"Going Up the Country" (also Goin' Up the Country) is a song performed by the American blues-rock group Canned Heat and written by Alan Wilson. It appeared on their album Living the Blues. It was also released as a single, reaching #11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, #19 on UK Singles Chart and number one in 25 other countries. It was sung by Alan Wilson and featured a prominent flute part played by multi-instrumentalist Jim Horn.
The group performed the song during their set at the Woodstock music festival in August 1969, and it has been described as the "unofficial anthem" of the festival. In the 'Woodstock' movie, Canned Heat's spoken intro to their performance of the song is heard, but it cuts to the studio recording, played over a montage of festival attendees. Conversely, the 'Woodstock' album features the festival performance of the song (though without the spoken intro.)
The melody is virtually a note-for-note copy of "Bull Doze Blues" recorded by Henry Thomas in the late 1920s. On the original recording, Thomas accompanied himself on the quills, an early Afro-American instrument similar to panpipes. The melody that Thomas played on the quills was reproduced on flute by Jim Horn for the recording of "Going Up the Country".
There are two distinct versions of the studio recording, which differ by only one note in the flute phrase. In most versions, the third note of the opening flute phrase is cut short. (This difference is repeated when the flute phrase is repeated at the end of the song.) In some versions, the note is sustained for an extra second. (The version with the sustained note can be heard at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzZsa62Lt3A, while http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=audxGqo5AkQ has the now-official shortened note.)