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Music for All People - Get to Know Show Creator Vaden Thurgood

September 11, 2023

When Vaden Thurgood was growing up, there was one band that reigned supreme: Creedence Clearwater Revival.

"You were allowed to like The Beatles, but you had to like CCR," Thurgood told The Observer. "There were no ifs, ands, or buts about it."

Motivated by his personal connection to CCR and what he learned reading Bad Moon Rising: The Unauthorized History of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Thurgood decided to create an all-new show celebrating the pioneering Southern rock band's music. We sat down with Thurgood to talk about what audiences can expect from Creedence Clearwater Remixed! and how he approached giving some of CCR's greatest hits a fresh, new sound.

What inspired you to create Creedence Clearwater Remixed!?

Thanks to my mother, I have always been a die-hard Creedence Clearwater Revival fan. After attending 20-something music conferences, I realized that no one was promoting a CCR show. Being the American treasure that they are, I saw this as a hole that desperately needed filling. Upon doing some research, I realized that their story was wild, which only added to my fascination with them as a band. On top of that, I found myself pouring through their discography and saying to myself, “They did THAT song? and THAT song?? I know ALL of these!”

Pictured (Left to Right): Vaden Thurgood, Dan Faber, Adam Machart, and Krista Buccellato. Photo by John Jones.

How are these songs “remixed”?

Typically, CCR’s discography is one singer, John Fogerty, singing while the others played instruments. But their story as a band is so colored that I felt some songs needed some changes. We’ve taken many of their classic hits and turned them into a cappella songs, acoustic songs, mashups with similar songs, or we’ve simply just added rich, four-part harmony. The story of CCR’s rise and fall has staggering highs and heartbreaking lows, so I thought the music should reflect that in some cases.

What will surprise avid CCR fans, and what will excite patrons who maybe aren’t CCR fans yet?

Casual fans of CCR and audience members not as familiar with the band will be surprised by how many songs they know.

If you remember the days before the musical Jersey Boys, if you were to ask people about The Four Seasons, they might say, “The Four Seasons. Like…Vivaldi?” But then they would hear the songs and would say, “Oh, I think I know one of their songs. Oh, I know that one too!” Then, over time, they would realize that they were familiar with half of The Four Seasons’ catalogue.

Creedence Clearwater Revival is exactly like that. I can personally guarantee, no matter who you are, or what your age, you will recognize 75% percent of the songs in this show.

The die-hard fans will get to hear some refreshing takes on some of CCR’s greatest hits but will also hear little morsels and juicy tidbits about CCR’s journey. Unlike your standard tribute band, audiences will leave this show a virtual expert on John Fogerty and CCR trivia.

Pictured (Left to Right): Adam Machart, Vaden Thurgood, Krista Buccellato, and Dan Faber. Photo by John Jones.

What is so exciting about Creedence Clearwater Revival and their music that made you want to create an original show about the band and their songs?

In 1969, only one band on the planet had more hits, more performances, and grossed more money than The Beatles. That band was Creedence Clearwater Revival. A fusion of Rock & Roll with Southern Rhythm & Blues, coupled with John Fogerty’s gravely voice, brought Americana back to the forefront of the music scene. On top of that, Fogerty’s anger for corruption and insistence on defending the working man made him the voice of a generation.

Also, the music of CCR is still wildly popular today. “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” has recently surpassed 1 Billion listens on Spotify, which is an exclusive club. This music is important, this music is for all people, and this music (as far as I’m concerned) is as American as you can get.

Creedence Clearwater Remixed! is now playing in FST’s Goldstein Cabaret through October 22. For tickets and more information, click here.


Header Image: Dan Faber, Krista Buccellato, Adam Machart, and Vaden Thurgood. Photo by John Jones.