometime in early 1987, Fogerty was impressed by a performance of a Los Angeles based band called The Boneshakers. He recruited them to play at the July 4, 1987, "Welcome Home Vietnam Vets" concert near Washington, DC. Fogerty teased the crowd and a live national TV audience by starting the set with the guitar intro to "The Old Man Down The Road", which faded out before the first word was sung into "Born On The Bayou". Bob Dylan and Duane Eddy both had suggested to Fogerty to start playing CCR music again. Fogerty did so, with a vengeance. Backed by a trio of backup singers led by Bobby King, Fogerty and band played a stunning and well rehearsed set of CCR tunes that memorable night.

In December 1987, Fogerty and the Boneshakers taped a tribute to Buddy Holly for broadcast on US Public Television in early 1988. Other than a rare tribute here and there, Fogerty again was in musical oblivion. CCR was inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame in early 1993. Fogerty played a 3 song set at the ceremony, but chose to perform at the ceremony without fellow CCR members Stu Cook and Doug Clifford, both of whom were expecting to join in the jam. Fogerty stated at the time that he believed Doug Clifford put the idea into Zaentz's head about "The Old Man Down The Road" being a copy of "Run Through The Jungle". Cook and Clifford walked out during Fogerty's performance, but returned to see a happily reunited Cream play a great set of songs.

In mid 1995, Cook and Clifford decided to form a band and tour, playing CCR music. Fogerty reportedly was asked to join, but refused. Cook and Clifford recruited Elliot Easton, a CCR fan and excellent guitarist from the defunct band The Cars. Steve Gunnar was brought into the band on keyboards and guitar, and John Tristao was chosen as the lead singer and guitarist. The combination clicked, and began touring under the name, Creedence Clearwater REVISITED.)

The CCR name is owned by four people in equal parts reportedly. Cook, Clifford, John Fogerty and Patricia Fogerty, widow of Tom Fogerty. With permission from Patricia Fogerty, Cook and Clifford had three out of four votes okaying the use of the name, or in this instance, parts of a name. In mid 1996, John Fogerty took legal actions to prevent action Clifford and Cook from using the band name in any form. Fogerty won a temporary injunction order in the fall of 1996 which prevented the name Creedence Clearwater Revisited from being used by Cook, Clifford and company. Cook and Clifford continue to tour under the band name Cosmo's Factory, while awaiting further legal decisions and actions.

Also in mid 1996, word came from Bob Fogerty, John's youngest brother and personal manager, that John had almost completed a new release. A release and tour before the end of 1996 was possible, and according to Bob Fogerty. John Fogerty has always kept his personal life very private, but his divorce from first wife Martha and marriage to new wife Julie was well known. Apparently, Fogerty's creative ability was helped by this major change in lifestyle. Fogerty also relates that his musical creativity was recharged by several pilgrimages to the Mississippi Delta region beginning in 1990. Whatever the reason, John Fogerty music fans, and music fans in general, will likely embrace Fogerty's new release, BLUE MOON SWAMP.

THE MUSICIANS

Addicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman wrote that John Fogerty's new CD "Blue Moon Swamp" features John Mellencamp's drummer, Kenny Aronoff (on most of the tracks), Donald "Duck" Dunn of Booker T. and the MG's fame on bass (for one track), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Howie Epstein on bass, as well as a trio of vocal groups. He adds that Fogerty has hooked up with the oldest-running gospel group in the world, the Fairfield Four for one track ("One Hundred And Ten In The Shade"), the bluegrass harmony group the Lonesome River Band for another and the sibling trio the Waters on a third. The album was produced by Fogerty himself, recorded at the Lighthouse in Los Angeles and mixed by veteran boardman Bob Clearmountain. Full Story (forwarded by Graham Niven)

 

THE STORY

It was announced on February 4th, 1997 that John Fogerty had delivered the master tapes for a so far untitled solo album to Warner Bros. Records. The production, according to Billboard Bulletin, had twelve songs. Some of the titles mentioned were "Rambunctious Boy," "Southern Streamline" and "110 In The Shade," the latter of which features veteran gospel group the Fairfield Four. No commercial release had yet been announced, but it wass expected no late than April. Forwarded by Adam Bryant.

The announcement was taken to mean that the tapes had being submited by Fogerty within the previous two months and that now they have been approved by Warner Bros. By Hank Bordowitz.

JOHN FOGERTY SWEDISH INTERVIEW

Published on a southern Sweden evening newspaper on April 12, 1997. Translated by Johan Bjernick.(Quotes from John Fogerty translated from English to Swedish and then by Johan back to English again so they're not word for word):

"When I visited Mississippi it was also the start of my own awakening. A process which had then followed the recordings of this album. Suddenly I had found the place where I should be."

"My heroes when I was young were James Burton and Don Rich from Buck Owens band. Spectacular and tasteful at once."

"Centerfield took a long time since I did everything myself. I even learned to play the instruments I hadn't played before. This time I wanted to do it the opposite way. I put together a four piece band, but after playing together a couple of weeks I relized that this format also had it's limitations. so I started to look again and picked musicians that fits each particular song."

"After the Eye of The Zombie album I did a tour but after that I retired. It was during this period that I met my wife, had a couple of kids and I stayed in contact with the musicbusiness by producing Blue Tomato, a roadhouse band from the mid-west. But a lot of the time I had a feeling I hadn't come far enough as a musician. so I packed my bags and traveled down to Mississippi, wrote down my impressions, read alot and listened to the local music. I went back there 5-6 times."

"It's fantastic when you think about it how many great musicians that come from such a small part of this country."

Some of the journalist comments on the album:

"An album that makes us forget about Eye of The Zombie and which shows us a more mature side of Fogerty. But there's also hints of Creedence, Blue Ridge Rangers and his first solo album from 1975"

"This time he's taken us on a journey to both Louisiana swamps, the sun-epoch in Memphis, 60's r&b in Alabama and early country. An album that will stand as a model for the late 90's No Depression bands."

"Already in the intro to Southern Streamline he's hooking his old fans as well as taking a new generation in his grip. It's classic Fogerty but this time the rythm-section is tighter at the same time as John is showing of his brilliance as one of James Burtons most talented disciples as well as playing the dobro and pedal steel"

"But there are also songs that are more like classic Creedence. Rambunctious Boy was meant as a classic country song but Fogerty thought it was too much country so he started over again. The result is the type of country rock that Creeedence were the masters of."

"But already in the next track, Joy of My Life, his first real lovesong, in this case dedicated to his wife Julie, he does antic style hillbilly country with dobro and acoustic guitar"

 

The Three CDs

 

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