Posted October 8, 2007 in

<p>For almost three decades, the Blasters have carried the torch for their own blistering style of "American Music," and the band’s driving force has always been its indescribably intense founder, singer-guitarist Phil Alvin. Half blues-obsessed wildman, half complex, cerebral theoretician, Alvin’s combination of encyclopedia-deep musical knowledge and penetrating bandstand involvement have always made for a striking, irresistible presentation. The basis of his profound understanding of vernacular American song goes far beyond record collector geekery or book-learned insight: Alvin plunged into first-hand exposure at the side of some of the greatest blues and R&B practitioners ever to draw a breath, and when he began the practice in the late ‘70s, Southern California was home to a comprehensive who’s-who of groundbreaking artists, from T-Bone Walker to Big Mama Thornton. Sharing both onstage experiences and after-hours philosophizing with the likes of Kansas City shout-blues potentate Big Joe Turner, whose immortal "Shake, Rattle and Roll" was one of the key crossover monster hits of mid-‘50s rock & roll, and New Orleans big beat tenor sax warrior Lee Allen, the cat whose lithe, illuminative playing added considerable voltage to all those Crescent City-recorded smasheroos by Little Richard and Fats Domino, Alvin accrued a technical-and spiritual-war chest of insight that covered the paradoxical logic of discipline and disorder that lies at the heart of the blues’ hypnotic appeal. It’s his stock in trade, an invaluable commodity Alvin has not only never squandered, but also consistently worked to push forward, and the results are invariably mesmerizing. </p>

<p>The Blasters, with 50 Cent Haircut, at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneerown Rd., Pioneertown, (760) 365-5956; Sat., 8 p.m. $10.</p>


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