Live At Montreux 1973

Canned Heat

Ok, so it’s not the best recording you’re ever going to hear, but man does Canned Heat blast through the 10 songs on Live At Montreux 1973. What is considered their “New Age” lineup (the Heat would see quite a few band member changes) opens with the famous “On The Road Again,” featuring the great double-guitar attack of Henry Vestine and James Shane. From there, it’s on to the laid back blues jam of “Please Mr. Nixon” featuring Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown’s sparkling, yet scary vocal.

“Worried Life Blues” tears open with fantastic harmonica playing from Brown before the band take a shot at the hymn “About My Ooh Poo Pa Doo,” showcasing those amazing pipes of a mountain of a man called Bob ‘The Bear’ Hite. The Bear squeals through “Funky,” playing a harmonica as blistering as any guitar. “Night Time Is The Right Time” is perfect dark blues, seeing some stellar piano from Ed Beyer.

The band gets the crowd clapping to their version of Wilbert Harrison’s “Let’s Work Together,” featuring both Hite and James Shane on vocals. All the musicians are simply locked-in on this song with drummer Fito De La Parra holding down the beat as he does splendidly throughout the whole concert. Beyer plays a sweet piano on “Looking For My Rainbow,” with a clear-as-a-bell vocal from Shane. Don’t even ask me what De La Parra is doing on this one because his drumming is out of this world!

Canned Heat has weathered numerous personnel changes, with guys coming and going, yet they continue to play today. Still, it’s nice to hear this little nugget from way back when as the band was playing with full force white-boy blues power, managing some smokin’ heat on Live At Montreux 1973.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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