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The Blasters Live - Going Home

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Album Review

In 2002, the original lineup of the Blasters — vocalist and guitarist Phil Alvin, guitarist Dave Alvin, drummer Bill Bateman, and bassist John Bazz — reunited to play a few shows to celebrate the release of a retrospective compilation of their recordings for Slash Records. In the grand tradition of giving the public what they want, a year after the original set of five shows had come and gone the reunited Blasters were still playing gigs for their loyal fans, and when Dave Alvin decided to pull the plug on the reunion in August of 2003, he did so in style with a special gig featuring a handful of special guests — Chicago blues harp master Billy Boy Arnold, rockabilly legend Sonny Burgess, and members of two classic L.A. doo wop groups, the Calvanes and the Medallions. A mobile recording truck and a video crew were on hand to preserve the show for the ages, and the results have been released in both audio and video form as The Blasters Live: Going Home. The CD version has the burden of competing with an earlier live album from the first set of reunion gigs, Trouble Bound, but while Trouble Bound has a slightly higher stomp factor, Going Home finds the band in tighter and leaner form, with pianist Gene Taylor getting a greater chance to strut his stuff and the guests allowing the Blasters to show off the full range of their chops and their influences. Ultimately, both albums document one of America's greatest roots rock bands in its natural environment, on-stage in front of an appreciative audience, and like Trouble Bound, Going Home shows the passage of time hasn't dimmed the Blasters' ability to make with the hard rockin' boogie that made "American music" the stuff of legend around the world. If you dig the Blasters at all, you'll want to hear both discs...and after you do, you'll hope that the Alvin brothers can patch up their differences long enough to take their show on the road again sometime soon. It's mighty fine stuff.


Formed: 1979 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The all-American roots music band the Blasters were principally brothers Dave and Phil Alvin, whose first-hand experience with blues masters shaped their sound and turned them both into contemporary singer/songwriters whose interest in roots rock has never waned. The brothers, along with Bill Bateman on drums and John Bazz on bass, grew up in Downey, California, in the shadow of Disneyland. Their musical education involved hanging out with musicians like Lee Allen, Marcus Johnson, and T-Bone Walker,...
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