Nearly 50 years on from its original release, Ryan Kinder reimagines Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic antiwar anthem “Fortunate Son” as a brooding ballad in this YouTube Nashville Sessions video.
The Alabama native gives the song nothing short of a reinvention, which at this point may be necessary to avoid mere imitation for a song that’s become as ubiquitous as “Fortunate Son.” Stretching out CCR’s version, which clocked in at just over two minutes, to nearly double the length, Kinder — known for his guitar-playing prowess – completely foregoes John Fogerty’s iconic riff, one of the most driving in a catalog full of no-nonsense rockers. The result is a rootsy showpiece for Kinder’s raspy vocals, which somersault through the chorus and into a beautiful, melodic coda.
Though the final result is markedly different from CCR’s, one of the great protest songs of the Vietnam War era, Kinder found his own fiery inspiration in his dissatisfaction with today’s political climate. “‘Fortunate Son’ was written in a time of unrest in our country. John Fogerty’s observation on the landscape of his country gave voice to a class needing to be heard. A protest for their beliefs,” Kinder says in a statement accompanying the release of the song. “As I recorded this song almost 50 years later, I would be remiss to not find similarities in our times. My protest does not lay on party lines but on a desire to see … again an age of decency, compromise and compassion. We deserve that.”
Kinder is in the process of recording his debut LP for Warner Music Nashville. Currently in the midst of his Still Believe in Crazy Love Tour, named for his latest single, he plays 7th St. Entry in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on January 26th.