The Blasters

The Blasters came on the scene in 1980, led by brothers Dave and Phil Alvin. The two brothers emerged from the L.A. punk scene determined to build the band's sound around the classic rock of the 1950s, particularly rockabilly. They signed with Slash! Records, a division of Warner, and recorded both originals and classics from the rock repertoire. As with those of his U.K. counterpart Dave Edmunds, Dave Alvin's originals were almost impossible to tell apart from the rock and blues classics the band covered of Bo Diddley, Roy Orbison, and Big Joe Turner.

Their 1983 record Non-Fiction was completed five months after the group cut a six-song live EP of rock classic songs in the U.K. called Over There(1982). The material on Non-Fiction features an amalgamation of songs from their first two albums. Alvin's guitar playing is stunning, especially on the jet-fuel power romp "I Love You So." That would be the last studio album the original members would craft as a unit, though they would release two more live albums.

Dave Alvin left the group in 1986, and went on to have a moderately successful solo career. The group hired vocalist Hollywood Fats, who's real name is Michael Mann, to take over for Alvin, but that did not last. Phil Alvin has kept the band together and they are currently continuing to make music and tour with original bassist John Bazz and original drummer Bill Batemen. They released 4-11-44 in 2005 to minimal fanfare.

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