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'Cornbread'By Cornbread

Canned Heat – The Very Best OfCanned Heat – The Very Best Of
{2005 | Capitol Records}

While browsing the CD’s in the blues section I came across Canned Heat. Oh yea I’ve heard of them. Turns out this legendary blues and boogie band has been around since 1965 and are now celebrating their 40th anniversary with a 2005 world tour.

Canned Heat has a deep following for their number 1 country-blues-rock songs: ''On The Road Again'', ''Let’s Work Together'', and ''Going Up The Country''. Their sound is that of a blended modern electric blues, rock and boogie. Canned Heat has been one of the most influential groups in popularizing blues music starting with their performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Two years later they were headlining that little music festival, Woodstock.

1. On the Road Again – that late 60’s/early 70’s sound like Buffalo Springfield. Not much too the song, harmonica throughout.

2. Goin' Up the Country – this could be the only blues song I’ve heard with a flute or something close to it. Man those vocals are high.

3. Amphetamine Annie – from the Woodstock era. Also, much like most of the CD that psychedelic blues-folk-rock.

4. Rollin' and Tumblin' – live at Monterey 1967, while they are a San Francisco band this song has the sound of Mississippi roots.

5. Dust My Broom – live at Monterey 1967, this version of Elmore James song is a fairly quick shuffle.

6. Bullfrog Blues – also live at Monterey 1967, this little ditty with Kermit focused lyrics is fast paced with lots or distorted, quick guitar playin’.

7. Henry's Shuffle – previously unreleased instrumental that was recorded in 1968 and features guitarist Henry Vestine.

8. Fried Hockey Boogie – 11 minutes with solos from each member of the band, cool bass solo, a couple of guitar solos. This song is also from the Woodstock era.

9. Same All Over – a rockabilly boogie. I dug the keys.

10. Time Was – very cool bass.

11. Low Down (And High Up) – wow, this song is so fast it’s almost exhausting just to listen too.

12. Poor Moon – folk-funk or would it be funky folk?

13. Let's Work Together
– rock vocals, great lyrics, distorted rock guitar over a bluesy bass.

14. Future Blues
– a quick picken’ 50’s rockabilly at times, Chuck Berry’st guitar licks at part surrounded by a classic southern rock sound the rest of the times. The piano was good although well hidden.

15. Human Condition – kinda had the Monkeys feel.

16. Whiskey and Wimmen' – with John Lee Hooker in 1971. I liked this version better than the original.

17. Long Way From L.A. – boogie woogie piano, good vocals and a deep southern-rock feel.

18. Rockin' With the King
– recorded in 1970 with Little Richard, a great combination! This song has found a new home on my iPod.

19. Rock & Roll – is the thirty-two year old baby of this CD, as it’s the newest song here, originally released in 1973. Great! In seven years these guys got better with age.

This CD while it has many recognizable tunes it didn’t do much for me. Songs 8, 10, 18 & 19 were my favorites. If you’re fond of that Woodstock era folk-rock-blues you’ll dig this.

Ciao' for now, peace.
Peter 'Cornbread' Cohen, CBP
~ Cornbread@STLBlues.net ~

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