Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Album : The Blasters

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Can’t remember when or how I found these guys but it was with this album back in the early 80’s. Even if I didn’t dig the music I would have had to have the record just for the cover. It’s one of my favorites. However how I came across the record is beside the point. The music hit me and hasn’t let go since. It’s 100% rock n roll all the way. Blaster style. They have become one of my favorite bands. Hey I love them and this album was just the beginning of the relationship.

American music played with everything that goes into it. Rockabilly, blues, country, hell I’ll let them tell you below with their song ‘American Music’. The opening cut opens up an album of non stop music played with passion and guts. Dave Alvin’s searing guitar, Phil Alvin’s unique vocals ( Live, I never saw a guy sweat and give more than him. He felt it) and a band of great players who know their stuff. Gene Taylor laying down boogie piano, Bazz and Bateman on bass and drums and then you throw in Steve Berlin and the great Lee Allen on sax and you have a sound that is The Blasters.

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Folks there is not one weak song on this record. ‘No Other Girl’, ‘I’m Shakin’, ‘Border Radio’ they all go together to make up one of my favorite records. When I first got turned onto these guys I thought Dave Alvin was just one great guitar slinger (he rips some great solos on this record) but he has become one of my favorite songwriters. Up there with Springsteen, Fogerty, Robertson, Cale. His style is in that wheelhouse. He has written so many good songs.

As good as these guys were on record their lives shows were a hot ticket. I remember the anticipation when I was going to see them for the first time. Man was I jacked and was I rewarded with a sweaty, loud, hot fantastic night of music. And the guy singing was the guy from the cover of the record.  Let the good times roll. They did. You know about Clarence Clemons ripping it up with Bruce . Lee Allen did the same thing and was probably one of Clarence’s heroes. This was roadhouse, rip it up music.

Jerry Lee, Fats, Little Richard, Berry, Vincent, Cash, Perkins, Elvis , Big Joe Turner and so many others that influenced these guys and they use it to make their own brand of rock n roll. Their cut ‘American Music’ kind of sums up where they are coming from.

This is just good old fashioned good time, feel good music. My Gal also loves this music. And when she’s in a good mood that’s a real good thing for CB. I will be featuring more albums from The Blasters just because I like them a lot. They’re in CB’s Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame.

If I ever lost this record I would be pissed off!

“Fifty thousand watts out of Mexico … listening to the border radio”

 

 

 

35 comments on “Album : The Blasters

  1. Aphoristical
    January 26, 2020

    Never heard them before but I like it – kind of rockabilly meets punk.

    Liked by 2 people

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 26, 2020

      They kinda came out of that hybrid LA scene in the late 70s. X, Black Flag, Los Lobos etc. They really do make some of my favorite music. I could (and will) feature more of their work as a band and solo. They cover most music genres. Music that influenced them. This is their early output.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Aphoristical
        January 27, 2020

        Yeah, I kind of don’t link those bands with each other (except maybe X and Black Flag), but there are some common threads between all of them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 27, 2020

        The different members have all made music together at sometime. John Doe and Dave Alvin are joined at the hip.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. J.
    January 26, 2020

    Now this is proper brilliant stuff. I actually know more of Dave Alvin’s solo stuff than I do Blasters. I really should be more familiar with this stuff, cause it’s right up my street.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 26, 2020

      Yeah Dave is quite prolific as a solo and as a collaborator. And he’s quite good. Two albums that I will feature later are his work with the Knitters (I think we chatted about them. Members of X also. Country twang) and Phil’s first solo ‘Unsung Stories’
      J check out ‘I Love You So’ on this record for some of that country/rock style you like. Thanks for dropping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        January 27, 2020

        I still need to check out The Knitters too. Jeez, man… I’m falling behind. I’ll check out I Love You So…

        Do you know Dave’s Eleven Eleven? That’s my favourite – I can listen to Johnny Ace is Dead on repeat.

        Have you heard Common Ground? That was Dave and Phil’s tribute to Big Bill Broozny. Brilliant stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 27, 2020

        Yes I’ve heard all that stuff J and “Brilliant” is the word. Here’s a tune Dave did about an experience he had with Big Joe Turner and his brother Phil. Very cool stuff. Along the same lines as the tribute to Broozny.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim S.
    January 26, 2020

    I know how much C to the B digs this band (and genre) because we’ve talked about them numerous times before. If we ever go to a show together, a prime candidate Hopefully it’ll be someplace convenient for both of us like, say, the Greater Boston area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 26, 2020

      You got a dirt track date buddy.
      Just a note. When yourself and a few of our friends do the “Best/favorite” players (which I enjoy) I tag a long a bit. Because I’ve been with bands like the Blasters so long I’m a little biased to guys like Dave Alvin on guitar (love his ripped runs) and Bill Batemans solid old school lay down the foundation drums.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        January 27, 2020

        I’ve been playing – or trying to play – some jazz-rock on guitar lately. Nothing I like better than to hear Larry Carlton rip through a Dan song. But for shit like this, yeah, Alvin and guys like Thorogood are right in the pocket. BTW, I couldn’t find that album on Spotify or YouTube. I listened to The Blasters Collection.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 27, 2020

        The Collection is good. Weird you dont get the others on Spot. They’re on mine.
        The record company tried getting them a hit sort of like Hungry Heart for Springsteen. They brought in Mellencamp to produce the album if I remember right. Really good album but their commercial hit idea didnt cut it. The single was ‘Colored Lights’ and it’s a killer song.
        I got into a Metheny jag which took me into some Larry Carlton. Good stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim S.
        January 27, 2020

        Good tune. Different sound. I’l be cranking the Collection in the car. That’s where I listen to this type of stuff most. I listened to some of it at home but it gots to be in the car.

        Metheny. He used to live in the Boston area (maybe he still does) and in his heyday we saw him a few times. My buddy Bill and I went to see him at a small club in Cambridge once and Pat was just sitting on the floor in a hallway practicing his scales before the show. Like it was his basement or something. No star attitude about that guy. None. It’s 100% about the music. An outstanding musician

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 27, 2020

        Good story on Pat. Love his style and his music. It keeps growing on me.
        Yeah you can hear Mellencamp all over that song. And you’re right, different for them but I still like it. A lot more accessible vibe. On that collection check out ‘Common Man’ sort of a cousin of ‘Politician’ by Cream plus some real angry licks by Dave, ‘Dark Night’ is kind in that same vein. Good listening fella.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        January 27, 2020

        I did a piece on Metheny way back when I started.

        https://musicenthusiast.net/2015/11/27/pat-metheny/

        Like

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 28, 2020

        I cant believe I didnt shoot my mouth off a bout it. I musta been shy.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        January 28, 2020

        Yeah, nobody said anything. But then I had, like, two followers. It’s been fun to watch you come out of your shell. You should go into acting or something, maybe play someone else once in a while, see how that feels.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 28, 2020

        I think your idea about reposting some old takes is good. Not that my old takes are great but there are some good records and films that people might dig.
        Evil Kenevil is on my “someone” else list.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim S.
        January 28, 2020

        I blasted the Blasters in the car which is the only way to go. I already dug these guys but thanks for the reminder. I called my friend Bill and told him to give it a spin. That shit’s right up his street. “American Music,” “Marie Marie,” good stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 28, 2020

        Those two cuts are Blaster staples. You should check out ‘One Bad Stud’, Docs theme song.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        January 28, 2020

        Yes, yes it is.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 28, 2020

        Like

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 28, 2020

        Check out the guitar solo about 1:30 in. Is that you with the cowboy hat ripping that solo.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        February 2, 2020

        My rockabilly buddy Bill and I went out the other night for a beer and burger. I got him to sit in the car and listen to The Collection. Boy he took to that like a duck to water. I knew about these guys but somehow they were under his radar. If there’s such a thing as rockabilly connoisseur it’s Bill. He started reeling off influences he heard. I swear to God he heard a little bit of Sammy Davis Jr AND Elvis in one tune. (He knows just about as much about the Frank era as he does rockabilly.)

        BTW, Blasters tour. Don’t know if any of these are near you or if you’re even so inclined

        Mar
        27
        Toronto, ON, Canada
        Horseshoe Tavern

        Mar
        31
        London, ON, Canada
        Rum Runners

        Apr
        4
        Montreal, QC, Canada
        Petit Campus Montreal

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 2, 2020

        That’s very cool for Bill. It would be like finding some buried treasure. I feel his love for sure. I bet it sounds good on that car system of yours. Oh yeah, their influences run deep. To talk music with the Alvin boys would be a trip. I think it was Phil who was buddies with Bob Hite from Canned Heat. Phil said he had the biggest blues collection he ever saw (this was way back) and was a historian on all that stuff. Hence the collaboration with Hooker.
        This music really hits me Doc. I guess it’s all those styles coming together plus these guys are top notch players who did it old school, playing live night after night in clubs, bars, outdoor fests etc. They love American music.
        Those dates are closer to you than me. That would be a good place for a couple music lovers like us to meet at one day.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        February 2, 2020

        I was running Spotify on the phone and then cranked it up. It’s the only way to listen to that shit minus going to a show. The Canned Heat guys knew their stuff. That just made me think of Peter Wolf. I was reading about him and he was an encyclopedia of blues and R&B way before he fronted Geils He used to live in Cambridge near Harvard Square back in the day. When the blues guys came to town to play clubs, they’d all go back to his place and crash, drink, play – whatever. I’m talking guys like Muddy Waters.

        Much as I’d love to hang with you at a show, I’m gonna need a better reason to to go to the Great White North than a club. For the record, we’ve never been to Quebec. We want to go there someday so they can hassle us for not speaking French well enough.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 2, 2020

        Yeah Wolf in another one of those keepers of everything good. same vibe as the brothers. Loves music like we do.
        I think you’ll find the people pretty hospitable there. Their Canadians for christ sake. It’s on the other side of the water where I’ve heard it nasty but that sounds like bullshit to me too.
        Could you imagine waking up and finding Muddy passed out on your couch? Very cool.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        February 3, 2020

        No we’re way overdue for a trip to Quebec. I have three years of high school French. I love those stories of the old bluesmen. Buddy Guy has some good stuff in his book about his arrival in Chicago in the ’50’s and all those guys were there. Some of them not so nice.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 3, 2020

        Hard life, hard people.

        Like

  4. Yeah, Another Blogger
    January 26, 2020

    CB, you live to be rocked!

    I was thinking about Dave Alvin a few days ago. I haven’t seen him in concert in around ten years. I need to go to his show the next time he’s in Philly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 26, 2020

      Yes I do Neil (and a few other things)
      I met him on the street a quite a few years ago. We shot the shit for a bit and had a smoke. He was with his gal. Real solid no bullshit guy. Quick with a laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. christiansmusicmusings
    January 27, 2020

    I seem to recall you mentioned The Blasters before – right up my alley!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 1537
    January 28, 2020

    All good wholesome solid stuff CB.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 28, 2020

      You are absolutely right about the “wholesome” thing, I got “wholesomely” drunk as as skunk at their last show.

      Liked by 1 person

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