Most of the attention on John Fogerty’s just-released album “Wrote a Song for Everyone” understandably surrounds the updated versions of many of his Creedence Clearwater Revival classics with duet partners such as the Foo Fighters, Miranda Lambert, Jennifer Hudson, Bob Seger and Brad Paisley.
But the good news for longtime Fogerty-watchers comes with the two new songs he delivers on his own, “Mystic Highway” and “Train of Fools,” which carry forward the songwriting style, infectious country-rock rhythms and evocative thematic terrain that define his heyday with Creedence four decades ago.
"Mystic Highway” is being released as a single, and the video premieres Tuesday on the Country Music Television cable channel and at CMT.com, in conjunction with the album’s release, Fogerty’s concert Tuesday night at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles and his 68th birthday.
“Mystic Highway” is a bouncy rocker laying out a mythological journey, which in the video Fogerty takes on the seat of a motorcycle and at the wheel of a battered old pickup:
All the stars in the heavens
They've been there to light my way
Without knowing where I’m going
Probably get there anyway
Fogerty says he considers the new songs on a par with the highlights from his Creedence days and credits the album's collaborations for inspiring him.
“Everybody has always pointed to how that early set of songs with Creedence Clearwater was special and a lot of them were Top 5 hits and yada yada yada and they’ve lasted all this time,” he said when we talked about the new album recently in Beverly Hills. “That’s certainly among the bulk of my best work.
“Other songs I’ve written over the years, some do not quite reach that same lofty pedestal,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member said with a laugh, “whereas I do believe the two new songs on this record do.
“There’s other songs -- you could grab something off another album -- and you could say, ‘Well, that wasn’t quite as good as ‘Proud Mary.’ … But these are. And I think it’s from being around all this music that’s at a pretty high level. So when I went to write -- how can I say it? -- my standards were pretty high.
“So you are your own filter. I was really doing that again. It was not a chore, it was just kind of a natural personality trait that has been there more or less throughout my life,” he said, “but it was strong again like it was in the old days.”
Here’s the video for “Mystic Highway,” directed by Bill Fishman:
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