I knew as much about Canned Heat as the average listener back in the day; I was familiar with their “hits” and had some sense of their serious devotion to historical blues. I always enjoyed their filmed performances, including their appearance at Woodstock. But, digging deeper into their catalog of records released during their heyday proved to be a revelation. These guys were an odd mix of highly talented blues aficionados fluent in all the varieties of blues, from delta and rural stuff, to the more eclectic jazz-based “traditional” blues to the harder, grittier urban sounds; but they weren’t just into the historical aspects. They also managed to modernize the blues and make it accessible while respecting the traditions and giving listeners a fresh “take” on some otherwise obscure sounds. There is a trilogy* recorded with a core line-up that is considered to be the “classic” line-up of the band; these albums include Boogie with Canned Heat, Living the Blues and Future Blues. All were released on the Liberty Records label and are good sounding vinyl.
I plan a long-ish piece, which will include some history as well as detailed album reviews, which I hope to post soon. In the meantime, enjoy the waning days of summer, and get ready to go up to the country.
*Actually, a quartet, if you include Hallelujah, which will be covered as well.