Canned Heat

Canned Heat

Canned Heat

Canned Heat 1969-1999: The Boogie House Tapes Volume 2

Ruf Records

Let’s start by noting that this is a 2-disc volume 2, and I hope volume 1 had better material on it. Canned Heat is one of those old fart bands that played Woodstock One and somehow hung on til the 21st century. They had a few minor hits, like “Going Up the Country,” which you might hear on a Best Mix radio station. That song doesn’t appear on this compilation, which is a shame, as nothing else here comes close to it.

The strongest cut is the opener, “Struttin’ That Stuff,” but we soon slide into a long series of badly recorded material that reminds me of the “long form Jazz Improv” segment in Spinal Tap. It’s electrified blues, and I keep waiting for the singer to talk about “going to the crossroads.” He never does, but still I feel like I’m listening to a scratchy old blues album I’m supposed to like it because it was done by some obscure blues pioneer, and not because it was actually that good.

Canned Heat has been on some obscure touring life support for 40 years, and they proudly claim on their web site they’ve had the same line up for 5 years now. There is life in a big time name, even if you’re living on tips and nostalgia, but even the ads they recorded don’t add much to this very thin multi-disc set. I recommend this for the die hard fan, but then you already have a copy.

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