The Long Road Home
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Recorded in 2005 at Los Angeles' legendary Wiltern Theater, Fogerty performs solo career highlights "Centerfield," "The Old Man Down the Road" and "Hot Rod Heart," along with his Creedence Clearwater Revival hits "Proud Mary," "Fortunate Son," "Bad Moon Rising," "Down on the Corner," "Travelin' Band," "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" and more. This is the companion piece to the DVD of the same name released last year.
Since it shares its title with John Fogerty's 2005 career-spanning hits collection, this double-disc concert album (and associated DVD, available separately) is unsurprisingly heavy on the Creedence chestnuts that dominate the guitarist/songwriter's history. In fact, only seven of these 26 tunes are drawn from Fogerty's post-CCR years. The Long Road Home in Concert is a spirited yet surprise-free 90-minute set that plays to Fogerty's blue-collar base with near note-perfect renditions of all the songs any fan would want to hear. His voice is in fine form, the five-piece band duplicates the Creedence parts to perfection, and the crowd responds accordingly. But despite everyone's best intentions and the snappy live sound, it's hard to say that these versions are better than the originals, and, as with a severely truncated "Keep on Chooglin'," they fail to duplicate the musty swamp feel so integral to Fogerty's finest work. Unlike the best live recordings that bring unique interpretations to well-known songs, The Long Road Home in Concert simply rehashes them without much, if any, sense of experimentation. It's as if Fogerty is afraid to offend anyone by not adhering to the established script. The result is a listenable and generally enjoyable artifact that plays to his strengths. But it also can be considered a missed opportunity to bring fresh perspective to Fogerty's revered catalog of American classics. --Hal Horowitz