Saturday, October 03, 2009

John Fogerty's THE BLUE RIDGE RANGERS RIDE AGAIN Is Simply Awful


With CCR, guitar rock legend John Fogerty made some of the greatest classic rock songs of all time. But then came that fairly awful last CCR album, MARDI GRAS, where everyone took a turn singing whether they actually could or not, and the band was gone. But then as a solo artist, Fogerty's work has been extremely uneven in quality. Sometimes there was a glimpse of his CCR greatness, but many times there was just so-so quality stuff that just wasn't''t up to snuff. One of the better solo projects of John Fogerty was his Blue Ridge Rangers album that came out in 1973.


The first BLUE RIDGE RANGERS album had John Fogerty playing all of the instruments. The album was entirely comprised of country, rock or traditional music covers. And there was plenty of gems on the album such as the singles "Jambalaya" or "Hearts Of Stone". Album tracks such as the gospel tune, "Workin' On A Building" were awesome standouts as well. It was a great solo project that put a little space between the CCR work by Fogerty and his new solo career. In short, it was a great album.


But now we come to this 2009 mess. THE BLUE RIDGE RANGERS RIDE AGAIN is simply awful for the most part. Instead of the typical swamp rock sound so familiar to John Fogerty, we have a mostly dreadful collection of bad cover versions of John Denver favorites and other country songs. And this time Fogerty got some guest help from Bruce Springstein and The Eagle's Don Henley. But it sure didn't help this awful album very much. To say that this album sucks big time would be to put it mildly.


The album opens with the thoroughly disappointing tune, "Paradise" which pretty much sets the lame crummy country music flavored tone for this album by Fogerty. The cover version of "NEVER ENDING SONG OF LOVE" is a little better. But then there's that questionable judgment to choose to do that late Rick Nelson song, "Garden Party". Why do that song? Even worse, why do a cover of that John Denver song, "Back Home Again"? Why? Why? Why?


Old CCR fans will probably only find his new 2009 version of "Change In The Weather" as the only song that they can probably stand to listen to on album that's mostly pure bad country song cover version dreck. But even "Change In The Weather" is far from a great song here as well. The song also appeared on the old EYE OF THE ZOMBIE album.


And like a few country albums looking to fill some space, the waste of time, country-novelty tune, "Haunted House" is included here as well. That's always a sign of junk. Other than some clever guitar work on the Fogerty version, this song is simply awful. Other country stars such as John Anderson have recorded far better versions of this song years ago.


For heavens sake, if you're a John Fogerty fan, you'll have your heart broken by this album. There's just too little good about it. It's mostly pure crap. It makes MARDI GRAS look like a real gem by comparison. Avoid this new album like the swine flu. Poor+

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