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  Listen Up! 8/21/02 Listen Up!

Wednesday, Aug. 21

The Blasters, “Trouble Bound,” Hightone Records. Holy cow! I’m sweatin’ like a pig just thinking about dancing to this stuff. The Blasters reunited just a few months ago – the recordings were made in March and June of this year, and I’ve got a CD on my desk already, even if it’s another few weeks before it goes on sale – and they sound every bit as energetic as they were 20 years ago, only with more maturity. Dave Alvin has improved over the years as a guitarist, and he absolutely nails the solos he used to only suggest. And Phil Alvin remains one of the greatest American music vocalists who’s ever lived. Blues, rockabilly, r’n’b, gospel, jazz, all the classic influences are there. You know most of these songs, or you should. But you’ll never get tired of them, and this incendiary performance may make me put the recent 2-disc collection of the original recordings back on the shelf. (Nah, not really; I love ‘em both.)

--Steve Pick



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