CANNED HEAT – Songs From The Road (Ruf Records RUF 1218)

CANNED HEAT Songs From The RoadBack in the dim and distant past, in another life, when I was just getting into blues and rock, I encountered the delights of those “Kings of Boogie”, Canned Heat. It’s great to know that 50 years on they are still turning out their unique brand of blues and boogie.

Here is a live compilation of tracks that include the chart hits from their heydays and a whole lot more. If you are a fan you will be familiar with ‘On the Road Again’(the opener), ‘Time Was’, ‘Going Up the Country’, ‘Amphetamine Annie’, ‘Rolling and a Tumbling’ (their first recording) and, of course, ‘Let’s Work Together’. The CD would be worth getting, for those tracks alone.

However, in the mix is not only slick blues and driving boogie, but a surprising amount of jazz too. Just listen to ‘Don’t Know Where She Is’ to see what I mean. Most of the lead vocals are provided by Dale Spalding, who also provides plenty of fat blues harp throughout. Renowned, in the past for their protracted boogie tracks on their albums, they don’t disappoint with the last track ’Euro Boogie’. Thirteen minutes of pure legendary Canned Heat.

As ever, in the Songs From The Road series, this CD comes with an accompanying DVD. This time there are a couple of extra smooth blues tracks that don’t appear on the CD; ‘I’m Her Man’ and ‘Have a Good Time’.

The CDs that I have heard in this series, so far, have all been worth listening to, and this album is no exception. Slap it into your player, volume up to 11, close your eyes and let the boogie take you.

Ron D Bowes

Artists’ website:

It’s an old film but who cares? ‘Let’s Work Together’: