Songs From The Road (CD + DVD)

Canned Heat

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August 14, 2015

Format: DVD



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The world turns. Fashions change. Bands rise and fall. But you can't stop the boogie. Fifty years after Canned Heat was founded by blues scholars Bob 'The Bear' Hite and Alan 'Blind Owl' Wilson in Topanga Canyon, California, the West Coast legends just keep rolling on down the road. "We're all amazed and thankful that we're still here," explain the band, "living our dreams of making a living doing what we all love. Playing the blues, travelling the world and giving a taste of the boogie to audiences everywhere."

Until they pull up in your town, there's Songs From The Road. The famous Ruf Records live series has already showcased heavyweights from Luther Allison to Royal Southern Brotherhood. Now, in 2015, this two-disc CD/DVD set finds the modern Canned Heat lineup on blistering form, shaking Bonn's Harmonie club with a 16-song set driven by the boogie groove that's practically a strand of rock 'n' roll's DNA.

Led from the back, as ever, by iconic drummer and guardian-of-the-flame Adolfo 'Fito' De La Parra, the rhythm section is given further pedigree by Sixties bassist Larry 'The Mole' Taylor. On lead vocals and harp, give it up for New Orleans legend Dale Spalding, while John 'JP' Paulus capably covers guitar duties for Woodstock-era bandmember Harvey 'The Snake' Mandel (as he recovers from recent health issues). "It's a capsule," explains manager and producer Skip Taylor, "of where the band was at on that particular night."
The Harmonie show might have gone down on March 16th, 2015, but to play Songs From The Road is to step aboard a time machine. As the squall of harp sets up the inimitable strut of "On The Road Again", you'll feel the years roll back. When "Going Up The Country" strikes up, you'll imagine yourself back in the dappled sunshine of Woodstock in 1969, flicking a peace sign, flowers in your hair. From "Amphetamine Annie" to "Let's Work Together", few bands make such an evocative sound, so inextricably tied to the summer of love, yet so fresh and relevant in modern times.

Canned Heat's place in the pantheon of the greats is undeniable, and their importance to the blues inestimable. The LA outfit began in 1965, born not from commercial interests, but from a deep love of the genre, as Hite and
Wilson evolved from their roles as vinyl collectors and blues aficionados to lead the nascent lineup. As slide god and super-fan Sonny Landreth recently noted: "Canned Heat were, like, the ultimate white-blues aficionados. These guys, they were so into the blues, way ahead of other people."

Even as timeless hits like "On The Road Again", "Going Up The Country" and "Let's Work Together" catapulted Canned Heat from hippie favourites to global stars in the late-'60s, the band stayed true to their roots, and fiercely protective of their beloved genre. Hite and Wilson became renowned for their habit of tracking down long-forgotten legends like Skip James and Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown, then putting them back on mainstream festival bills.

The respect ran both ways. As they strode through successive decades with a ferocious live reputation and a growing catalogue of classic albums, Canned Heat were given the nod of approval by their forebears, invited to collaborate with everyone from John Lee Hooker (the original boogie man) to Brit-boom godfather John Mayall. They could be found rocking A-list venues from Madison Square Garden to the Royal Albert Hall, yet never lost their common touch, still holding the record for playing the most biker rallies.

Nor could Canned Heat be derailed by the cruel fate that rocked the lineup. Wilson, then Hite, then much-loved guitarist Henry Vestine would all be lost in tragic circumstances, yet the band always weathered the storm, drafting members with the musical chops and mindset to keep Canned Heat rolling as a cohesive unit. "I think Bob, Alan and Henry would be happy and impressed that the band, and mainly Fito and Larry, have kept the Canned Heat legacy alive," says Skip Taylor. "And are still allowing people around the world to hear and feel Canned Heat, and the boogie music we all love."

No doubt, they'd be impressed by Songs From The Road: a snapshot of this iconic band taking yet another audience for the ride of their lives. "Yeah, we got a crowd tonight, boys," notes Spalding, as the Harmonie club erupts and the band launches into Time Was. Somehow, you know they always will.

Canned Heat:
- has sold more records than any other blues band in music history
- is the only blues band to ever have three Number One records: On The Road Again, Going Up The Country, Let's Work Together
- has played more festivals, worldwide, than any other band of any kind in history

More Info

Key Value
Catalogue number RUF1218
Barcode 0710347121824
Number of items 2
Packaging type Jewel Case
Imported No
Weight 108g
Dimensions (LxWxH) 140mm x 10mm x 123mm

Disc 1

Track Listing — Disc 1

Song Title Time
1. On The Road Again 05:09
2. Time Was 03:12
3. Don't Know Where She Went (She Split) 04:30
4. Nighthawk 04:37
5. So Sad ( The World's In A Tangle) 06:46
6. Going Up The Country 03:10
7. Oaxaca 04:42
8. Chicken Shack Boogie 04:12
9. Future Blues 04:09
10. Cristo Redentor 08:18
11. Amphetamine Annie 06:11
12. Rollin' And Tumblin' 05:09
13. Let's Work Together 04:18
14. Euro Boogie 13:33

Disc 2

Track Listing — Disc 2

Song Title Time
1. On The Road Again 05:38
2. Time Was 03:22
3. I'm Her Man 05:21
4. Don't Know Where She Went (She Split) 04:19
5. Nighthawk 04:45
6. So Sad (The World's In A Tangle) 06:39
7. Going Up The Country 03:10
8. Oaxaca 04:44
9. Chicken Shack Boogie 04:14
10. Have A Good Time 03:56
11. Future Blues 07:58
12. Cristo Redentor 07:00
13. Amphetamine Annie 07:00
14. Rollin' And Tumblin' 05:12
15. Let's Work Together 04:23
16. Euro Boogie 13:00