Canned Heat - Woodstock Boogie - Classic Blues Videos
at Woodstock in 1969
Canned Heat performs "Woodstock Boogie" at The Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York in 1969.
"Fito" De la Perra
Canned Heat is a blues-rock/boogie rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California, USA, in 1965. The group has been noted for its own interpretations of blues material as well as for efforts to promote the interest in this type of music and its original artists. It was launched by two blues enthusiasts, Alan Wilson and Bob Hite, who took the name from Tommy Johnson's 1928 "Canned Heat Blues", a song about an alcoholic who had desperately turned to drinking Sterno, generically called "canned heat". After appearances at Monterey and Woodstock, at the end of the 1960s the band acquired worldwide fame with a lineup consisting of Bob Hite, vocals, Alan Wilson guitar, harmonica and vocals, Henry Vestine (or Harvey Mandel) on lead guitar, Larry Taylor on bass, and Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra on drums.
The music and attitude of Canned Heat afforded them a large following and established the band as one of the popular acts of the hippie era. Canned Heat appeared at most major musical events at the end of the 1960s and they were able to deliver on stage electrifying performances of blues standards and their own material and occasionally to indulge into lengthier 'psychedelic' solos. Two of their songs - "Going Up the Country" and "On the Road Again" - became international hits; both were re-workings of obscure blues. At the time all their albums were released for worldwide distribution.
Since the early 1970s numerous personnel changes have occurred and today, in the fifth decade of the band's existence, Fito de la Parra is the only member from the "classic" 1960s lineup. He has written a book about the band's career. Larry Taylor, whose presence in the band has not been steady, is the other surviving member from the earliest lineups. Harvey Mandel, Walter Trout and Junior Watson are among the guitarists who gained fame for playing in later editions of the band. British blues pioneer John Mayall has frequently found musicians for his band among former Canned Heat members.
Canned Heat have collaborated with many blues artists, recording and helping them to regain some notoriety. Among them notable names are:
* John Lee Hooker: in 1971 Canned Heat backed John Lee Hooker on the album Hooker'n'Heat. In 1978 a joint performance was recorded live and released as Hooker'n'Heat, live at the Fox Venice Theatre (1981). In 1989 Canned Heat (and many others) guested on John Lee Hooker's album The Healer.
* Sunnyland Slim: in the spring of 1968, Al Wilson, Bob Hite, and Fito de la Parra took a cab whose driver turned out to be Sunnyland Slim. Bob and Alan convinced him to go in the studio again and cut an album for a sublabel of Liberty Records. The album, Slim’s Got His Thing Goin’ On featured tracks with Slim fronting Canned Heat and Hite acted as co-producer. Slim thanked them by playing the piano on "Turpentine Moan" for the album Boogie with Canned Heat.
* Memphis Slim: in Paris, on September 18, 1970 Canned Heat went into the studio at the request of French music producer Phillipe Rault to record with Memphis Slim. Three years later and after an overdubbing session with the Memphis Horns of Stax Records fame, Memphis Heat was finally released on the French label, Barclay (and was re-released in 2006 on Sunnyside Recordings).
* Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown: in 1973 Canned Heat went again in France to record for Rault, this time with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. The sessions did not work out as planned but the album was released as Gate’s on the Heat and another track appeared in 1975 on his album Down South in the Bayou Country. Later they joined him for a set at the Montreux Jazz Festival. A DVD of the performance was released.
* Javier Batiz: during the summer of 1969 Fito de La Parra arranged in LA a recording session for Mexican R&B star Javier Batiz with whom he had played before moving north and joining Canned Heat. His fellow band mate Larry Taylor took part in the project and also three musicians who in later years would join the band: Tony de la Barreda (bass), Ernest Lane (piano) and Clifford Solomon (sax). The recording was released some 30 years later as The USA Sessions.
* Albert Collins: in early 1969 Canned Heat met Albert Collins after a gig and advised him to move to L.A. in order to boost his career; there they found him an agent and introduced him to executives for UA. In appreciation, Collins’ first record title for UA became Love Can Be Found Anywhere, taken from the lyrics of "Fried Hockey Boogie".
* Henry Vestine: a recording project from 1981 has been released more than twenty years later under Henry Vestine's name as I Used To Be Mad (but Now I am Half Crazy). The musicians on the album are the Canned Heat members at that time: Henry Vestine (guitar), Mike Halby (vocals, guitar), Ernie Rodrigues (vocals, bass), Ricky Kellogg (vocals, harmonica) and Fito De La Parra (drums).
* Fito de La Parra and Walter de Paduwa, aka Dr. Boogie, have compiled an album of blues selected from Bob Hite's collection Rarities from the Bob Hite Vault, Sub Rosa SRV 271. Included are tracks by a dozen artists such as Pete Johnson, Johnny Otis, Clarence Brown, Otis Rush, Etta James and Elmore James.
Wikipedia contributors. "Canned Heat." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 25 Oct. 2010. Web. 1 Nov. 2010.