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John Fogerty And ZZ Top At Mohegan Sun

Special to The Courant

John Fogerty, as the chief writer for Creedence Clearwater Revival, wrote what became standard American folk music of the rock ’n’ roll era. Generations of guitarists got started by learning to play “Proud Mary,” “Born on the Bayou” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain.” Fogerty took bits of Stephen Foster, Howlin Wolf and Leadbelly and updated them with a swampy guitar tone and his distinctive affected drawl. Fogerty made a virtue out of being practically unintelligible at times. CCR songs are timeless classics now.

The same could be said about the songs of Billy Gibbons and ZZ Top. That Texas trio took its inspiration from being Lone Star State beer-drinking boogie-rock hombres. Still, the blues — particularly the stomps of John Lee Hooker — were cooked in from the beginning. In addition to early classic songs, like “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” “Nationwide,” “Waitin’ For the Bus” and “Heard It On the X,” ZZ Top had a second string of MTV-era hits in the ‘80s with the success of their “Eliminator” album. Gibbons’ pure guitar tone and eloquent playing were the unifying factor, even as the band moved into the strange mechanized almost disco-rock sound of its later hits.

When people think of American rock, this is the stuff they’re talking about. John Fogerty and ZZ Top perform at Mohegan Sun Arena, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville, on Sunday, May 27, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $49 to $69. 860-226-7711 and mohegansun.com.

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