Former Canned Heat Singer Dies

Robert Lucas, who until recently fronted the blues rock band Canned Heat and was known for his barrelhouse vocals, has died. He was 46.

Lucas died Sunday at a friend’s home in Long Beach. The cause of death was an apparent drug overdose, his former manager Skip Taylor said.

Lucas had two stints as lead singer, harmonica and bottleneck guitar player between 1994 and 2008 for Canned Heat, a Los Angeles-based blues and boogie band that formed in 1965 and had late 60s hits with “Goin’ up the Country” and “On the Road Again.”

The band has had four frontmen in its more-than-40-year history, Taylor said.

Lucas recently left the band to pursue his solo career and wrote and recorded seven solo albums.

He also performed with 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.