Songfacts®: You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.
Canned Heat's band members were notoriously avid record collectors; this was derived from an old and obscure Blues song called "Bull Doze Blues" by Henry Thomas. The song caught on in the summer of 1969 and was very popular among Hippies who appreciated the nature theme.
This was written by Alan Wilson, who was Canned Heat's vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter. Wilson committed suicide on September 3, 1970, becoming one of the first 27-year-old Rock casualties, a group that would soon include Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison.
Canned Heat played this at day 2 of the Woodstock Festival, which was a big moment for the band. The song was kind of an anthem for the festival, as "Going Up the Country" described the pilgrimage to Yasgur's farm in upstate New York where the event took place. The band didn't put much effort into practicing for their appearance, and their 10 song set was uneven - their co-founder Bob Hite said in a 1974 Sounds interview, "We've always just fallen into something within a couple of days and then just gone out on the road and played. Sometimes it's shown it and sometimes it's been incredible. The Woodstock performance which although there were a couple of tunes which weren't too good, ‘Going Up The Country’ was one of them."
The song was included on the Woodstock album, but Canned Heat's set was edited out of the official movie. It can be seen on the director's cut of the film.
Bob Hite sang lead on most Canned Heat songs, but this one was sung by Alan Wilson in his distinctive tenor.
The prominent flute in this song was played by Jim Horn, who made his biggest impact as a saxophone player, appearing on tracks by The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and The Beach Boys.
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash
The Wishbone Ash guitarist on how touring with The Who inspired one of their most enduring songs, and why they moved to America at the peak of their powers.
Cy Curnin of The Fixx
The man who brought us "Red Skies" and "Saved By Zero" is now an organic farmer in France.
Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"
With the band in danger of being dropped from their label, Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith co-wrote the song that started their trek from horror show curiosity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.