Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bayou Country (1969): Review

Produced by John Fogerty
Label – Fantasy

Swamp rock. Search for the term in any rock almanac and the synonymous performing group is undoubtedly Creedence Clearwater Revival. The formula of contemporary southern rock, blues and psychedelia would be heralded by the Bay Area four piece and lead to a following that would spawn and influence many early 70s bands. “Bayou Country”, their sophomore long player further develops the tight, rhythm heavy backing of bass player Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford, as leader John Fogerty’s convincing stories of life in the Southern states have an almost dark and yet vivid intensity. There’s a genuine attempt to create some form of mystique here, highlighted by the excellent opener “Born On The Bayou”, where the combination of Fogerty’s bluesy lick and the rasping narrative take the listener on a haunting trip through the Mississippi states, and one can almost see the crawfish sellers, sense the lurking alligator, and smell the boudin balls frying.

There is a tendency to over extended jams (“Graveyard Train” and “Keep On Chooglin’”), but these are minor flaws in an otherwise distinctly original recording. Probably the best known cut is the easy rolling radio friendly pop song “Proud Mary”, followed closely by a rip roaring cover of Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly”. For follow up albums the band would mainly dispense with the jams in favour of a more sharply focussed ideal, one which would bring greater consistency and more memorable songs.

8/10

A1 Born on the Bayou 5:10
A2 Bootleg 2:58
A3 Graveyard Train 8:32
B1 Good Golly Miss Molly 2:39
B2 Penthouse Pauper 3:37
B3 Proud Mary 3:07
B4 Keep On Chooglin’ 7:40

Proud Mary

Born On The Bayou

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