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John Fogerty revisits "Blue Ridge Rangers"

 Singer John Fogerty poses backstage at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles February 10, 2008. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - Reuters
Singer John Fogerty poses backstage at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles February 10, 2008. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
— image credit: Reuters

By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Billboard) - John Fogerty says he can "take a deep breath" now that he's finished his next album, "John Fogerty: The Return of the Blue Ridge Rangers," a sequel to the 1973 solo debut that followed the demise of Creedence Clearwater Revival.

As to when the new set will be released, the rock 'n' roll singer-songwriter said he doesn't yet know.

"We're in talks. Stuff can change," Fogerty told Billboard.com. "I'm just glad that it's done. I stuck with it quite awhile there, to get it right. I wasn't going to let it go until it was what I wanted it to be."

Like its predecessors, "The Return" is a collection of vintage country and American roots music covers -- along with a new version of one of Fogerty's own songs (he wouldn't specify which one). He recorded and produced the album with T-Bone Burnett and Lenny Waronker at Village Recorders in Santa Monica, California.

Rather than the one-man-band affair of the original "Blue Ridge Rangers" album, the new set features players such as Buddy Miller, Greg Leisz, Dennis Crouch, Jay Bellerose and Kenny Aronoff.

"Those guys are just fantastic players," Fogerty said. "They really captured or understood what the Blue Ridge Rangers vibe is. It's a really cool record."

Fogerty -- who's touring Canada, with a quick dip into the U.S. for a May 29 show in Rochester Hills, Michigan -- said he'd like to put the Blue Ridge Rangers on the road once the album is out. "Lord knows we played it great live in the studio -- it's probably more live than many rock 'n' roll records," he says. "I think it really needs to be presented that way to an audience. We'll have to wait and see how everything shapes up."

Fogerty and company, meanwhile, are still putting the finishing touches on a new DVD, "John Fogerty -- Comin' Down the Road," which includes footage of a 2008 performance at London's Royal Albert Hall and a chronicle of his life and career. Its release date is undetermined.

Fogerty's Creedence Clearwater Revival tenure will be represented this year, too, with newly sanctioned contributions to an upgraded and expanded version of the "Woodstock" documentary that's due out June 9 as well as a six-CD Woodstock boxed set that's being released August 18.

"I gave my blessings after all this time," Fogerty said of the footage of CCR's Woodstock performance. "We weren't in the movie on purpose; nobody really understood what the movie would be; the track they wanted to use was 'Bad Moon Rising,' and I just didn't feel like it was our best work. But now it's OK. Historically it is what it is. It doesn't matter if it's well done or not well done. It's just history."

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

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