Review: Classic Albums Live “Chronicle, Vol. 1”

headerBy Monica Jarrell, guest blogger

Chronicle, Vol. 1, also known as Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits, is a greatest hits album by Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) released by Fantasy Records in January 1976. Classic Albums Live honors the legacy of CCR by performing their Chronicle album without changing any of the music. Each song is played with every note and rhythm of each song perfectly replicated.

As the lights dimmed and the musicians unceremoniously came on stage, there was a hush that came over the audience as they anticipated the performance that was about to begin. The band members were not in matching costumes, or sequins or flashy attire. They are dressed in black and were all about the music. Without any introductions, the band began to tune their guitars and prepped to perform “Susie-Q,” the first song of the album.

Being a part of the audience, I found myself along with many others, bobbing my head, clapping and tapping my toes as we all sang along with the band. Once “Susie-Q” came to an end, the band performed “I Put a Spell on You,” followed by “Proud Mary” and “Bad Moon Rising.” Mike Slute, the lead vocalist, nailed the vocals. It was as if I was there in 1976 when the original album was released.

In the first half of the show, there was very little to no interaction between the band and the audience. Mike Slute explained at intermission that they rather play the music just like the original album. After intermission, during the second half, they took liberties.

The second half was kicked off with the second album.  The band played “Run Through the Jungle,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” and many more. Lead guitarist Shane Honkonen blew the audience away with his ability to play the guitar, replicating each note as it was originally written and performed. It was mesmerizing to watch him play and I got lost in the music.

James Taylor, who played the bass and vocals, was very connected with the audience.  He seemed to really enjoy himself.  This translated to the audience.  He joked with drummer Ryan Granville Martin, who also kept the audience entertained.  Included in the performance were some local musicians. These musicians only met the band the day before.  They were incredible together! One would have thought they were all on tour together. On percussion and sax was Eric Natsuhiro Jordan, Bill Stephens was on keys, and on trumpet and percussion was Dylan Vessel.

The night ended with everyone signing “The Midnight Special.”  It was the perfect ending to an amazing show.

If you have not seen Classic Albums Live, you will want to check back often on the Lone Tree Arts Center web site.  Classic Albums Live is an all-time favorite and performs here frequently. The next title they will perform is Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon on Saturday, June 8. Tickets for that performance are available here.

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