156 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA, 02143
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:45 PM
This event is 18 and over
Watch & Listen
From early days growing up in the southeast Los Angeles suburb of Downey, California under the tutelage of T-Bone Walker and Big Joe Turner to their emergence as central figures in the eclectic LA punk/rock scene of the early ‘80s to their current status as internationally-renowned influences in their own right, the Blasters have spent their lives exploring and expressing the deep and diverse musical legacy that is best described by the title of their first album: American Music.
A performance by today’s Blasters––vocalist-guitarist Phil Alvin, drummer Bill Bateman, bassist John Bazz, and guitarist Keith Wyatt––reflects influences that range from George Jones and Carl Perkins to Howlin’ Wolf, James Brown and Bo Diddley. The band’s 1980 debut album American Music (Rollin’ Rock) was a powerful collection of fresh, distinctive performances that shattered the artificial boundaries between blues, rockabilly, country, R&B and rock & roll. The next three albums for Slash/Warner Bros. (The Blasters, Non-Fiction, and Hard Line) increasingly featured the unique songwriting voice of original guitarist Dave Alvin as the band’s lineup expanded to include pianist Gene Taylor plus saxophonists Steve Berlin and New Orleans legend Lee Allen (“the man who put a saxophone in rock & roll”). As the Blasters’ fame grew, they began to draw accolades from artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton and Queen, and in turn the band encouraged and supported still up-and-coming LA musical peers such as Dwight Yoakum and Los Lobos
In 1986, Dave Alvin left the band to pursue a solo career, and over the next decade a series of renowned guitarists including Billy Zoom, Michael “Hollywood Fats” Mann, Greg “Smokey” Hormel, and James Intveld filled the position. Phil Alvin simultaneously expanded his own musical efforts with the release of two acclaimed solo albums, Unsung Stories (Slash/Warner) in 1986 and County Fair 2000 (Hightone) in 1994.
In 1996, current guitarist Keith Wyatt joined the lineup and the Blasters continued touring steadily in the US and Europe before returning to the studio in 2004 to record 4-11-44 (Rainman). After the departure of drummer Jerry Angel, the band reunited with original member Bill Bateman and subsequently released their 2012 CD Fun on Saturday Night (Rip Cat). Meanwhile, the Blasters’ catalog was renewed with reissues of American Music along with two Slash/Warner compilations (Testament and The Blasters Collection) and the live recordings Trouble Bound and Going Home Live (Shout Factory).
Blasters shows have been described as “a cross between Creedence and the Clash,” with a display of passion and energy only deepened by decades of experience. For all of the ways in which the world has changed in the past few decades, one thing is still guaranteed: the Blasters play American Music.
In the spring of 2014, five friends got together in a grimy practice space in Boston to see what would happen. They all had long, diverse rock and roll pedigrees and their record collections were no different. They had no idea what they would do, only what they didn't want to do— anything they had already done before. The sound that developed was not rockabilly. It was not punk rock. It wasn't garage, soul, gothic southern swamp darkness, or straight mid-century American rock and roll…it was all those things. It was the echo of the record collections, the artists, and the aesthetics that they loved.
Last summer found Diablogato at Watch City Studios in Waltham, Mass. The tracks were laid down and made the old fashioned way...on vintage analog gear, straight to the tape with moments of brilliance, inspiration, rough edges, and wonderful mistakes all given the same respect. Released in early 2016, the self-titled debut album is a snapshot of where the band was at that time, a storybook of chapters showcasing the music that they love. The language these five friends had learned to speak as one onstage became clear on that album.
Heading into 2017, Diablogato is hard at work writing songs for a new 7” and full length record, continuing to hit the stage, feeling sanctified pouring it out, and wandering wherever their rock and roll love affair takes them. With Drew on vocals and guitar, Johnny on upright bass, Jesse on drums, Kim on baritone sax, and Charlie on lead guitar Diablogato rumbles down that road fueled by gasoline, larceny, and lust, you are more than welcome to come along for the ride.