During the psychedelic 60s, music emanating from its epicenter of San Francisco was all about free expression and experimental songwriting that produced tunes as long as the band wanted them to be (for instance, psychedelic icons Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” clocked in at 17 minutes, taking up the entire second side of the album that bore the song’s name).
When Creedence Clearwater Revival came along, things got shaken up a bit. Going against the grain of the era’s acid-laced trends, CCR won a loyal worldwide following with their rebellious, sometimes militant “swamp rock,” as it has been described. Radio embraced the catchy songs that lasted an average of three minutes – perfect for airplay – and CCR’s huge popularity yielded them numerous gold and multi-platinum singles and albums.
Today, the classic music of CCR lives on through Creedence Clearwater Revisited, scheduled to perform at the Emerald Queen Casino on May 25 at 8:30 p.m. Comprised of two original members, who founded the band in 1995, and three more outstanding players, the new CCR unfailingly packs the house with fans from back in the day all the way up to a whole new breed of young Creedence devotees.
Any fan of contemporary music knows a CCR tune – “Fortunate Son,” “Down On the Corner,” “Susie Q,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Bad Moon Rising” and so many more. These hits and more are played at every Revisited concert, proving the power of CCR songs that have endured for nearly 50 years.
Drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford and bassist Stu Cook launched Creedence Clearwater Revisited due to having missed playing the CCR songs they had once played at Woodstock and beyond. This Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rhythm section added John “Bulldog” Tristao (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Steve Gunner (keyboards, acoustic guitar, harmonica, percussion, vocals) and Kurt Griffey (lead guitar) to form the Revisited incarnation. As fans who have experienced a Creedence Clearwater Revisited concert can attest, Clifford and Cook certainly found the right players. Tristao, a powerful tenor with the energy to power songs, initially rose to prominence as lead singer for the band People when their hit “I Love You” bulleted into the top 10. Griffey is the newest touring member of the band. As a guitarist, songwriter, producer and performer, Griffey has recorded and toured with musicians including members of the Eagles, Foreigner, Moody Blues, Wings, Lynyrd Skynryd, Santana and Journey. Talented multi-instrumentalist Gunner rounds out the group.
Initially, Clifford and Cook planned for the band to play only private parties. “We never really had any intention of playing for the public,” said Cook. “But a friend wanted to promote a couple of concerts. We got talked into it, but didn’t know how it would go over.” It went over very well. These days Creedence Clearwater Revisited performs up to 100 shows a year throughout North America, South America, New Zealand, Europe and Asia.
In 1998 the band released the two-disc live album "Recollection,” the first recordings of Creedence Clearwater Revival music released in more than 20 years by any of the legendary group’s former members. In 2006 they released another live collection, “The Best of Creedence Clearwater Revisited (20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection).”
For tickets to the May 25 show at Emerald Queen Casino, visit www.emeraldqueen.com.