It's hard to avoid feeling sentimental about the Blasters. In the early '80s, they were among only a few bands that made roots music important for young people. (Historical note: It wasn't called "roots music" back then.)
But such feelings should be suppressed, because the Blasters themselves were so determinedly anti-nostalgic. Early in their career, they worked hard to bring attention to then-L.A.-based musical legends Big Joe Turner and Lee Allen, who played sax with Fats Domino. The key, though, is that the Blasters didn't just bring these men back to the stage for an affectionate encore; they brought them back because they mattered.
Now the Blasters themselves are back after a long breakup. With America embracing its musical roots like never before, it's easy to forget that two decades ago, the closest this band could get to mainstream success was a cameo in Walter Hill's movie Streets of Fire. Maybe now the Blasters will get some long-overdue recognition for tearing through rockabilly, blues, R&B, and country idioms like no other band before or since.
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