Canned Heat: Christmas Blues

There are times when I get really tired of hearing music.  I think most can relate to this.  You get stuck on a CD for a while, but then your ears get tired of hearing the same old thing and you attempt to relieve the monotony by switching it up something different.  But sometimes, there's just nothing that will fit in that niche and you find yourself turning through station after station until you settle for some talk show radio and mindlessly complete your commute, chugging through a 75 hour work week in 5 days.

And then it hits you.  You're so tired you can't think, you're so hungry you can't think, you're mind is jello and you're not even sure what day it is anymore.

And that's when you realize it's Friday and you have no idea what you should be listening to.  
And when you have a blog called "Listening Friday" that's a problem.

Hint: The planet.  It's Friday.

And it's like already 9pm.  You quickly run through your options- Bust it out, bail, bullshit...or blues?

So as I was leaving work tonight and wallowing in self-defeat at the fact I had indeed been unable to complete my quest to accomplish the 3rd Listening Friday of Christmas my radio happened to land on the local college station.  Ordinarily when given airtime during periods when the administration is fairly certain no one of serious consequence is listening, the DJ's of such stations tend to play things that sound like emo kids murdering band saws while hitting 50 gallon drums with pickles.

Tonight, being a Friday night (in a town with what could be considered a passable nightlife) one might expect the airtime to be fertile with opportunities of musical debauchery.

One might be wrong.

Tonight, there was some wonderful gentleman who was laying down some serious blues.  As I turned on the car I was treated to a rendition of a Roy Buchanan tune called "The Messiah Will Come Again" by Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers.  Full disclosure- I had never heard Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers, but I have to admit that it was choice.  Mr. Thackery, for lack of better words, murders his guitar and records it for posterity.  That's one of the elements of Blues I find most endearing actually.  Just listening to a slow, drawn out, barely moving blues shuffle while someone just wails on top of the engine room with a mouth harp, guitar, what-have-you, makes me just...

I can't even describe it.  Words fail.  It strikes a point deep in my soul, a place where all of us try to keep under wraps.  A place where we've been hurt before, a dark place.  A cold place that derides warmth.  Blues exists to magnify that spot, and yet minimize it.  Package it neatly into a product that we can all share and take communion of.  No one is immune to its call, because no one has never not had the blues.

So I began thinking this might be a sign!

Except, we're in the 6 (or 5) Listening Friday's of Christmas and we're talking about the first time Jesus came around, so The Drivers, while apparently awesome, don't fit the bill at the moment.

But it did get me thinking.

So I got home and googled.  And googled.  And screwed around on Facebook.  And then googled some more.  And after I downloaded like 20 new *.gif's, I wrote this entry.

Canned Heat, blues/rock band out of California, was founded in 1965 by Allen Wilson (1943-1970) and Bob Hite (1943-1981) on the premise that being so strung out that drinking sterno sounds like a good idea is pretty much a blues song that wrote itself.  The group rounded out with Bob Hite singing, Alan Wilson covering guitar, harmonica and vocals, Henry Vestine or Harvey Mandel on lead guitar, Larry Taylor on bass, and Adolfo de la Parra on set.  For the recording we will listen to today they are joined by Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack, aka Dr. John on the piano.

The song is titled simply, "Christmas Blues" and evokes exactly what you might expect from such a title.  I could go on a bit more about the history of Canned Heat, but I'll be honest- I'm really tired and it will be pretty awful.   Not that what you've just read wasn't, but

OK! OK!  Here's Canned Heat + Dr. John burning down YouTube with "Christmas Blues".

See you next Friday.


Embedding the video was disabled at the request of someone.  I'm not sure who.  But you'll have to leave this site to watch.  But it's ok.  You're just going to YouTube.  There's a lot of cool stuff there.  



Here's the recording of Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers taking us to church.  Enjoy!