Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:
***

CANNED HEAT
The Very Best of Canned Heat
Capitol

L.A. record nerds boogie the blues

Canned Heat were the most authentic of '60s white blues bands because they were formed by two genuine blues collectors: big friendly baritone Bob Hite, nicknamed the Bear, and weird, scrawny tenor Alan Wilson, nicknamed Blind Owl. Appropriating likely tunes from bluesman Floyd James and songster Henry Thomas, Wilson scored two unlikely 1968 hits ("On the Road Again" and "Goin' up the Country") before OD'ing in 1970, and Hite charted with Wilbert Harrison's R&B strut "Let's Work Together." There have been many more distinguished white bluesmen than Hite, who died of a heart attack right after a gig in 1981, the same killer that took guitarist Henry Vestine in 1997. Doomed though they were, however, Canned Heat's cheerful hippie vibe reflected their pleasure in going public with the music they'd helped rediscover, and that pleasure is still audible.

Blender, Sept. 2005