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July 17, 2024

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Canned Heat
Friends In The Can (Fuel 2000)

By: Mark A. Lawrence the IV

The boogie blues off Canned Heat's Friends In The Can is so powerful it makes you dance, which looks a little weird alone outside a connivance store sometime past ten P.M. but that's all right. Once I heard "Never Get Out Of These Blues Alive" I knew I wanted this CD and come hell or high water I was going to get it. With the story structure elements of their long time friend and collaborator, the late John Lee Hooker, Heat carries the boogie blues torch strong with savvy guitar that gives songs like "1, 2, 3, Here We Go Again" such attitude it's as intimidating as a junkyard dog. The addition of a flute on " That Fat Cat" is interesting and lends itself to a sound much like WAR or Jethro Tull. And what's that I hear it the background? A Cowbell? God bless the cowbell!

Walter Trout takes over vocals and lead guitar on "Home To You" providing a rough emotionally charged voice that reminds me of Joe Cocker and the Fogerty of CCR. And now we're back to the song that started this mad journey in the first place with Taj Mahal showing a rougher more direct singing then his more familiar Caribbean flavored blues. This song recalls the essence of Hooker, which is so fitting that it ends with a narrative by this master of the blues. Buy this awesome album. Support not just this great hard working band but the label that brings them to you. I did, I'll show you the receipt. Rating: A

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