Battle of the Bands (BOTB): “Got My Mojo Workin’ “


It’s time for another Battle of the Bands!

I was digging on some Muddy Waters a few weeks back and decided to use one of his signature songs, Got My Mojo Workin’, for my battle this week. “Got My Mojo Working” is a blues song written by Preston Foster and first recorded by Ann Cole in 1956. Muddy Waters popularized it in 1957 and the song was a feature of his performances throughout his career. A mojo is an amulet or talisman associated with hoodoo, an early African-American folk-magic belief system. Rolling Stone magazine included Waters’ rendition of the song is on its list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at number 359. In 1999, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences gave it a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and it is identified on the list of “Songs of the Century”. (Source: Wikipedia)

Here is Muddy Waters version:

Of the MANY cover versions, I liked these two the best. You tell us which one of these you like the best.

Canned Heat – Canned Heat is an American blues/boogie rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1965. The group has been noted for its own interpretations of blues material as well as for efforts to promote the interest in this type of music and its original artists. It was launched by two blues enthusiasts, Alan Wilson and Bob Hite, who took the name from Tommy Johnson’s 1928 “Canned Heat Blues”, a song about an alcoholic who had desperately turned to drinking Sterno, generically called “canned heat”. After appearances at the Monterey and Woodstock festivals at the end of the 1960s, the band acquired worldwide fame with a lineup consisting of Bob Hite, vocals, Alan Wilson, guitar, harmonica and vocals, Henry Vestine (and later, Harvey Mandel) on lead guitar, Larry Taylor on bass, and Adolfo de la Parra on drums.

The music and attitude of Canned Heat afforded them a large following and established the band as one of the popular acts of the hippie era. Canned Heat appeared at most major musical events at the end of the 1960s, and were able to deliver on stage electrifying performances of blues standards and their own material and occasionally to indulge into lengthier ‘psychedelic’ solos. (Source: Wikipedia)

Canned Heat covered this song in 1969.

Eric Clapton – who really needs no introduction but… “Eric Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945), is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and fourth in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. He was also named number five in Time magazine’s list of “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players” in 2009

Clapton covered this song in 1977.

TIME TO VOTE! Which version do you like better and why?

And when you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

17 thoughts on “Battle of the Bands (BOTB): “Got My Mojo Workin’ “

  1. I didn’t know that was the correct definition of mojo! When I heard Canned Heat, I thought, Oh, I have to vote for them. They sound so bluesy. Then I clicked on Clapton and changed my mind. The music is amazing, especially the piano. So Eric Clapton, you get my vote.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, dear Michele! This is a very interesting choice of songs for your Battle of the Bands. I got into Canned Heat at age 18 when they gained their first hit single with “On the Road Again.” My favorite by the bluesy boogie band is a cover of “Let’s Work Together” (aka “Let’s Stick Together”), a song written and originally recorded by R&B artist Wilbert Harrison. I enjoyed the Canned Heat version of “Mojo Workin'” but Clapton’s version has more to offer. Clapton put gravel in his voice and sang the song in an authentic manner. His wailin’ guitar work never sounded better and that frantic piano solo sealed the deal. I cast my vote for Eric Clapton.

    Thank you very much, dear friend Michele!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my musician friends always plays this when he is performing. I got kind of bored with hearing him do this song. Actually I’ve never cared for the song much–I’m not the biggest fan of blues. Don’t get me wrong–I do like a lot of blues tunes, but there are a lot that don’t turn me on all that much.

    Clapton does a nice smooth take on this with some rollicking back-up. I don’t especially like the call and response technique, but I know it’s often used in covers of this song. That aspect alone is a thumbs down for me.

    I’ve always enjoyed Canned Heat’s energetic blues style. No call and response here so that is a plus. All things considered I prefer Canned Heat’s version by a long shot.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I would’ve liked Clapton’s version of this song better if it were shorter. I really enjoyed the first three minutes or so and then drummed my fingers until the end. Which is a shame because I really liked the tinkling piano in his version. In contrast, the shorter version by Canned Heat was just right. I really liked everything about it, so give my vote to Canned Heat.

    Also, btw, would you please add me to your BOTB participants list? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Michele! Interesting song choice. Mike Spain showcased Muddy Waters’ blues style, sometime last spring. I loved it. Clapton is okay though I’m not a big fan. Instead I prefer Canned Heat’s version. Give my vote to them, please!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There are so many great oldies on todays’ battles that I am in heaven. HEAVEN.

    This is a well balanced line up – good job! My vote has to go to ERIC CLAPTON. There’s not enough Eric in the world on any given day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. They’re both good. I’m going with Canned Heat, because I first caught on to the harmonica by listening to “Blind Owl” Wilson and trying to sound like him, and there’s just something about Canned Heat and the way they sound that yells the blues at me. Clapton is a great, great guitar player, and always has been, and his version of this classic was great, as you could expect.

    I’ve heard this song all day today. Earlier, someone had dug up a copy of Muddy and Johnny Winter doing it, backed by that incredible mid-1970’s band Muddy had, with Bob Margolin and Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson on guitars, Jerry Portnoy on harp, Pinetop Perkins bangin’ the 88s, and Calvin Jones and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith on bass and drums. That was something…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great song choice, MICHELE!
    I am a huge Muddy H2Os fan. And this is one of his best.

    I enjoyed the Canned Heat cover – especially because of the inclusion of the harp, which is one of those primary Blues instruments that I never get too much of.

    And although I’m not really a huge Eric Clapton fan, he’s getting my vote in this Battle, but really because of the rollicking piano playing, and not because of anything Eric Clapton is doing on this song.

    [Clapton, the second greatest guitarist of all time? That’s just plain silly. And Hendrix was #1, or course! Rolling Stone magazine… always so predictable and so often wrong!]

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice song. All versions are enjoyable I think. But if I have to decide, I’m going to go with the Clapton version. Not sure why exactly, as both seem very energetic but the Clapton version seemed just a bit more into it. I liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

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