They're Just for You: The Blazers

With all the rootless wandering of alt rock and precious pop music, it's mighty refreshing to stumble onto the Blazers. Now three CDs into their national career, these East LA natives have worked together on multiple musical levels for two decades -- with little or no fanfare. But their 1994 debut CD, Short Fuse (Rounder), was produced by Cesar Rosas -- one of East L.A.'s most celebrated musicians and a founding member of Los Lobos -- and won heaps of critical praise. Then they slung out East Side Soul (Rounder) to even greater critical reception. And now they're hot on the heels of the new Just for You (Rounder) and gaining yet more well-deserved acclaim.But the nitty-gritty of their career is only a rudimentary trace, a connect-the-dots match that goes nowhere in describing the Blazers' sound. They've got a slamming mix of honky tonk alt-roots rock, traditional Chicano music, and folksy, countrified acoustic music. Guitarists Manuel Gonzales and Ruben Guaderrama mix it up the way the Replacements' front line did way back when. Yet the tunes aren't about hand-wringing cultural anxiety or laconic angst or furious wind blasts. The Blazers come up with standard rock and roll observations paired against a rootsy, driving intensity that relents at key, telling moments.Those times away from the pile-driving rock of tunes such as "Just for You," the opener and title tune of their new CD, are spent spinning Cumbias that denote the band's trad background. Yes, this quartet is on the wearying road, playing more often than not away from East LA, but they are also drawing a community of Chicano/rootsy rock fans together like no one since Los Lobos has done. And in doing so, they're thwarting the homogenized rock and roll formula by both injecting tradition and ethnicity into the music. To boot, they rock with a spare, tight catchiness that begs to be caught live.

#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.