"Let's Work Together"

By Joel Finsel/July 30, 2020

Our co-conspirator John Jeremiah Sullivan has an essay out in the Triangle’s “Indyweek.” It was published to raise awareness about a new compilation of music covers, proceeds from which go to benefit Cat’s Cradle, the legendary Carrboro, NC, music hall. Here’s an excerpt from his piece, about the “Canned Heat” song, “Let’s Work Together,” which was not really by Canned Heat. But you’ll have to read the piece to find out about that:

“In 1962, Wilbert Harrison’s original 45 of ‘Let’s Stick Together’—as it was called at first—came out and fizzled. Six years later, however, in 1968, Harrison himself reworked the song as ‘Let’s WORK Together,’ and it charted. That’s the version Canned Heat covered. They were, in other words, recording a song—not just a song but a hit—that had been released barely two years before. Yet when Canned Heat’s record came out and the song blew up, critics described the band’s ‘recent success’ as having been ‘written by Wilbert Harrison, another name from the glorious rock past.’ One reviewer named, as his ‘favorite’ song on the new Canned Heat album, ‘Wilbert Harrison’s oldie “Let’s Work Together.”’ Sometimes it feels like the strange instantaneousness of the transmogrification by white people of early black rock-‘n’-roll songs into ‘oldies’ was part of a complicated process of psychic suppression that went hand in hand with subliminal shame over the ongoing theft of the same music. It was not possible to distance oneself from the evidence in space. But in time? That could be done.”

Read the full article here.

To support Cat’s Cradle (and hear a new version of “Let’s Work Together” by the legendary Chapel Hill band Southern Culture on the Skids, along with other cool covers by a bunch of amazing musicians), visit https://covercharge.bandcamp.com