The Blasters' songs evoke a faded highway at midnight in a gas-guzzling convertible, top down, cigarette dangling from a jaded sneer, empty whiskey bottle on the seat.
Longtime legends of the rockabilly subculture, The Blasters embodies the genre while transcending it. The band members' musical influences like inveterate bluesman T-Bone Walker and New Orleans saxophonist Lee Allen were personally involved in their lives and careers, fostering their burgeoning talents and a loyalty to simple roots.
"I like blues," says bassist John Bazz, a self-proclaimed traditionalist. "I mean old blues and old country, and old jazz. I like the earliest forms of American music. It still intrigues me."
Over the last three decades, that musical complexity has garnered the notice of contemporaries like Bob Dylan, John Cougar Mellencamp and Henry Rollins. The Blasters' familiar song "Dark Night" can be heard on the soundtrack of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's From Dusk Till Dawn, and country singer Dwight Yoakam got some mileage out of his remake of the band's classic, "Long White Cadillac." Additionally, Los Lobos (with whom The Blasters have longstanding ties) covered the Zydeco-tinged "Marie Marie" in 2004.
Alongside Bazz and lead singer Phil Alvin, the current incarnation of The Blasters includes Jerry Angel on drums and Keith Wyatt on lead guitar; both bring their influences to the group's latest project, 4-11-44, which was released in August of last year.
"Our styles and tastes have changed and evolved slightly, where it's going to influence the way we sound, too," Bazz says of the latest album. "It's a little more revved up. It's less hillbilly and probably a little more rock 'n roll."
The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.
Sunday, Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10-$12; visit ticketweb.com.
I miss you, Lenny! My family and I thank you for all the special times…
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