Canned Heat - Live In Oz

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Mystic Records
Catalog Number: MYS CD 148
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:09:00

Listening to Canned Heat's Live In Oz, one realizes that at least two of their tunes, well- known in their own right, have been used as commercial jingles, the most recent being "Goin' Up Country" for a laundry product (just the latest use). Just another victim of the corporate machine, it seems. "Let's Work Together" is the other track to commerical purposes -- yes, the retailer Target. And I'm sure "On The Road Again," has been used at one time or another, too... checking the website, it's a Miller Beer commercial. There are times that "On The Road Again" sounds a bit like The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" to me, but then there is a similar groove to a lot of the music anyway. "Hell's On Down The Line"... sounds a lot like "Crossroads."

Live In Oz was recorded in 1991, originally released as Boogie Assault: Live In Australia, but here repackaged by Mystic Records with brief liner notes about the then current state of the band. This documents the debut of new guitarist Walter Trout. Bob Hite, the band's guitarist to that point, had passed away, the result of a heart attack and Trout was brought in to fill the guitarist spot two weeks later. Trout had been till that point a member of John Lee Hooker's band. Canned Heat would latter win a Grammy for their collaboration with Hooker on The Healer.

Canned Heat were and are one of the premiere boogie bands, and one can hear their influence in such bands as ZZ Top, a comparision one can't help but make in listening to "Refried Hockey Boogie." Though, given that ZZ Top released their first album in 1970, the bands are pretty much contemporaries. As a recorded document, it's not flawless. There are a few gaps, where the sound cuts out for a second or two, though you don't miss any of the music because of it. What I like about it -- well, one thing -- is that you can tell there was no later studio overdubs, no polishing done. This has that "you are there" feel, which I think all live recordings should have. This raw blues rock. The band seem to loose the crowd during the extended jam that is "Refried Hockey Boogie" -- 22 minutes, 53 seconds of pure boogie -- though you can hear a few clapping along with Kellogg on harmonica. And here is the proof as to why Trout is a revered guitarist, though I personally am not familiar with his playing specifically. But here he smokes...the whole band smokes. Fito De La Parra on drums, Mike "The Mouth" Halbey on guitar and vocals, Rick "Cherry Red" Kellogg on harmonica and vocals, and Ernie Rodriguez on bass and vocals.

The band sound like they are having fun, and while it doesn't say, it sounds like an outside venue... it sounds like a stadium sized venue, in fact. There is such high amount of energy, one suspects that the audience wasn't lost during "Refried" but frozen in stunned awe... this heat isn't canned, it's let loose to steam and storm its way through an evening of blistering blues rock. You just go from one highlight to another...

Live In Oz is a great live document in and of itself, but with several dozen live recordings under their belt - just look at the discography as published on the Canned Heat website. How it rates in the annals of CH live recordings, I can't say, but the band was smoking on this night.


On The Road Again (4:24) / Amphetamine Annie (6:10) / Goin' Up Country (3:07) / Let's Work Together (3:47) / Kings Of The Boogie (3:18) / Refried Hockey Boogie (22:53) / Hell's On Down The Line (3:18) / Chicken Shack Boogie (3:22) / So Long (3:10)

Fito Del La Parra - drums
Walter Trout - lead guitar/vocals
Mike "The Mouth" Halbey - guitar, vocals
Rick "Cherry Red" Kellogg - harmonica, vocals
(Paul) Ernie Rodriguez - bass and vocals

Canned Heat (1967)
Boogie With Canned Heat (1968)
Living The Blues (1968)
Hallelujah (1969)
Canned Heat Cookbook (1969)
Future Blues (1970)
Vintage (1970)
Canned Heat '70 Concert Live In Europe (1970)
Hooker 'N Heat (w/ John Lee Hooker) (1970)
Live At Topanga Corral (1971)
Historical Figures and Ancient Heads (1971)
The Best Of Canned Heat (1972/1990)
The New Age (1973)
One More River To Cross (1973)
Memphis Heat (w/ Memphis Slim) (1974)
Gates On Heat (w/ Clarence Gatemouth Brown) (1974)
The Very Best Of Canned Heat (1975)
Human Condition (1978)
Captured live (1980)
Hooker'n'Heat (Live at the Fox Venice Theatre from 1978 w/ John Lee Hooker) (1981)
The Heat Brothers '84 (1984/(1996)
Kings Of The Boogie (1981)
Infinite Boogie (1986)
Boogie Up The Country (1987)
Reheated (1988)
Let's Work Together, The Best Of Canned Heat (1989)
Burnin' Live (1991)
Boogie Assault (1991)
Canned Heat Live (1993)
Internal Combustion (augmented ed. as Gambling Woman) (1994)
Uncanned! The Best Of Canned Heat (1994)
King Biscuit Flower Hour (1995)
Live At Turku Festival (71) (1995)
Canned Heat Blues Band (1996)
Best Of Hooker 'N' Heat (1996)
Straight Ahead (1996)
The Ties That Bind (Recorded in 74) (1997)
House Of Blue Lights (1998)
Boogie 2000 (1999)
The Boogie House Tapes (2000)
Live In Oz (2001)
Friends In The Can (2003)
The USA Sessions w/ Javier Batiz (in '69) (2003)
The Boogie House Tapes Volume 2 (2004)
Under Dutch Skies (3 concerts from '70, '71, '74) (2007)
Christmas Album (w/ E. Clapton, Dr. John) (2007)
The Very Best Of Canned Heat (2007)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: July 30th 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1261
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]