Archive for the ‘Al ‘Blind Owl’ Wilson’ Category

Canned Heat

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Listen: Rollin’ And Tumblin’ / Canned Heat CannedHeatRollin.mp3

This wasn’t a huge favorite then, yet I did show off that sleeve at every turn. Lots of era bands covered ‘Rollin’ And Tumblin’, and I must admit, my favorite is by The Cream. But what’s great about this is Bob Hite on vocal. He may have been a big boy, but he was relentless on stage. Really superb. I remember them doing it the one and only time I got to see this lineup (who are on all three singles posted here).

Listen: Going Up The Country / Canned Heat CannedHeatCountry.mp3

That particular show was a real treat. Canned Heat were in the midst of this run of hit singles, can you believe it, hit Top 40 singles. Support that night were John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (during the BAREWIRES tour – fantastic) and Albert King. Now tell me you aren’t jealous and I’ll know you’re fibbing.

‘Going Up The Country’ had the unique voice of Al ‘Blind Owl’ Wilson on lead. He and Bob Hite seemed to share an equal 50/50 of those singing chores live. No star bullshit, just real blues lovers that band. In fact, Bob reportedly had one of the world’s largest and most complete blues vinyl collection at the time of his passing.

Blind Owl actually brought pop perfectly into the band via his voice. It’s just impossible to not love.

Listen: On The Road Again / Canned Heat CannedHeatRoad.mp3

So much appeal did indeed that voice have, that Canned Heat pulled off something similar in the US to what The Rolling Stones had in the UK with ‘Little Red Rooster’. Both singles, tried, true, plain and simple slow blues numbers, became smashes against every industry know-it-all warning.

Not sure about you, but I haven’t heard these for years. Really glad I pulled them out.