Archive for the John Fogerty Category

Americana Music Awards ’09: Lifetime Achievement Awards

Posted in Americana Music Awards 09, Asleep at the Wheel, Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, Sam Bush on September 17, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Tonight is the night… The Americana Music Association Honors & Awards Show takes place tonight at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. It is a night designed to celebrate the best Americana music has to offer, and I can almost promise that Kanye West will not charge the stage at any time during the ceremonies.

I’ve already run through all of the nominees for this year’s awards. Today, I’d like to briefly spotlight three artists who will honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards tonight.

First is virtuoso mandolin/fiddle player Sam Bush. Bush is being honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist.

Sam was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1952 and was exposed to bluegrass and country music through the Flatt & Scruggs TV show and his father’s record collection. He picked up his first mandolin at age eleven, and by the time he reached 17 Sam had already recorded his first album, won three national fiddle championships, and appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. From there, Sam went on to found the wildly influential New Grass Revival, and band that brought a rock & roll flair to bluegrass music.

Since disbanding New Grass Revival in the late 1980’s, Sam has continued to perform and release solo records while also being one of the most in demand session players around. His credits include stints touring and playing with Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, and his former New Grass band mate Bela Fleck. He has also appeared on recordings by everyone from Garth Brooks and Allison Krauss to Little Feat and Hootie & the Blowfish.

Sam Bush is one of the most innovative and influential players of his generation, and is well deserving of this award. He is also nominated for Instrumentalist of the Year tonight, and may just come away with that one as well. He has a new album called Circles Around Me due October 20th from Sugar Hill Records. Here’s one from that record along with an old favorite that really showcases Sam’s picking talents.

Sam Bush: Gold Heart Locket (Buy Album)
Sam Bush: Funk 42 (Buy Album)

This year’s honorees for the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance are Western Swing revivalists Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel.

Although their music is most closely associated with the state of Texas, Asleep at the Wheel originally formed in Paw Paw, West Virginia in 1970. By 1974, the group had settled in Austin, and started their long tenure as one of the most respected outfits in the state of Texas. The band’s line up has changed several times over the years, but the spirit of the music remains the same. Nearly forty years and twenty albums into their career, Asleep at the Wheel have placed more than twenty singles on the country music charts, won nine Grammy Awards, and leader Ray Benson has been inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame.
I had the good fortune of seeing Asleep at the Wheel perform at the 2004 Americana Conference, and I will say that they are worthy of this award. The band flooded the stage at the Mercy Lounge with musicians to create a huge sound that came straight from the days of Country music’s past. The set was powered by a pair of dueling fiddles that kept the crowd dancing, and I’m pretty sure Benson was juggling at one point during the show. It was (to put it mildly) a lot of fun.
Here are two tracks from Asleep at the Wheel. The first is a collaboration with the Dixie Chicks from the 1999 Bob Wills tribute album Ride with Bob. The second is their most recent effort, a collaborative effort with Willie Nelson called Willie & The Wheel.
Asleep at the Wheel with The Dixie Chicks: Roly Poly (Buy Album)
Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel: Hesitation Blues (Buy Album)

The final honoree tonight is legendary swamp rocker John Fogerty who will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting.

Fogerty first came to prominence with the band Creedence Clearwater Revival in the late 1960’s. The band achieved great success with their slightly psychedelic, rootsy Bayou sound and all-time classic songs such as “Bad Moon Rising,” “Proud Mary,” “Fortunate Son,” and others. Fogerty was the primary songwriter for the group and the singular voice behind their songs. With Fogerty at the helm, CCR became one of rock’s biggest acts by the end of the decade.
By 1973, however, CCR had parted ways and Fogerty struck out on his own as a solo artist. His biggest success in that realm came in 1985 with Centerfield, the album that produced the ubiquitous song of the same name. Now in his sixties, Fogerty continues to release vital roots-rock albums like 2004’s Deja Vu All Over Again and 2007’s Revival. Both albums were timely and topical while also possessing Fogerty’s timeless sound.
It’s easy to overlook Fogerty as a songwriter or to overlook his output in favor of contemporaries such as Neil Young or Bruce Springsteen. When you look back at his career, however, it becomes more and more clear that he deserves to stand alongside any of the songwriters from that era. John Fogerty is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and tonight will honored for his career by the Americana Music Association.
Here’s one from his days with CCR and one more from Revival.
Creedence Clearwater Revival: Lodi (Buy Album)
John Fogerty: Gunslinger (Buy Album)