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Canned Heat

Stockholm 1973

Review by Gary Hill

It’s easy to think of Canned Heat as a 60s band. Surely, in many ways they were. Overall, though, they were a blues band. They were much more of an authentic blues outfit than they were blues rocker. Still, there was rock in the mix. This live set really captures a magical show from the band. They were on fire on that particularly evening and the audio is quite solid, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Let’s Work Together

I love the guitar work on this screaming hot blues rocker. It’s a great way to start things. The organ soloing is pretty great, too.

On the Road Again
One of Canned Heat’s best known cuts, this has some great harmonica. It’s a strong driving blues rocker.
Harley Davidson Blues
This is a bouncy little roots number that feels like something Doctor John might do. It’s a fun cut. It’s a nice change with a lot of country in the mix.
Election Blues
They start this tune, but then have to restart it in a lower key. This is a slow moving, classy traditional blues jam. It’s great stuff. There’s some exceptional guitar soloing on this. I really dig the piano soloing mid-track.
So Long Wrong
This harder rocking jam is still definitely blues based. It’s just closer to some of the hard rock of the 1970s. It’s a killer electric blues tune, really. The instrumental jam on this is purely on fire.
Shake n Boogie
Here’s another electric blues rocker. This really does boogie. It’s another fun cut. It’s perhaps not as incendiary as some of the rest, but it makes up for with the excess amounts of cool dripping from the music. There is some seriously freeform soloing later in this extended number. It runs over 13 and a half minutes.
Goodbye for Now
More of a slow, down home blues tune, this is tasty stuff. It’s a great closer as they get to say their goodbyes and give the names of the musicians.
 
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