On Stage: CCR is ‘Revisited’ without Fogerty

By Denny Dyroff, Staff Writer, The Times

Creedence Clearwater Revisited

Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Creedence Clearwater Revival was a huge band.

The five musicians from the San Francisco Bay area were responsible for a huge number of hits, including classic rock standards such as “Proud Mary,” “Born on the Bayou,” “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain?,” and “Lookin’ Out My Back Door.”

In 1982, the band dissolved in what was a rock-and-roll version of one of the nastiest divorces you could ever imagine.

It immediately became obvious that there would never be a revival of Creedence Clearwater Revival featuring the four original members — rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook, drummer Doug Clifford and guitarist/vocalist John Fogerty.

Now, a reunion of the four is impossible because Tom Fogerty passed away in 1990 due to complications from back surgery.

And, the possibility of Clifford and Cook reuniting with John Fogerty with amiable results is somewhere between zilch and zero.
Fortunately for fans of Creedence Clearwater Revival, the band’s music has been kept alive through Creedence Clearwater Revisted — a group put together by Cook and Clifford more than 20 years ago.

On June 30, Creedence Clearwater Revisted will return to the area for a show at SugarHouse Casino (1001 North Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia, 877-477-3715,www.sugarhousecasino.com).

The current quintet features lead guitarist Kurt Griffey, lead singer/rhythm guitarist Dan McGuiness, multi‑instrumentalist Steve Gunner, Cook and Clifford.

“It kicked in back in 1996,” said Cook, during a recent phone interview from his home in Sarasota, Florida.

“Doug and I were hanging around a lot and decided we wanted to do some music. We wanted to play together. And, there had been no live Creedence music in years.

“It wasn’t that difficult. We auditioned lead singers, narrowed it to four. The personality just evolved from the players. Staying true to the music was the easy part.”

Lead guitarist Kurt Griffey brings crowds to their feet and the front of the stage with his solos.  He as recorded and toured with other notable musicians including members of the Eagles, Foreigner, the Moody Blues, Wings, Lynyrd Skynryd, Santana and Journey.

McGuiness has a powerful voice and a soaring range and Gunner provides musical versatility to the band.

“Actually, it’s hard to remember what the original Creedence sounded like in concert,” said Cook. “Because Creedence broke up so early, there was a huge void for live performances.

“Creedence was nine-and-a-half years in the making and three-and-a-half years touring.  But, we’ve never forgotten what the records sounded like.”

When fans hear Creedence Clearwater Revisited play, Creedence music is what they get — 100 per cent Creedence Clearwater Revival music.

“We’ve never made any new music with this band,” said Cook. “We don’t have to and we don’t want to. The show has pretty much been dialed in by the fans.

“We have what the fans want — Creedence music. They come for the experience. We never get tired of playing Creedence music. We’re blessed – or cursed – by having too many good songs.

“We find that it’s best to focus on the most popular stuff. We keep it simple. And, in a lot of cases, we nail it just as good as Creedence Clearwater Revival did.

“Our audience ranges from eight to 80 – and it gets younger all the time. We have probably the broadest demographic of any band in America. As we lose fans from my generation, we gain them from the grandkids’ generation.”

The Creedence songs may be old but for the members of Creedence Clearwater Revisited, playing them never gets old.

“To keep it fresh, you just have to have the right attitude,” said Cook. “You have to have pride. You have to do the best you can. We just go out and have a good time – and so does the audience.”

Video link for Creedence Clearwater Revisited – https://youtu.be/HjuXin4iEXc.

The show at SugarHouse Casino will start at 9 p.m. Tickets are $49, $59 and $69.

Wreck Loose

Homophones are words that sound alike but have different meanings and different spellings.

An example of this is the following trio of words – wreckloose, recluse and Wreck Loose.

A “wreckloose” is described as that person at the party who takes it way too far – one who is more than likely to make trouble.

A “recluse” is defined as a person who lives a solitary life and tends to avoid other people.

“Wreck Loose” is a piano-rock band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that will be in the area on June 29 for a show at Bourbon and Branch (705 North Second Street, Philadelphia, 215-238-0660, www.bourbonandbranchphilly.com).

Formed in 2013, Wreck Loose features songwriter Max Somerville, guitarist Nathan Zoob, drummer Derek Krystek and bassist Dave Busch.

The band just released its debut album “OK, Wreck Loose” and will tour nationwide in support of the record throughout June and July.

“We’re in the van heading from Pittsburgh to Baltimore to play the opening show of the tour,” said Somerville, during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.

“This is our first outing since the album dropped on June 16. We had a big release party on the 16th here in Pittsburgh at James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy. It was a packed house.”

Wreck Loose has already built a large and devoted following in the “City of Bridges.” (Because of its location at the confluence of the Allegheny, Ohio, and Monongahela rivers, Pittsburgh has more bridges than any other American city or region.).

“Our band has been together four years,” said Somerville. “We had been playing for different bands in the Pittsburgh music scene and had known each other for a while.

“Our bass player Dave and I were in a band called Backstabbing Good People. The first official Wreck Loose show was in May of 2013 at Garfield Art Works in Pittsburgh.

“Around that time, we recorded ‘Well,’ our first EP. After that, we released a few singles.

“We spent a lot of time working on the new album – more than two years. It’s our first full-length and it’s pretty good. These are songs we’ve been working on for years.”

Much to the delight of both the band and its fans, the debut record has finally seen the light of day.

“The album was recorded at Tree Lake Studio in Turtle Creek. Between recording, mixing and overdubbing, we were in the studio for about a year.

“We changed things a bit with making the album,” said Somerville. “Before this project, we recorded everything live in the studio.

“This time, we did it in layers. We wanted a polished record – a record that was well-produced. We got that with Dave Hidek who did the production and engineering.”

Wreck Loose has built a solid fan base with its distinct style of piano-based garage rock.

“Our audiences are a mix of everyone – but mostly 18-30 age group,” said Somerville. “We have wide appeal because we write songs that are poppy – pop, songwriter, jam and funk.

“Our influences as far as piano rockers are Ben Folds and Elton John. Overall, I’d say our sound is a blend of classic rock and indie-pop.

“In our live shows, we play everything in our whole catalog. We love every single song we’ve written.”

Video link for Wreck Loose — https://youtu.be/A92YCeaRwh0.

The show at Bourbon and Branch, which also features Sixteen Jackies and Lady HD, will start at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10.


Other upcoming shows at Bourbon and Branch are Soraia, Tubey Frank and Jackson Howard on June 30 and Fast Lane, Hobb$, Rich AB, Havana Seoul, Jus O, and Vars City on July 2.

Revocation, a powerful metal band from Boston, released its most recent album “Great Is Our Sin” last July on Metal Blade Records and had been touring almost non-stop ever since.

On June 30, the band will hit Philly for a show at Kung Fu Necktie (1248 North Front Street, Philadelphia, 215-291-4919, kungfunecktie.com).

The hard-edged technical quartet — David Davidson, lead vocals, guitars; Dan Gargiulo, guitars, backing vocals; Brett Bamberger, bass, backing vocals; and Ash Pearson, drums — played a full USA tour with Morbid Angel, Suffocation, and Withered in May and June.

“We just finished the Morbid Angel leg,” said Bamberger, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon as the band traveled to a show in Richmond, Virginia.

“We do three more shows opening for Suffocation and then we pack this up. We’ll headline shows in Canada in July and then head to Europe for some festivals.

“We recorded ‘Great Is Our Sin’ in February 2015. We worked on the songs ahead of time. It’s the way we always do it.

“We all live in different cities now. I’m in Richmond, Virginia. Ash is in Canada – in Vancouver. Dave is still in Boston and Dan is in New York – in Long Island.

“So, Dave and I cut the songs and send them out to the others. By the time we hit the studio, everything is 90 per cent ready to go. Usually, we’re in the studio for about a month to make a record.”

After releasing their sixth full-length, “Great Is Our Sin,” to critical acclaim last year, Revocation has also been featured in the new “Power Rangers” movie with the track “Communion.”

“When making the new album, we wanted to get a little weirder – and everybody got a little more tech,” said Bamberger. “It’s a sound that we’ve been working on.

“This is the first album we’ve done where we can play all of it live. We really fell in love with it. It was a very cohesive effort. The lyrical content fits together well and the material is cohesive.

“With each release, the band has developed and matured. This album is us as players. A lot of the solos are the best solos the guys have ever played.

“Now, we’re ready to start on the next album. We have studio time booked and we’re ready to record. But, in our live show now, we’re playing only songs from our last two albums – ‘Deathless’ and ‘Great Is Our Sin.’

“We only had a 30-minute set with Morbid and now a 45-minute set with Suffocation. When we have longer sets, we throw in some older songs.”

Video link for Revocation – https://youtu.be/3IBsCYc4rPU.

The show at Kung Fu Necktie, which also features Suffocation, Crackhouse, and Surgeon, will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Other upcoming shows at Kung Fu Necktie are The High & Mighty, Skrewtape, and Too Tuff on June 29; Big Business, Earthling, and Narcos on July 1; Bruse Wane,KingTay, Trippy Trip, HITTA, Countup Jay, and Gsmoove on July 2; Broad Cast, Brandon Bors, Christian Evanko & The Stash, and Rentboy on July 3; Upheaval andMoros on July 3; and Busdriver, Zeroh, Holy Smoke, and 10th Letter on July 5.


Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org) will host “An Evening of Magic, Mentalism and Comedy” with Chris Fabiano, Belynda Cleare, and John Kensil on June 29, and Rusty Blue, Horizens and 46 Sherman on June 30.

The End of America

The Steel City Coffee House (203 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, 610-933-4043, www.steelcitycoffeehouse.com) will host The End of America and Ethan Pierce on June 30 and Eighteenth Hour and Larkspur Gunther on July 1.

The Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com) will have Donnie, Lady Alma, DJ Junior, and Moshay LaRenon June 29; Swift Technique + Let’s Danza! With Johnny Popcorn on June 30; and “Dead, White and Blue: 3 Nights of Grateful Dead for Independence Day” from July 1-3 with Splintered Sunlight (Grateful Dead tribute).

The Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com) will have Adam Ezra Group and Ryan Tennis on June 29; “A Tribute To The Music Of Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Best Of Broadway” featuring Terry Barber on June 30; Dead On Live on July 1; and Badfinger’s “Straight Up” Live & Complete starring Joey Holland on July 3.

For the next two weeks, the Kimmel Center (Broad and Spruce streets, Philadelphia, 215-731-3333, www.kimmelcenter.org) is presenting “Buddy – the Buddy Holly Story” at its Perelman Theater.

Video link for The Buddy Holly Story – https://youtu.be/PK_PTYws0Bc.

The show at the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater is running now through July 9.

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