Brian Blueskye
Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Credit: Brian Blueskye

In the late 1960s and early 1970s. Creedence Clearwater Revival produced what would become legendary rock anthems—and even headlined Woodstock in 1969.

On Friday night, Oct. 17, Creedence Clearwater Revisited—the current incarnation of the band, notably without Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty—stopped by The Show at Agua Caliente, and gave one remarkable performance.

The only Creedence Clearwater Revival member currently playing in Creedence Clearwater Revisited is bassist Stu Cook. The band is fronted by former People! guitarist Johnny “Bulldog” Tristao and includes Steve “The Captain” Gunner on guitar/keyboards/percussion, and World Classic Rockers guitarist Kurt Griffey. CCR drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, a usual member of Creedence Clearwater Revisited, is not participating in the current tour.

The group walked onstage and began to tune their instruments as an intro track played. When the instrumental track stopped, the band got down to business, opening with “Born on the Bayou.” Johnny “Bulldog” Tristao has the same vocal style as John Fogerty—and is just as good on guitar. As a result, the music sounds as if it’s coming from the orginal Creedence Clearwater Revival, with no decrease in quality.

“Green River,” “Lodi” and a rocking performance of “Commotion” followed. Stu Cook then told the audience the band was going to play a song that was true 40 years ago, and is still true today—“Who’ll Stop the Rain,” which John Fogerty has said was inspired by the band’s appearance at Woodstock. During “Suzie Q,” the band decided to extend things a bit by including a jam with Griffey trading guitar riffs with Tristao, and Griffey turning in an extended solo, of sorts.

The performance of “Hey Tonight” was electrifying and one of the highlights of the set. The members then delved into unexpected territory and performed a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You,” before featuring their “world music” portion of the set, with “Down on the Corner”; and then the “country music portion,” with “My Back Door.”

Toward the end of the show, the band performed a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” which included an endless jam of guitar solos by Griffey. When the song was finally over, the drum solo began.

After “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary,” it was time for the closing song of the 90-minute set—and “Fortunate Son” was the obvious way to end it.

Ever since Stu Cook and Doug Clifford dusted off Creedence Clearwater in 1995, it’s been obvious why this band is still a draw: The members keep the music and spirit of Creedence Clearwater Revival going strong.

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Brian Blueskye

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brian Blueskye moved to the Coachella Valley in 2005. He was the assistant editor and staff writer for the Coachella Valley Independent from 2013 to 2019. He is currently the...