- Pony Blues
- My Mistake
- Sandy's Blues
- Going Up the Country
- Walking by Myself
- Boogie Music
- One Kind Favor
- Parthenogenesis: Nebulosity/Rollin' and Tumblin'/Five Owls/Bear Wires
Some have dismissed Canned Heat's third album Living the Blues (1968), primarily owing to the nearly three-quarter-hour long "Refried Boogie" jam that inhabits the second half of the effort. However, that did not stop it from scoring in the Top 20, which was not bad for a double LP. One obvious reason for its accomplishments is that the remainder of the title continues in the same solid vein as their previous LP, Boogie With Canned Heat (1968), issued merely a few months earlier. The quintet of Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson (guitar/vocals), Larry "The Mole" Taylor (bass), Henry "Sunflower" Vestine (guitar), Aldolfo "Fido" Dela Parra (drums), and Bob "The Bear" Hite (vocals) return with the same aggressive blend of amplified rock with rhythm and blues. They also churn out some impressive self-penned tunes, as well as unique derivations of tunes, such as their interpretation of Charley Patton's "Pony Blues." Immediately the inspired interplay between Wilson and Vestine proves as successful a combination here as it had on the band's prior outings. The organic and lighter "Goin' Up the Country" became the Heat's second major single, and is arguably best-remembered for its prominence in the film Woodstock (1970) and its subsequent triple-LP soundtrack. Expanding beyond their own formidable instrumental prowess, British blues guitarist John Mayall sits in -- on piano no less -- for a short yet effective rendition of Jimmie Rodgers' "Walking by Myself." Augmenting the combo on the original "Boogie Music" is another rising ivory-tickler known to many as the "Gris-gris man," and still to others as Mac Rebennack. However, it's Dr. John under which the Creole-based pianist garnered the most attention. "One Kind Favor" [aka "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean"] is another standard that is given a decidedly modern workout. The sidelong, nine-movement epic "Parthenogenesis" is an experimental suite that allows each band member copious room to move. Among the more interesting sections include the respective sonic trademark of guitarist John Fahey, who backs up Wilson's Jew's harp twangfest on "Nebulosity," as well as the return of Mayall on "Bear Wires," the latter being a sly play on the title of Mayall's concurrent platter, Bare Wires (1968).
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I'm glad they finally released this album on CD. I've been searching for any copy (album, 8 track, cassette) for 25 years. Finally got here - ON CD. The beauty of the CD is the 41 minute Refried Boogie is continuous, not split like on the album. Of course, if you weren't Livin the Blues in the ''old days'', this cut of the album may hold no special meaning to you. I had every note memorized, and it was still there in my head after 25 years! The cut is a little low in volume, with a lot of background static - but don't forget it was recorded live and this CD comes from Italy. Don't know much about Italian recording. Anyway I'm half Italian and re-living the blues!