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A tasty musical stew

East Side Soul
East Side Soul
By the Blazers

Rounder Records: 1995

This review first appeared in the August 4, 1995 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

L.A.'s Blazers combine blues, country, rock and Tex-Mex into a rollicking roots music that is equal parts Richie Valens and Johnny Cash, Howlin' Wolf and Roomful of Blues. their second release on ronder Records has the same eclectic, wide-open approach to music as their 1994 debut, "Short Fuse."

Unlike many roots bands that take all the above styles and put them into a musical belnder, creating a puree with no recognizable parts, the Blazers keep large chunks of their different influences intact – more paella than puree. Thus, you'll hear songs that are almost pure country, others that are straight-ahead blues, and yet others that are almost purely Latin ("Cumbia del Sol").

The Blazers play with such passion and panache, though, that the stylistic variations are never jarring – indeed, it all makes perfect sense.