The Blasters at Continental Club, 1/24/2014
Photo by Lynn A. Long Unflappable, battle-hardened rock and rollers: The Blasters
January 24, 2013
With rare Houston performances by Barrence Whitfield and the Savages and hallowed SoCal roots gods the Blasters, the city has had a whopper-sized dose of old-time rock and roll in the past couple of weeks.
Phil Alvin and his hard-traveling cohorts -- drummer Bill Bateman, bassist John Bazz, and guitarist Keith Wyatt -- did a number on a full house at the Continental Club Friday night, tearing off rabid, blitzkreig versions of two dozen nuggets from one of the most storied catalogs in roots-rock.
In spite of last year's sudden heart issues while on tour in Spain, Alvin looked to be in fine form Friday as he tore into one of the band's signature tunes, "American Music," to open a torrid set that had dozens of couples whirling on the dance floor.
Rocks Off hadn't seen the Blasters since a show at the Satellite Lounge in 1996, and to find these graybeards still operating at such a high-octane level was both inspiring and uplifting. It was evident that they still know how to "git 'er done" with the same fire and enthusiasm they had when they exploded on the world 35 years ago.
Photo by William Michael Smith Mythic rhythm section John Bazz (l) and Bill Bateman
A master of set lists and reading audiences, Alvin kept the tempo fast and let his bandmates work their magic. There were times when Bazz and Bateman, who sport much the same haircuts and look, seemed fused. From our vantage point, Bazz's and Bateman's hands seemed like a four-armed blur, an electromagnetic force field of energy pulsing behind Alvin's vocals and Wyatt's Hades-hot guitar attack.
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