Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Born on the Bayou"

I have an affinity for what Americans call "Southern rock" - a friend of mine calls it "rock with more than a pinch of soul added," and that's a fair a description as I've heard. All the way from Creedence Clearwater Revival right through the the Black Crowes, there's a great fat seam of soul-tinged rock that moves you just a little more persuasively than, say, Boston or Aerosmith does - though to be honest Aerosmith have picked up more than a little southern influence along their way.
I don't know how it's done, and frankly I don't spend a lot of time worrying about it, but there are times when rock needs to be a little And if there was ever a piece of music that conjured up a place, a day, a feeling, this must be one such tune.

"I can remember the fourth of July,
Runnin' through the backwood, bare.
And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin',
Chasin' down a hoodoo there."

John Fogerty's voice has got to be one of the most recognisable larynxes around. Nobody else quite has that ability to sound like he's gargling with crude oil while trying to scream.
At the same time, the band's sound shimmers as though you were viewing it through an oppressive heat haze, brushing aside fat, dripping leaves hanging over the water as you try to get closer.
There's a lazy, insistent rhythm too, like organic machinery at the point of collapse, that just wills you to move. I don't know if Fogerty invented the word "choogling," but that just about sums up the rhythm of this song.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

May I suggest you take a listen to a new band called The BlackHeath Hands -- Southern Rock at it's newest and best!