1967-1976: The Boogie House Tapes
Prior to hearing this album, the only Canned Heat material I was familiar with came from a beer commercial, in the form of “On the Road Again,” complete with the lead singer’s Tarzan-like yodel. This 2-disc collection of unreleased live material (including a version of the aforementioned song) was strung together with the help of Walter De Paduwa (a.k.a. Dr. Boogie), who operates a museum in Belgium dedicated to the preservation of boogie music. The songs on The Boogie House Tapes are raw. There is no slick production here, as I’m sure they weren’t originally intended for release. Fortunately, the live performance and jam session environment that these recordings came from fostered some excellent moments. Much of the album is broken up with talking and re-starts but the uninterrupted guitar and harmonica solos are second to none. Despite the title, The Boogie House Tapes showcases some of the best traditional blues around, with occasional forays into boogie and blues-rock. You won’t need to be a hardcore fan to appreciate this long overdue collection.
Ruf Records GmbH, Kirchstr.24, 37318 Lindewerra, Germany; http://www.rufrecords.de.