Much of what is written about this record will have to do with the subject matter of the title cut – an anti-war song where Fogerty compares the Iraq situation to Vietnam, and even weaves the bass line from “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” into the song. And maybe it’s too bad the focus will be on the track, because this is as fine an album as this rock legend has made since leaving Creedence.
In the CCR days, Fogerty proved adept at writing hits and adding a social message. Well, there’s plenty of stuff here that could be a hit if radio pays attention. “She’s Got Baggage” should immediately enter the setlist of every bar band in America. It’s a rocker with killer vocals, killer hook, and a sound that pops out of your speakers. “I Will Walk With You” will be a country hit for someone, if not Fogerty. A simple, beautiful expression of love with a bluegrass feel and fine dobro by Jerry Douglas and guitar from Fogerty, it’s one of those songs guaranteed to become a staple for couples. The very funny “Honey Do” will relate to husbands everywhere. Studio wizard Dean Parks joins Fogerty on guitar to help this light rockabilly tune, with a very funny lyric, glide along. Guitarists who wish Mark Knopfler still used that “Sultans of Swing” tone will want to hear “Nobody’s Here Anymore.” The Dire Straits lead man pulls out the Strat and echoes those famous riffs during this tale of alienation in the modern world. Fans of the old swampy sound will revel in “Wicked Old Witch.” It’s CCR meets John Lee Hooker on the bayou. Great stuff.
There’s not a bad cut here. At 10 songs, none real long, this is the perfect length. Fogerty’s got plenty of great help, too. Kenny Aronoff plays drums throughout, and folks like Benmont Tench, Alex Acuna, Viktor Krauss, Billy Burnette, Knopfler, and others help Fogerty make one of the best records of the year. This is a must for Fogerty fans, or anyone who grew up listening to the music that came out of the ’60s.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Dec. ’04 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.