Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet




Long after they hit the scene in 1980 with the rocking American Music, the Blasters continue to display their encyclopedic command of roots music on the 12 cuts collected here. With the original line up nearly intact (save for the substitution of Keith Wyatt for Dave Alvin on guitar) the band lays down rocking jump blues on Tiny Bradshaw's "Well Oh Well", doo wop on the double dealer's plea for undeserved mercy, "Breath of My Love", scorching Sun Records style rock, "Fun on a Saturday Night" and "Rock My Blues Away", straight blues, "No More Nights By Myself" and "I Don't Want Cha", electrified Chicago blues featuring Wyatt's guitar histrionics on Magic Sam's "Love Me with a Feeling", early Johnny Cash on the duet with Exene Cervenka, "Jackson", an odd-ball yodel number, "The Yodeling Mountaineer", and even a south of the border reading of the band's classic, "Marie, Marie", which is recast here as "Maria, Maria". Throughout the many genre twists, the band reveals the musical tightness it has developed over the years crammed on tiny bandstands all around the world. The bass/drum duo of John Bazz and Bill Bateman lay down a hard edged bottom that gives Wyatt plenty of room to flex his guitar muscles and, more importantly, anchors Phil Alvin's powerhouse vocals which he molds into different shapes from song to song- low down and dirty on tracks like "Penny", light and energetic on "The Yodeling Mountaineer" and oozing with rockabilly fervor on the title track. Featuring more straight out blues than on its previous releases, but with enough other rocking tunes to keeps its fan base happy, this disc has something for everyone who is a fan of American roots music. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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