The Blasters are a blues band with Americana running deeply in their veins. They formed in 1979 by two brothers, Phil and Dave Alvin. They’ve received positive critical acclaim yet moderate commercial success over the course of their career.
This is their first release since 2005’s 4–11–44. It seems that with the good amount of time they’ve taken, they’ve gotten back to their musical roots, if you will. This is primarily a blues album, but elements of rockabilly, bluegrass, and country are also present.
All those musical styles coming together making this album seem like the perfect tribute to all things Americana, and I like that.
Even the album’s name, Fun On A Saturday Night,fits that notion. It reminds me of Rock N’ Roll from the 1950’s when rock was fun. Song titles like “The Yodeling Mountaineer” and “I Don’t Want Cha” do the same. And better still…the down home fun doesn’t stop with the titles. “Well Oh Well” is pretty much straightforward blues, while “Maria Maria” is completely mariachi. “Jackson” and “The Yodeling Mountaineer” are bluegrass with a shot of country. There truly is a little bit of every kind of music the United States has been associated with, or–in the case of mariachi–not too far away.
Perhaps this isn’t the most sophisticated music out there. But you know what? I don’t care. Listening to this album is entertaining. It’s a lighthearted riot that will put a grin on your face if you let it. Instead of the musical qualities I typically search for–virtuosity, complex arranging, the unexpected, and an X factor–this album says to hell with all those. Instead it has one thing going for it, something few albums capture very well. It has a trump card; fun.
Key Tracks: Well Oh Well, Fun On A Saturday Night, Love Me With A Feeling
July 10, 2012