The title of this CD paints the picture for you before you ever pick up the brush and apply it to the canvas. Friends in the Can is a celebration of the band Canned Heat and some of their beloved music friends performing together. Most importantly one Mr. John Lee Hooker, the man that inspired this group to keep on keepin’ on playin’ da blues in the first place. Granted some of the tracks were ‘in the can’ so to speak but they sound as alive and vital today and will continue to inspire other blues players for years to come.
The track with Hooker, "Little Wheel," chosen from John Lee’s The Healer sessions, is one of the better tracks on this album.... no surprise there. I have to say that I was in awe with the consistency of this recording. It is one of those all-star sessions surely, but what is different about it is that there is no glitter and glitz, or pomp and circumstance. This is da blues honey child, and it is electric and rocking straight at you like a silver bullet aimed directly at your blood pump. Some other notables that add their touch to this stunning success of blues recordings are Taj Mahal, Corey Stevens and Harvey Mandel, and many others that demand respect for their craft in all corners of the world.
There is not one dud on this entire CD, it is prime grade ‘A’ musical meat well done and served with plenty of onions and A-1 sauce. People that love the blues will understand the analogy, if you do not just use your imagination a little bit and see where it takes you, and keep in mind what genre I am talking about here. Is there a better way to describe a great blues album?
These may be the "Same Old Games" but I sure love playing them over and over again. Welcome back again Canned Heat, glad to see you back in the studio and on tour showing us all how it is done. In the name of the blues and John Lee Hooker, God rest his soul, this is the way the blues is supposed to be played!