#923: 1967, Canned Heat, On The Road Again

by George_East on August 20, 2014

I have to confess I was struggling with inspiration for my song now that the superb anti-war week is over.   I was toying with going for something new, but couldn’t quite decide on the song.  Then Jackie South solved my dilemma for me, with the title of the journal posts from his latest US trip.   His reference was to a famous Willie Nelson number.

But for me the title, On The Road Again brings this, Canned Heat’s most famous song to mind.   Of all of the blues revival explosion bands of the 1960s, Al ‘Blind Owl’ Wilson’s Canned Heat were I think the most dedicated.

For all of John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards et al’s obsession with the old blues masters, that led to many of them being rediscovered in various dirt poor parts of the south in that period, only the Blind Owl could boast that he was the man who ‘taught Son House how to play Son House’, after the old blues master was ‘found’ in Mississippi in 1964, having not picked up a guitar in more than 20 years.

If that is not enough On The Road Again features a lyric based on a Tommy Johnson tune (another song of whose, Canned Heat Blues, the band were named after),  a riff borrowed from John Lee Hooker’s Boogie Chillen and a falsetto vocal imitating Al Wilson’s biggest blues hero of all, Skip James.


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