Album Reviews

Various Artists

Quiero Creedence

Artist:     Various Artists

Album:     Quiero Creedence

Label:     Concord Music Group

Release Date:     07/29/2016


This rich and varied collection is a tribute to one of the USA’s most beloved rock ‘n’ roll groups, and their influence on the Latin American musical community. Featuring many of today’s top Latin artists, Quiero Creedence shows how CCR’s rootsy, swampy sounds reflect the diversity of styles that make up American music, both north and south of the border.

The first track, “Corre por la Jungla (Run Through the Jungle)” is performed by Enrique Bunbury, founder of the ’80s rock band Héroes del Silencio, and is a straight cover until the salsa breakdown about halfway through. Los Lobos do a great though fairly standard version of “Bootleg,” their excellent musicianship perfectly suited for CCR tunes. Juan Gabriel’s “Gracias al Sol (Have You Ever Seen The Rain)” perfectly captures the sweet sentiment of the original, and is sure to be hit in its own right.

Los Lonely Boys expertly execute “Born on the Bayou.” Hermano Henry Garza burns with Stevie Ray Vaughn-like abandon on guitar while his siblings Jojo (bass) and Ringo (drums) back him up with harmonies and solid rhythm. If you listen closely to the original, there are subtle conga drums buried deep within the mix. Perhaps this is where the cross pollination began?

John Fogerty’s lyrics on “Who’ll Stop The Rain” were a cynical comment on the politics of the 1960s as well as the rain at Woodstock, where CCR performed in 1969. Enjambre’s ethereal version is sung completely in Spanish, layered with gorgeous vocal harmonies and synthesizers, and is almost a complete departure. However, the group manages to retain all of the bittersweet sentiment of the original.

Oakland, California based Bang Data steps outside the norm with “Fortunate Son (Fortunate Hijo).” The bilingual hip-hop breakdown in the middle provides a surprising ride that effectively transmits Fogerty’s message of political discontent via modern musical motifs and pleas for unity among the chaos of today’s turbulent times.

El Tri originated in the 1960s, making it a pioneer of Latin rock. Described as Mexico’s “quintessential working-class band” as well as its answer to the Rolling Stones, they bring raucous energy to “Proud Mary,” and translate the words to reflect contemporary issues of immigration and crossing the river in search of a better life. The chorus “Rolling, rolling, rolling on the Río!” is as catchy as the original and you’ll find yourself hard pressed to resist singing along.

Who knew ZZ Top’s guitarist and singer Billy Gibbons had a background in Latin music? Gibbons released his Afro-Cuban flavored debut solo album Perfectamundo last year. Here he performs “Green River” with Santa Cecilia’s La Marisol to great effect with his trademark guitar tone and pleasantly surprising percussion.

Argentinian pop/rock band Los Enanitos Verdes (roughly translated as “Little Green Men”) sing with the reckless abandon for which Creedence became known on “Travelin’ Band (Viajero Band).”

Whether through faithful emulation or radical reinterpretation, this great compilation revalidates the legacy of Creedence Clearwater Revival and how its influence on other bands spans not only generations but borders as well. That the songs still sound fresh today and work so effectively in Spanish is a testament to the strength of the originals, John Fogerty’s brilliance and the admiration of CCR’s latino fans.

-Mike Cobb

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