Months after duetting with John Fogerty on the politically charged “Love and War,” Brad Paisley joined the Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman onstage in Los Angeles on Monday. This time, the two country-rockers led a makeshift band through 14 songs on Jimmy Kimmel Live, including guitar-heavy versions of CCR staples and Paisley originals.
The performance was held in front of the Battleship USS Iowa, with an audience dominated by active and retired military personnel. A veteran himself, Fogerty led the charge during songs like “Fortunate Son,” a Vietnam War-era classic written two years after Fogerty’s discharge from the U.S. Army. He handled most of his own guitar leads, too, although he shared the spotlight with Paisley on “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” happily strumming an acoustic while the younger songwriter fired blasts of Telecaster twang. Backing up the two performers were members of both singers’ bands, including Paisley’s fiddle player Justin Williamson, and Fogerty’s all-star drummer Kenny Aronoff.
Billed as an early celebration of Veterans Day, the concert also included tag-teamed versions of several Paisley tracks, including “Alcohol” – which the two expanded into a six-minute shred fest – and “Mud on the Tires.” It was during the title track to Paisley’s newly released Love and War, though, that Paisley and Fogerty spoke directly to their audience. “They ship you out to die for us, but forget about you when you don’t,” they sang during the song’s chorus, which sympathizes with the plight of neglected veterans. With the 77 year-old USS Iowa – a naval battleship that served during World War II, the Korean War and the Cold War during its active run – towering in the background, the song took on new resonance.
Paisley will make another high-profile television appearance this week, when he hosts the annual CMA Awards on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, John Fogerty is laying low until January, when he kicks off a six-night residency at the Wynn resort in Las Vegas.