Toward the end of their concert on Thursday night at the Chumash Casino, Creedence Clearwater Revisited bassist Stu Cook joked, “What’ya say we do an oldie?” The band then launched into a cover of Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly.”
Of course, all of the songs on the program were “oldies,” despite being about a decade newer than Little Richard’s song. The band was revisiting the amazing late-1960s and early-‘70s songbook of Creedence Clearwater Revival, for which Cook was the bassist and fellow time-traveler Doug “Cosmo” Clifford was on drums.
The band that played at the Chumash substitutes “Revisited” for “Revival” in their name since singer/songwriter/guitarist John Fogerty is no longer in the band, nor is his late brother Tom. It’s not a coincidence that the new name also abbreviates to CCR.
The Fogertys were certainly missed, but vocalist and rhythm guitarist Johnny “The Bulldog” Tristao did a stellar job with his suitably gravelly vocals, and guitarist Kurt Griffey, hailing from Camarillo, delivered smoking lead guitar that was faithful to John Fogerty’s original licks but with his own flash. The lineup was rounded out by multi-instrumentalist Captain Steve Gunner.
The “star” of the show was definitely the CCR roots-rock/swamp-rock songbook, which has aged incredibly well. Here are just some of the notable songs: “Born on the Bayou,” “Green River,” “Lodi” (“about a little town not too far from here”), “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Down on the Corner,” “My Back Door” (“two songs at the same time — a country song and a Western song”), “Midnight Special” (“the definitive sound of the South”), “Bad Moon Rising,” “Proud Mary,” “Fortunate Son,” “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?,” “Travelin’ Band” and “Up Around the Bend.” Many bands would be happy to have just one of these in their catalog — put them together, and, wow!
There were also two covers, also covered by the original band, that were stretched out with shredding solos by Griffey: “Susie Q,” for which he briefly quoted the main riff from Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone from the Sun” by Hendrix, and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” also with a cool bass solo with mini-quotes of “Day Tripper” and “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Cook, and a powerful drum solo by Clifford.
Although Creedence Clearwater Revisited is unfortunately Fogerty-free, Cook, Clifford and company are skillfully and enjoyably keeping CCR’s classic oldies alive and rockin’.
Born on the Bayou
Who’ll Stop the Rain
Long as I Can See the Light
Down on the Corner
My Back Door
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Bad Moon Rising
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
Good Golly Miss Molly
Up Around the Bend
— Noozhawk contributing writer Jeff Moehlis is a professor of mechanical engineering at UCSB. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his Web site, music-illuminati.com.