November 1 – Canned Heat’s Blues (and Flower) Power

Canned Heat – Living the Blues

Why do I continue to take Canned Heat’s music for granted?  Every time I listen to them I’m blown away at their combination of simplicity and virtuosity.  As with other well-known artists of the day, Canned Heat paid homage to the greats with their style of blues ‘n boogie.  But theirs was a uniquely American sound.  And as the world found out the following summer, they were just as at-home in front of massive audiences as they were in bars.

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The classic lineup’s double LP Living the Blues, their second album of 1968 and third overall, was released on this date with guest appearances by John Mayall (piano on Walking by Myself) and Dr. John (Boogie Music).  And with it, they continued to make their mark on the late-60’s music scene while bringing a classic American genre to the fore.

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They also showed on this release that they could stretch it out and jam with the best of them.  While Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson’s Going Up the Country, along with his On the Road Again from Boogie with Canned Heat earlier in the year, are their trademark tunes with a permanent place on the Counter Culture’s Greatest Hits, Canned Heat were so much more.  The 20-minute Parthenogenesis which takes up nearly all of side two, and the 41-minute Refried Boogie, which consumes the entire second disc of the album, showed they could bring serious crunch to the blues.  Other great tracks here are Charley Patton’s Pony Blues and Blind Lemon Jefferson’s One Kind Favor, both powerfully delivered by Bob Hite.

AllMusic’s Lindsay Planer writes, “Living the Blues stands as a testament to Canned Heat’s prowess as modernizers of the blues and recommended as one of the most cohesive works from this incarnation.”  It’s pure, unpretentious, joyful music.

 

Tracklist:

Side One:

  1. Pony Blues
  2. My Mistake
  3. Sandy’s Blues
  4. Going Up the Country
  5. Walking by Myself
  6. Boogie Music

Side Two:

  1. One Kind Favor
  2. Parthenogenesis:   I. Nebulosity  II. Rollin’ and Tumblin’   III. Five Owls  IV. Bear -Wires  V.  Snooky Flowers   VI. Sunflower Power (RMS is Truth) VII. Raga Kafi  VII. Icebag  IX. Childhood’s End

Side Three:

  1. Refried Boogie (Pt. 1)

Side Four:

  1. Refried Boogie (Pt. 2)

-Stephen

https://www.allmusic.com/album/living-the-blues-mw0000006464

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_the_Blues

http://ppcorn.com/us/canned-heat-living-blues/

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “November 1 – Canned Heat’s Blues (and Flower) Power”

  1. I’ve just really discovered them a few months ago. When I say discovered I mean really listened to them. Alan Wilson was such a student of the Blues. His slide and harmonica playing was great…Hite also had a stage presence you could not ignore.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Canned Heat. You know where they got their name? From that terrible hobo alcoholic concoction that hobo’s derived from Sterno. Interesting, isn’t it? Interesting band.
    Bob Hite had one of the largest R&B singles collection in the world at the time of his death. He was the genius in a great band. IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

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