The Blasters: American Music

The Blasters performance above is from the first Farm Aid in 1985. I wasn’t familiar with the band, but a site visitor sent me a clip and the unfortunate news that lead singer Phil Alvin is in the hospital in Spain. The band has canceled its European tour. Here’s hoping that the situation resolves itself and The Blasters are back on the road soon.

This is from Wikipedia:

Their self-described “American Music” was a blend of blues music, rockabilly, early rock and roll, punk rock, mountain music, and rhythm and blues.

I hear a tremendous amount of rockabilly. Here are Marie Marie, I’m Shakin’, Dark Night and Long White Cadillac/Border Radio.

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7 Responses

  1. Scott Dwight

    Hi Carl,

    The Blasters were a roots/rock band from Downey, CA that gained national attention in the early 80’s when their 1st album on the Slash label actually got airplay. Dave Alvin wrote the majority of the songs and played lead guitar. His older brother Phil was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist.

    Phil keeps the Blasters going with different lead guitarists, but the 4 original Blasters do occasional reunion tours. Phil has released 2 unique solo albums, Un Sung Stories featuring Sun Ra’s Arkestra, and County Fair 2000, a wonderful concept album featuring a tremendous variety of musicians.

    After a few years, Dave left the band so he could control the way his songs were sung. He subbed for Billy Zoom in the band X for a year after leaving The Blasters. He has gone from being a reluctant vocalist to being a fine interpretive singer. He has released a consistent series of albums, studio and live, and won a grammy for his album “Public Domain” in 2001. He always says he plays 2 types of music, quiet folk music and loud folk music. His touring band for many years was “The Guilty Men.” After his best friend Chris Gaffney died, he broke up the band. He then formed “The Guilty Women” with whom he made one album and took on tour for about a year. His current band is “The Guilty Ones” featuring a “man” and “woman” from the previous bands along with a new bass player.

    Here is a cleaner version of “One Bad Stud” from one of the reunions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TIZb8d87AI

    Here is their signature song “Marie Marie” from the original band, when they had more hair http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RQZD7G-4v8

    Here are a few of Dave’s songs from his solo career that I think he plays almost every gig.

    Dry River http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NutLCVuCzc

    Fourth of July http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BtzpaCZnjA

    Out of Control http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii1gm9MTdbA&feature=related

    I’ve been a fan for 30 years.

    Reply
  2. Scott Dwight

    From Dave Alvin: For all of you who’ve been asking, here’s a short version of my brother Phil’s situation: My brother did NOT have a heart attack and he is NOT in a coma. Phil had trouble breathing after a performance in Valencia, Spain last week. He was taken to a hospital where an emergency tracheotomy was performed so he could breathe. Thankfully, his vocal chords were left untouched. The reason for his breathing difficulty is still being determined and he is still in ICU but Phil IS RECOVERING slowly and surely. The Blasters are there with him and family members and friends are on the way. Sincere heartfelt thanks from me to all of you for all of your support through this rough time.

    Reply

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