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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Cleopatra Records artist: Canned Heat with John Lee Hooker - Carnegie Hall 1971 - New release review

I just received the newest release, Carnegie Hall 1971 from Canned Heat and it's a living snapshot of a great live band at it's peak with one of the kings of the blues! Opening with the slinky, Framed, Bob Hite speaks the lines and belts out the chorus. Backed on lead guitar by Henry Vestine, Fito de la Parra on drums, Joel Scott Hill on guitar and Antonio de la Barreda on bass this is a great track! Classic Heat, Let's Work Together is up next and a classic Heat jam. Vestine takes a cool lead solo but this track is all about the mystique of Heat. Hey Babe features the one and only John Lee Hooker on vocal and guitar. There are few vocalists to my hearing that deliver the blues like Hooker and this track spells it out in spades. One of the difficulties that I have complained about with Hooker in a larger band setting was the band's inability to capture Hooker's real sound and trying to make all of his measures even and equal. Hooker's sense of timing is not harmed here and Heat follows the master like a hound on a rabbit. Excellent! Shake 'N' Boogie is an extended track (in excess of 19 minutes) with Hooker leading the way. The track breaks about 7 minutes in for a frenzied guitar solo by Vestine. Cranking this track up to the end is Canned Heat's inspiration by Hooker. A true boogie with loose solos including a longer solo by de la Parra on drums. A great driver! Willie Dixon's Back Door Man is up next opening with a lot of guitar distortion and loose playing. Maturing into a loaded jam, this track is the embodiment of Heat jamming during it's prime. Hooker takes the lead once again for one of his own creations, Tease Me Baby. This track, showing one of Hooker's tracks with a blues rock base, gives the band the opportunity to close this performance with an upbeat rocker while still featuring the super power of JL Hooker. I tight little rocker and a sure closer for a cool live release.

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 Here's a studio version of Framed:


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