John Fogerty

The Blue Ridge Rangers: Rides Again

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John Fogerty released his first solo CD, an album of covers on which he played all the instruments, under the name the "Blue Ridge Rangers," and he revives that concept on 2009's The Blue Ridge Rangers Ride Again. Where the first smacked of the righteous zeal of a young purist, Ride Again is a lot looser in its attack, something reflected in how it splits the difference between country and rockabilly classics and reflective numbers from '70s songwriters. These unexpected covers of John Prine, Delaney & Bonnie, and John Denver offer a peek at a sweeter, gentler Fogerty, a Fogerty who can also be heard on how he lays back instead of pushing ahead on Buck Owens' "I Don't Care (Just as Long as You Love Me)" and Ray Price's "I'll Be There," and even on his revamp of his own neglected swamp rocker "Change in the Weather." He can still raise an unholy ruckus, wailing his way through Gene Simmons' rockabilly classic "Haunted House" and joyously duetting with Bruce Springsteen on the Everlys' "When Will I Be Loved," but Ride Again isn't a raucous rock & roll album, it's a relaxed good time, a little bit of cheerful nostalgia that's pretty charming.

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