John Fogerty celebrates catalog ownership at DC show

Rocker embarks on first tour since gaining ownership of his Creedence music

John Fogerty is finally getting what he’s owed.

The Fortunate Son took the stage at the only National Park for the Performing Arts, the DC-area’s Wolf Trap, shortly after 9 pm Saturday (Aug 19th). Kicking off with Credence Clearwater Revival (CCR) hit “Bad Moon Rising,” the night was in fact the opposite: gorgeous and perfect for experiencing music in the lush woods.

Called the Celebration Tour, Fogerty’s set was appropriately CCR heavy. Why? In January of this year, he won his 5-decade fight for ownership of the songs he wrote. “I just got my songs back, and I’m gonna do every one of them for you!” Fogerty joyfully exclaimed as the night began.

It seems the sentimental tokens of Fogerty’s legendary career are finally coming back around to the man who lost nearly every marker of success after CCR broke up. The guitar a dejected Fogerty gave away to a kid in 1972 has also found its way back, thanks to the investigative work and determination of Fogerty’s wife. He spent five minutes holding the crowd rapt with the story of its return.

He played the guitar at Woodstock, footage of which played behind Fogerty as he sang “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” which he wrote after the storied music fest. Yes, on that very guitar.

Fogerty has maintained his voice well, the twangy falsetto and woodsy imagery in his anthems belying his liberal California upbringing and worldview. Never one to shy away from politics, Fogerty’s catalog has achieved broad appeal. We all have an “Effigy” to burn, or experience the calm before the storm described in “Have You Ever Seen the Rain.”

Fogerty’s energy is a youthful as it was fifty years ago, with his voice retaining that boyish timbre that is both full of wonder and contemplation. Adorned in his iconic blue-collar look of plaid, jeans, and signature neckerchief, it was clear that owning his music has renewed his passion for performing the songs that people want to hear.

There’s something magical about hearing hits that have transcended time and space, sung by the original lead singer and writer whose talent and convictions were the main ingredient in the catalog’s success. Sure, other musicians helped form that crunchy, guitar heavy rock sound. But as songwriter, Fogerty remains the main architect. The songs are his to arrange as he sees fit.

To that end, Fogerty also remains a skilled guitarist, keeping pace with the younger shredders on stage. He clearly revels in the ability to jam.

A pre-show movie outlined John Fogerty’s journey to finally owning the music he created. At the first mention that he had them back, the crowd rose to their feet in approval. These are fans have stuck by this artist and gone on this journey with him, and we’re overjoyed to celebrate his victory with him at this concert. John Fogerty is Fortunate, indeed.

Matt Bailey
Matt Bailey

Matt Bailey is podcast producer and writer located in the Northeast. Since 2013, Bailey has produced more than 160 episodes of his own online radio show, Talk For Two. In 2016 alone, he interviewed Kevin Bacon, Crystal Gayle, Bob Barker, and Gilbert Gottfried, among several other stars. As a Correspondent for The Music Universe, his focus is Broadway, country music and concert reviews.