Blues n Boogie .. Boogie n Blues , no matter which way you phrase it only one name rises to the top: Canned Heat. Some say they invented the genre that made them a global phenomenon 40+ years ago ... for sure ...not many argue against that. This legendary band will bring their unique blend of roadhouse electric blues, rock and boogie back to the Bluesfest stage in 2018.
Canned Heat gained international attention and secured their niche in the pages of rock ‘n roll history with their performances at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival (along with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Who) and the headlining slot at the original Woodstock Festival in 1969.
Their unique blend of modern electric blues, rock and boogie has earned them a loyal following and influenced many aspiring guitarists and bands during the past four decades. Their Top-40 country-blues-rock songs, “On The Road Again,” “Let’s Work Together,” and “Going Up The Country,” became rock anthems throughout the world with the latter being adopted as the unofficial theme song for the film Woodstock. Their cover version of Wilbert Harrison’s “Let’s Work Together” was actually their biggest hit as it rose to #1 in 31 different countries around the world.
Much of Canned Heat’s legacy stems from these three, classic, early recordings, which featured two unique talents, both of whom died young: Alan Wilson (in 1970), a gifted slide guitarist, harmonica player, songwriter and vocalist with a high tenor reminiscent of blues great Skip James; and Bob Hite (in 1981) , a blues shouter whose massive physique earned him the nickname “The Bear.” His size was matched only by his equally massive knowledge of blues music.
Despite losing these two founder members – and then later, that of long-time guitarist Henry Vestine in 1997, Canned Heat has survived under the leadership of Fito de la Parra since the late 70’s. Since 1967, the band has toured extensively all over the world, performing at numerous festivals including Monterey Pop, Newport Pop, the Sturgis Motorcycle Run U.S.A., and the original Woodstock.
The band can boast of collaborations with John Mayall, Little Richard and blues icon, John Lee Hooker. This union first produced the spirited and revered album, “Hooker ‘n Heat” and then Hooker’s 1990 Grammy Award-winning classic, “The Healer.” The band is also credited with bringing a number of other forgotten bluesmen to the forefront of modern music including Skip James, Johnny Shines, Robert Johnson, and Robert Pete Williams.
Anchored throughout by the steady hand of drummer/band leader Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra (a member since 1967) and reunited with longtime manager/producer, Skip Taylor, Canned Heat is well on track to carry the boogie-blues it made famous, well into the 21st century with reunion concerts throughout the world again featuring original Woodstock era members Larry Taylor and Harvey Mandel.
Bluesfest is proud to welcome them back to grace our ‘field of blues’.
Canned Heat play Friday 30 March and Saturday 31 March