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East Side Soul

The Blazers

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Album Review

Few bands have ever combined gutsy blues-rock and sheer joyous energy the way the Blazers did on East Side Soul, much less created such a successful and interesting fusion of musical cultures. Many critics have remarked on the richness that their Latin rhythms brings to straight-ahead rock numbers, but not on the tasteful way those influences go the other way. You can hear traces of Little Feat and John Fogerty on the cumbias and other numbers which are sung in Spanish. On this album everything mixes perfectly, and the material is of uniformly high quality. Manuel Gonzales contributes stinging guitar leads throughout, notably on "Let Me Go," which has a distinct hint of Stevie Ray Vaughan in the tone and phrasing. The band plays with precision and passion, and the production on East Side Soul is more polished than on their first album. This is definitely the one to get if you're interested in hearing the Blazers in full cry.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in East Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Blazers, who play a guitar-heavy blend of blues, surf rock, country, rocked-up norteño, cumbia, and other Mexican styles, are often compared with their East Los Angeles counterparts, Los Lobos. Like Los Lobos, the Gourds, or Doug Sahm's Texas Tornados, the Blazers perform a rousing, danceable mix of North American musical styles. The group is driven by two guitarist/singers, Manuel Gonzales and Ruben Guaderamma, who have been playing together since high school, rocking the beer joints of East...
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East Side Soul, The Blazers
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