Monday, November 24, 2008

Former Canned Heat Vocalist Robert Lucas Dead At 46

Robert Lucas, a former frontman of Canned Heat, died of an apparent drug overdose Nov. 23 at a friend's home in Long Beach, Calif., according to his former manager Skip Taylor.

Lucas, 46, recently left Canned Heat to pursue a solo career. The singer, harmonica and bottleneck guitar player had two stints with the band between 1994 and 2007.

Lucas hooked up with boogie-rock kings Canned Heat in 1994 as singer, guitarist and harp player, and would first appear on the band's 1996 Blues Band album, the last featuring founding member and guitarist Henry Vestine.

Between 1994 and 2008, Lucas served two stints as the band's frontman, touring the world in front of the band and contributing songs, instrumentation and vocals to recordings like 1999's Boogie 2000 and the band's 2007 Christmas album.

Canned Heat, whose hits include "Goin' Up The Country" and "On The Road Again," has had four frontmen in its more than 40-year history.

Lucas also performed with blues artists including Big Joe Turner, George Smith, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulsom, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and Percy Mayfield.

"His unequaled fury and stage presence, together with his earth-shattering vocal delivery, gave him the ability to channel many of the blues masters through his words, songs and musical ability," Taylor said in a statement. "He has been recognized by blues fans and critics worldwide as one of the most inspired singer, player and songwriter talents of the past decade."

Lucas is survived by his parents, a sister and a teenage son.

Robert Lucas performing Good Bye Baby from an album of the same name he recorded with Luke And The Locomotives :

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