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Canned Heat

A hard-luck blues band of the '60s, Canned Heat was founded by blues historians and record collectors Alan Wilson and Bob Hite. They seemed to be on the right track and played all the right festivals (including Monterey and Woodstock, making it very prominently into the documentaries about both) but somehow never found a lasting audience.

Certainly their hearts were in the right place. Canned Heat's debut album -- released shortly after their appearance at Monterey -- was every bit as deep into the roots of the blues as any other combo of the time mining similar turf, with the exception of the original Paul Butterfield band. Hite was nicknamed "The Bear" and stalked the stage in the time-honored tradition of Howlin' Wolf and other large-proportioned bluesmen. Wilson was an extraordinary harmonica player, with a fat tone and great vibrato. His work on guitar, especially in open tunings (he played on Son House's rediscovery recordings of the mid-'60s, incidentally) gave the band a depth and texture that most other rhythm players could only aspire to. Henry Vestine -- another dyed-in-the-wool record collector -- was the West Coast's answer to Michael Bloomfield and capable of fretboard fireworks at a moment's notice.

Canned Heat's breakthrough moment occurred with the release of their second album, establishing them with hippie ballroom audiences as the "kings of the boogie." As a way of paying homage to the musician they got the idea from in the first place, they later collaborated on an album with John Lee Hooker that was one of the elder bluesman's most successful outings with a young white (or black, for that matter) combo backing him up. After two big chart hits with "Goin' Up the Country" and an explosive version of Wilbert Harrison's "Let's Work Together," Wilson died under mysterious (probably drug-related) circumstances in 1970, and Hite carried on with various reconstituted versions of the band until his death just before a show in 1981, from a heart seizure.

Still, the surviving members -- led by drummer Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra -- continued touring and recording, recruiting new vocalist Walter Trout; he was replaced in 1985 by James Thornbury, who fronted the band for the next decade. After Thornbury exited in 1995, Canned Heat tapped Robert Lucas to assume lead vocal duties; they soon recorded The Canned Heat Blues Band, which sadly was Vestine's last recording with the group -- he died in Paris in October 1997 in the wake of the band's recent tour. Boogie 2000 followed two years later. ~ Cub Koda & Bruce Eder, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

One of the best!
lol
I met Lucas a few times...
Great guy with a God given gift. ..
Like so many he burned out tooo young
I hope your singin with your Dad now Lucas
Thanks for the love to this depressed planet man.



that flute is so light and happy ...hard to believe it's out of a blues band..song plays ..blues disappear.
Check out clips of Canned Heat at Woodstock. Epic.
The Dick Panthers are better.
Hard to find better blues !
When MUSIC was Music, the real thing just Raw and Great !!
I love this song! That voice and flute work so well togeather
Terrific, undervalued band.
corinnavazqu e z
BLUES BLUES BLUES!!!
corinnavazqu e z
Check out The Stems Blues Band tomorrow night March 12th at Maggie Malone's in L A!!!
ewaybevinn
The Probably Drug Related comment above is uncalled for.
erandybowles
With Robert Lucas singing lead, they did Let's Work Together for a Target commercial, and it became popular again! It featured Harvey Mandel, Fito and I think Larry Taylor.
Never heard a better version of Work Together , and there's a number of them .
erandybowles
I got to meet Bob The Bear Hite in circa 1972 and he was very sweet! Fast forward many years; I got to meet Fito, Henry, Robert Lucas (not friendly), Junior Watson and (fairly short-term) bassist Mark Pocket Goldberg who has his own website. I love Canned Heat.
roglaf1952
Future blues ..check this album out...... kids
dsusman98
.....and don't forget to boogie....
I don't know how that boy keep up with me but he do! :john lee on blind owl
sue.clifton7 3
*****
brendao37
love the hippie flute too!
brendao37
got a greatest hits cd from a friend long time ago. good cd. miss my friend
suicide757
hey now this ismusic.
bevbevan
Blind Owl Al Wilson was a very talented songwriter, guitarist and singer. An integral part of Canned Heat when this song was recorded.
these guys know how to play the blues real good!!!!!!!
Song is great there style of blues gets u moving or should i say booging a classic from ch
OH BABY Sounds great.
First time I've heard On the Road Again live, awesome!
kvons1
Blind Owl & Bear---great ! (And don't forget to boogie!)
Saw them in Ocean City Maryland sometime in the early 70's, they were almost an hour late, they just walked on stage and started playing, playing nothing but the blues. Some people in the crowd started calling out for them to play Goin up the Country when they started their fourth or fifth song. The Bear stopped in mid song and told the crowd that they weren't playing that anymore, what they were playing was the direction their music was going and they could leave if they wanted to. loved it
Canned Heat came from an era where the musicians studied the artists before them, were record collectors and had some true roots. Their influences were recognized then and now. Today, the popular artists are clueless or cite some no-talent hack bands from the 90's as their influences.
My first concert ever Canned Heat opened for Ike and Tina Turner Revue in 1968. Wow!!!!!!!
I love Canned Heat they're one of my favorite bands ever.
If wasn't for bad luck, they wouldn't have no luck at all.
But they should be on my Stevie ray Vaughn station.
I love their style, very bluesy yeah
Met Harvey Mandel in Indy-great player and pretty good dude.
uniplmr1
s**t, i always dug them. I still do.
mendez_lomba r d o
I can see where ZZ Top gets a lot of their influence (at least with this song any how). Canned Heat, like so many others, are one great band that never got their due.....
Yowza! Canned Heat! I saw them at the Corral Club in Topanga Canyon and all over So. Cal in the late '60's. Also at a concert at UCSD stadium w/ Santana, Lee Michaels, the Dead and some others that I can't seem to remember, for some reason.
chriskpolace k
Yes I was there in 67. Even got to play the Whiskey. Saw Canned Heat all over Town in those days. Can hardly believe it was so long ago. They have stood the test of time.
holly4606
Check out some Robert Lucas, he was one of the best slide guitarists and had a great voice. Unfortunatel l y , we lost lost hime a few years back. But he had several albums out that will move you.
kvons1
The Heat---super b group of the distant past----The BEAR & Fito de la Parra
Keep on truckin'.
hblee67
I saw them open once for Alice Cooper. Such great memories of a much better time.
mjbdsbmtb
I cue up some of my vintage LP's and my musician son asks the age old question, why don't they make music like this anymore? Sad but so true, thank you Pandora for Keepin It Alive!!!!!
Yes memories many many
love Canned Heat. Brings back memories.... . .
I've said it before and I'll say it again, If you were there, no explanation is necessary, if you weren't, no explanation will do. The 60's were a crazy time and the music reflects it all. Love, hate, freedom, repression , black, white, north, south, establishmen t , hippie, war, peace, Nixon, McGovern, Flyers, Rangers, We lived through it and changed the world. And it really needed changing.
kvons1
Great group of the times. And yes: don't forget to boogie!
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