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The Blind Owl

4.9 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 1, 2016
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Editorial Reviews

(2-CD set) His was the voice of the Woodstock generation who asked 'baby, do you want to go' in the Canned Heat anthem Going Up the Country. Now Severn Records releases The Blind Owl, a compilation of Alan Wilson's greatest works with the legendary band he helped form. The Blind Owl features 20 songs of satisfying blues boogie including My Time Ain't Long, Mean Old World, and the band's breakout recording On the Road Again, plus Wilson's prophetic Poor Moon and fan favorite Time Was. In September of 1970 Alan overdosed, making him a member of the 27 Club. Still his legacy remains strong today as proven in this collection of remarkable recordings. The Blind Owl is a must for serious blues collectors as well as fans of 60's psychedelic rock. Packaged in 2-CD digipack with cover art provided by The 27s book.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. On the Road Again
  2. Help Me
  3. An Owl Song
  4. Going Up the Country
  5. My Mistake
  6. Change My Ways
  7. Get Off My Back
  8. Time Was
  9. Do Not Enter
  10. Shake It and Break It
  11. Nebulosity/Rollin' & Tumblin'/Five Owls

Disc: 2

  1. Alan's Intro
  2. My Time Ain't Long
  3. Skat
  4. London Blues
  5. Poor Moon
  6. Pulling Hair Blues
  7. Mean Old World
  8. Human Condition
  9. Childhood's End


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 2016)
  • Original Release Date: July 1, 2016
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SEVERN RECORDS
  • ASIN: B00B2MAAM8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,246 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Linda A. Auker on May 18, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For those who love the 60s band canned heat (famous for "Goin' Up the Country" and "On the Road", both of which are on this album), this is a great compilation album. It contains two discs full of songs that feature the vocals and music of one of its founders, Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson. Wilson was not only a blues musician, but a gifted student in Delta blues music. He played with Son House (re-teaching the blues legend his own songs) and was praised heavily by John Lee Hooker. Wilson mastered the harmonica (often experimenting with different styles) and was an amazing guitarist, especially with the bottleneck style. His vocals are unique, and haunting, and reminiscent of early Delta blues legends like Skip James.

This album begins with the first notes of "On the Road Again," one of Canned Heat's best known songs, and their first hit. This song features Alan on vocals, harmonica, guitar, and the experimental Indian instruments heard at the beginning of the song. In fact, the only parts of the song that are not performed by Alan are the bass (Larry "The Mole" Taylor) and the drums (Adolpho "Fito" De La Parra). Following this song is one off of their first album, and the first one where we hear Alan singing in Canned Heat's discography. You can definitely hear Alan's understanding of the traditional blues combined with the talent of his bandmates. The album continues with "An Owl Song," an upbeat ditty. Following that is the song by which Canned Heat (and by association, Alan) is best known, "Goin' Up the Country.
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Format: Audio CD
For myself and many other music lovers, Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson WAS Canned Heat. So, this 2-cd package does us all a big favor by isolating all the Blind Owl material and presenting us with nothing but Alan and his other-worldly, haunting, beautiful, unique singing voice in all it's glory. You won't want to skip a single track as this product takes you through hit singles and deep album cuts alike:'Goin' Up The Country', 'On The Road Again, 'My Mistake', 'Change My Ways', 'Time Was', 'Help Me', 'Poor Moon'......you simply cannot go wrong! The liner notes are outstanding as well. Wonderfully done.
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The Owl was a master! He studied the blues, he appreciated the blues, he lived the blues, he mastered the blues, he transformed the blues.

Anyone who could teach an old "Blues Master" ( Son House) how to play songs that Son had forgotten after 25 years of being in obscurity and not even picking up a guitar, has got it going on. John Lee Hooker called Al Wilson the best harmonica player ever, but most people know him from his amazing slide guitar sounds and unique voice on songs like " Goin Up the Country" and others from Woodstock.

Your life would absolutely be enriched if you studied this man's short life and listened to his music.

Hearing all of these songs together like this is "Nirvana"
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If you don't already own ALL the CANNED HEAT albums, what are you waiting for? BUY THEM NOW! I've posted handy links to all at the bottom. If you're a fan like me, and have all the CDs already, here's a guide to make your own "THE BLIND OWL"......

Disc 1.
1. On the Road Again >from "BOOGIE WITH CANNED HEAT" -Track 3
2. Help Me >from "CANNED HEAT (aka ROLLIN' & TUMBLIN' in foreign markets) -Track 7
3. An Owl Song >from "BOOGIE WITH CANNED HEAT" -Track 8
4. Going Up the Country >from "LIVING THE BLUES" -Track 4
5. My Mistake >from "LIVING THE BLUES" -Track 4
6. Change My Ways >from "HALLELUJAH" -Track 2
7. Get Off My Back >from "HALLELUJAH" -Track 10
8. Time Was >from "HALLELUJAH" -Track 6
9. Do Not Enter >from "HALLELUJAH" -Track 7
10. Shake It and Break It >from "FUTURE BLUES" -Track 2
11. Nebulosity/Rollin' & Tumblin'/Five Owls >from "LIVING THE BLUES" -Track 8*

Disc 2.
1. Alan's Intro
2. My Time Ain't Long >from "FUTURE BLUES" -Track 4
3. Skat >from "FUTURE BLUES" -Track 5
4. London Blues >from "FUTURE BLUES" -Track 7 and "'70 CONCERT-Recorded Live In Europe" -Track 5
5. Poor Moon >from "UNCANNED: The Best Of" -Track 12
6. Pulling Hair Blues >from "'70 CONCERT-Recorded Live In Europe" -Track 3
7. Mean Old World >from "BOOGIE WITH CANNED HEAT" (Iconoclassic version) -Track 14
8. Human Condition >from "UNCANNED: The Best Of" -Track 18
9. Childhood's End >from "LIVING THE BLUES" -Track 8*

*these short pieces are from the longer "Parthenogenesis" suite

Here are links to purchase the CDs:
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Alan Wilson was the most authentic bluesman in Canned Heat. It's great to have all his songs in one package
Very good liner notes as well.
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I'd found myself buying this or that Canned Heat cd in an effort to hear more of his stuff since his falsetto voice is quite intoxicating and rare. This double cd set really digs into the vaults and the official album releases and brings us an Alan Wilson Canned Heat release. Thanks for doing it. It's a smooth listen all the way through with maybe just one or two songs that are a bit of a stretch but one is clearly them being experimental and it's worth it to hear them wander around musically on that song just to see what they could do. It's like an Alan Wilson release. R.I.P. bub. I hope yer in heaven. There's only 3 options, heaven, Walmart or hell. Er, maybe just 2 options...
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