Music is one of those wonderful art forms that, from time to time, needs freshing up a little through talented newcomers that keep said art always interesting but, by the same token, it also needs artists that create a legacy, a root, where the newcomers can take inspiration from and eventually apply their own craft to then make a name for themselves.

One of those legendary bands that most certainly created a strong musical legacy, it is the American Blues and Rock collective Canned Heat, a band that has kept the tradition of late 60's Rock And Roll and Blues constantly at the highest level, despite several changes of personnel the band had to go through, as the years went by, with the sole exception of the band's longest serving member, drummer Fito De La Parra. 

Right now, after 47 years in the music business and with a renewed line-up that includes, together with De La Parra on drums, some of the finest musicians in the contemporary Blues and Rock establishment such as Jimmy Vivino on vocals, keyboard and guitars, Dale Spalding on vocals and harp and Richard Reed on bass guitar, Canned Heat returns with a brand new album, their 18th studio one, called Finyl Vinyl, a play-on-word about the possibility that this album could be this fabulous collective's Swan Song.

Finyl Vinyl is a cracker right from the start, with the band launching themselves in a thunderous opening number called One Last Boogie, where Canned Heat clearly states that the class and craft is still there, solidly. 

There are some really wonderful strong musical moments, on the American collective's new album; from the infectious You're The One, perhaps one of the strongest numbers ever written and performed by Canned Heat to date to A Hot Ole Time, a foot-stomping, incredible ensemble of Boogie, Jive and Blues or from another thunderous number such as When You're 69 to the Blues-drenched Tease Me, Canned Heat's sound is always as muscular as it is also metronomicaly impeccable, without a note put in the wrong place.

While the presence of a very Special Guest like guitarist, singer/songwriter and producer Dave Alvin brings a very touching moment in the album, through penning and also providing the vocals for the song Blind Owl, an open homage to the memory of one of Canned Heat's founding members Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson, the same cannot be sad for the version of the band's 1970 original called So Sad (The World's In A Tangle), where the presence of Joe Bonamassa on lead guitar does not add too much to the renewed version of Canned Heat's early original.

There are though some more interesting sonic moments emerging from Finyl Vinyl, in particular, the Desert Rock instrumental called East/West Boogie, which takes inspiration from the theme of a US TV show called Theme For Teheran, where the band beautifully explores moods and sounds of a more Oriental nature and the tune called Independence Day, where Canned Heat introduce a Scat-Jazz flavour on a Blues tune that encapsules very well the dynamism, the swagger, energy and the enormous artistry of this seminal band.

With a long tour planned in support of Finyl Vinyl, it may be perhaps a little premature to state that this will be the last ever studio album that Canned Heat will ever release.

But, should this be indeed the case, this irresistible American band of Blues and Rock brothers went out with a true, somptous artistic bang. 




Finyl Vinyl is out now and is available to be purchased via Ruf Records