A Bit Like You And Me Radio

January 25, 2013

Canned Heat - Going Up the Country (1968)

Although this band has had over forty members from their beginnings in 1965 until the present day, the most notable members of the band were the ones present in 1968. Of them was the guitarist known as Henry “Sunflower” Vestine, who had previously been a member of Frank Zappa’s The Mothers of Invention until he was kicked out for his penchant for drug use. Also in the band were Larry “The Mole” Taylor, a former session bassist for The Monkees and Jerry Lee Lewis; Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra, a Mexican drummer who had previously been in Bluesberry Jam; and finally Bob “The Bear” Hite and Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson, who were the only members to have been in each incarnation of the band since its official formation in 1965. The band's name came from a 1928 song, "Canned Heat Blues," by Tommy Johnson, about an alcoholic so desperate to get drunk that he begins to drink Sterno, colloquially known as "canned heat." The band had two of their songs reach international success: the first, “On the Road Again,” released in April 1968 and the second being heard below.

Coming from their third album, Living the Blues, this song was written by Blind Owl, Alan Wilson, who also sang lead on the track. The song’s music is accented with memorable flute playing, played by Jim Horn. The song’s melody was a cover of a blues number by Henry Thomas in the late 1920s, “Bull Doze Blues.” Officially released in September 1969, the song reached number eleven in the US, nineteen in the UK, and number one in twenty-five other countries around the world. It would also go on to become the unofficial anthem of Woodstock, as it was featured during the opening credits of the Woodstock documentary.

album art

Canned Heat - Going Up the Country (1968)

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Lyrics:

I'm going up the country
Baby, don't you wanna go?
I'm going up the country
Baby, don't you wanna go?
I'm going to some place where I've never been before

I'm going, I'm going
Where the water tastes like wine
I'm going where the water tastes like wine
We can jump in the water, stay drunk all the time

I'm gonna leave this city
Got to get away
I'm gonna leave this city
Got to get away
All this fussing and fighting, man
You know I sure can't stay

Now baby, pack your leaving trunk
You know we've got to leave today
Just exactly where we're going I cannot say
But, we might even leave the USA
‘cause there's a brand new game that I want to play

No use of you running or screaming and crying
‘cause you've got a home as long as I've got mine

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