My latest summertime don’t leave-home-without-it CD addiction: John Fogerty’s 1997 solo CD, Blue Moon Swamp.
I bought Blue Moon Swamp when it came out, as I recall because I got hooked on the single Blueboy, and because I noticed every review of it I read was a flat-out rave. Eleven years later this CD still delivers.
The first two songs are a little lame (much like the cover), but the majority of the rest of the CD is deeply satisfying Southern-style roots music and bluesy rock. Centerfield it ain’t. The John Fogerty who fronted CCR and sang Green River, it is.
While I might wish Blue Moon Swamp was rawer and harder, with less of the radio-ready soft-rock polish of Centerfield, songs like Blueboy, Rattlesnake Highway, Bring It Down to Jelly Roll and Walking In A Hurricane tempt me to blast my speakers out and get me roadside stares as I ride by, totally rocking out. A Hundred and Ten in the Shade is a perennial summer in-the-car favorite (with great soulful backing vocals by the Fairfield Four, an old-school gospel group heard in O Brother, Where Art Thou).
Blue Moon Swamp is a great listen anytime, but is particularly delicious in summertime in the south when you are feeling the Tony Joe White vibe that comes when it starts to get too hot to sleep and cook, and a little AC or a drive with the windows open does a body good.
Listen to the whole thing here (Rhapsody Player download required.)
A Hundred and Ten in the Shade (live):