John Fogerty The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again

John Fogerty The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again

When John Fogerty released his first one-man country covers project as the Blue Ridge Rangers in 1973, it was an attempt to find his musical footing after the bitter dissolution of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Today, with his career and image as a rock'n'roll icon fully restored, the need for Fogerty to take such a rustic detour again seems the act of an artist that has run out of ideas. Of course, Fogerty doesn't have to prove anything to anyone, but his song choices on The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again hardly reflect the single-minded artistic vision that's always served him so well. There's certainly some significance to his versions of John Prine's "Paradise" and Rick Nelson's "Garden Party" but who would have ever thought that the man who wrote "Fortunate Son" would someday cover John Denver? Things are partially rescued at the end by the one-two punch of Robert Geddins's "Haunted House," and a duet with Bruce Springsteen on Phil Everly's "When Will I Be Loved," but by then it's hard to shake the feeling that the album is the sonic equivalent of a pair of old slippers. If Fogerty wants to continue down this country path, there's an endless amount of material better suited to his still-fiery disposition. (Verve/Universal)