Music Review: Canned Heat

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Venue: The Gov

Gig Date: March 28th 

Last time they were in Adelaide in 2015, American blues royalty Canned Heat had to contend with a massive power-outage just as their show was coming to a close. No such issues with the grid last night, as they once again took to the stage at The Gov.

Opening the show was local muso  J. J. Fields, who performs solo, with guitar. Fields is a purist, who works in the style of the original “bluesmen”, performing numbers such as Alberta and Bill Bailey. Well known to Adelaide audiences, the crowd adored him, and with good reason. Don’t hesitate to check him out next time he is playing.

Canned Heat got their set off to a rollicking, popular start, with one of their big hits, On the Road Again.  Dale Spalding, as well as leading most of the vocals, gave us their signature blues-harp sound.

Driven by John Paulus on guitar, the boys worked through their back-catalogue including Shake it and Break it, Future Blues, Let’s Work Together, the classic Rollin’ and Tumblin’ and (of course) Going Up the Country.

Canned Heat’s rhythm section consists of two of the best in the business: Larry Taylor on bass and longest-standing member, Fito de la Parra, on drums. De la Parra’s influence is also heard in the slightly “mariachi” sound which often wafts through some of their work. This is a solid blues outfit, which can also deliver boogie, psychedelic and down-home rock.

Heading off next to play Byron, I predict they’ll be back again in another couple of years. Age certainly isn’t wearying any of them, despite now 52 years in the business.

And Australia loves them.

Check out their website here.

9.0 Rocking

This is a solid blues outfit, which can also deliver boogie, psychedelic and down-home rock.

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Tracey Korsten is a freelance writer, poet, speaker and performer, based in Adelaide. She blogs at middleagedlove.

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