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Blind Owl Wilson - S/T – New LP
Blind Owl Wilson - S/T – New LP
Blind Owl Wilson - S/T – New LP
Mississippi Records / Sutro Park Records

Blind Owl Wilson - S/T – New LP

Regular price $ 17.00 $ 0.00

While the early 1970s were known for rock stars dying, Janis, James, and Jimi, we also lost Blind Owl Wilson.  Wilson died, and then both Hendrix and Janis died just weeks later, and along with killings in California, that was the beginning of the 1970s. 

No offense to the other Canned Heat members or fans of that band, but for me, there are only two kinds of Canned Heat songs: the ones that were clearly Wilson's (songwriter, singer, guitar, harmonica) and the others, the former the only ones that I've ever cared about. In fact, I've never had much interest in those blues based psychedelic and acid rock sounds that came out of the 1960s, but there are exceptions, and Blind Owl is one of them.

This album collects many of the Blind Owl songs.  He could hardly see, but he seemed to know a good song when he heard it.  He didn't live long, but he left behind some good songs, and with this album, you don't have to sort through all the Canned Heat albums to find them.  While Side Two features some moments that seem more for the collector types, much of this (including the entire first side) is for most anyone with a love for the more folk side of blues, the sequencing of the first side quite effective, with the hit song late in the side. I thought maybe I didn't need to hear that song again, but it fits in so nicely with this set of songs.  This is a really good album side.

I'd never read anything about this cat, but I was pleased to find that I'm not alone with this appreciation for his work, and to learn that along with John Lee Hooker, many of the greats from the blues world welcomed his contributions on their records.  While he only lived to be 27, he accomplished quite a lot in the last six years of his life, more than most do with 90.  A lot of pompous rock stars played sessions with blues greats, but most of those albums are a waste of time compared to these blues greats playing with other blues greats—black Americans playing with black Americans.  Blues greats playing with rock stars didn’t in itself reveal respect; sometimes it was likely blues greats agreeing to brief partnerships to get a small part of the money and recognition they deserved and sadly wouldn’t get without these rock stars.  Perhaps the difference between Wilson and those other white rock stars was the humility and introspection.  I don’t pretend to know anything about Wilson, never knew him personally but I think he was a nearly blind nerdy kid from Boston suburbs and full of introspection and this shows music.  He seemed to eternalize both the blues music he obviously loved and let it simmer with his own experiences and depression, and when the music surfaced, it came from deep within and in some ways stayed there even when it was expressed.  If you're going to attempt something like Bo Diddley like the Stooges did, sure you bring it in, but you also bring it on, have to hollar it out hard and kick out the jams, but for some music, some restraint really helps capture the power of the music.  And sure, egomaniacal musicians have created much of our most popular music, and even many great songs, but when you’re taking the music from another culture, forced respect and false humility leads to some really annoying music (that for some reason, people often love, but I have to think that's only because they've never spent time with the real stuff).  If you are going to bust into the shotgun shack of some dirt poor genius and steal his vittles, don't hide your killing knife behind your back, at least acknowledge that you're a thief and don't come across as some fancy pants conman with your store-bought bullshit respect.  Come at it with real and deep-seated reverence like Wilson seemed to. 

Of course, Wilson's love of blues music couldn't be stopped even by his own shyness, and this love for real music drove him into experiences.  In 1964, he had the guts and gonads to remind an aging Son House how to play his own songs.  And Mr. House let him play on his record.  And in 1970, he recorded an album with John Lee Hooker, and Hooker had nothing but good things to say about the young man.  In between these times, Wilson recorded some good songs, many included on this album. -- winch (green noise)



Blind Owl Wilson was a truly great guitarist and vocalist whose deep well of psychedelic blues songs were buried amongst the catalog of major label rockin’ blues band Canned Heat. Blind Owl served as Canned Heat’s guitarist and would chip in a song here and there as a front man. A couple of those songs became huge hits in the 60’s – “Going Up The Country” and “On The Road Again”. Blind Owl’s songs for Canned Heat stood in stark contrast to the bands blustery blues rock – his was a gentle and nuanced voice and the themes of his song were all about personal heartbreak, grasping for cosmic understanding, and ecological justice.

Here we have an LP of Blind Owl’s songs from Canned Heat’s records –left to sit alone and take you somewhere unexpected. Blind Owl’s personal vision quest can be heard throughout these songs. “Poor Moon’ tells the tale of Alan’s heartbreak as he watches the moon being misguidedly bombed by man, ‘My time ain’t long’ confronts death, “Parthenogen in 3 Blind Owls’and ‘Parthenogen childs end’ take you to the psychedelic limits, and oh yes, we have the hit tunes on here too. Co-release with Sutro Park records.

A true psychedelic masterpiece!

Black vinyl LP in black and white jacket with miniature two color booklet.
Limited second pressing,

released November 5, 2021


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