DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

The Blasters, Live: Going Home

Band dating back to late 60s mixes rock, country, blues, Cajun & rockabilly

Published on June 3, 2005

The Blasters, Live: Going Home
The Blasters, Live: Going Home
 
Studio: DTS Entertainment 69286-01119-9-8
Video: Stills only
Audio: DTS 5.1, PCM Stereo (see below for sound)
Rating: ***

The Blasters began their humble roots in Downey, California.  Band
members Phil Alvin and John Bazz heard a band playing in 1967 and
decided to start one themselves.  Dave Alvin, Phil’s brother and
guitarist, wanted to have a reunion tour, so the original band ended up
playing 20 gigs.  This recording was the last night of that tour
and took place on August 13, 2003, at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana,
California.  The disc insert details much of the band’s history
and the track selections.  The band’s music is a combination of
blues, country, Cajun, rockabilly, and rock ’n’ roll.  They are
joined by guest artists on a few tracks: Billy Boy Arnold, Sonny
Burgess, and members of The Calvanes and the Medallions.  The band
is a bit of an acquired taste – like Elvis Costello.  They have
the appeal of many bar bands—competent musicians, fast and lively
playing, and a lot of heart and enthusiasm.

As far as the recording goes, it is a bit disappointing.  First of
all, the disc claims to have a DVDA track.  I tried the disc on
two different machines and it does not.  The only two audio
choices are PCM 2.0 or DTS 5.1.  So, you won’t get the hi-res
audio, nor will you get the video of a standard DVD-video – just some
stills of the band.  Secondly, the sound is thin, harsh, and edgy
at times—it’s as if the record is over-equalized.  The voice
sounds very remote.  For a live recording it isn’t terrible, but
clearly isn’t up to the sound quality of better CDs, much less the high
resolution formats.  There is some crowd noise in the surrounds
especially between tracks, but otherwise the music is primarily up
front.  Still images play over the music and there is a photo
gallery as an extra. 

The CD version only contains 16 tracks, so there are 5 additional
tracks on this release—this should please fans to no end.  Songs
included are:  Marie Marie; Real Rock Drive; One Red Rose; Border
Radio; Troublebound; Crazy Baby; Help You Dream- w/Intro (With The
Calvanes & The Medallions); Have Mercy Baby- w/Intro (With The
Calvanes & The Medallions); No Other Girl; Don’t You Lie To Me; I’m
Shakin’; So Long Baby Goodbye; Red Headed Woman w/Intro (With Sonny
Burgess); Sadie’s Back in Town w/Intro; Wandering Eye w/Intro (With
Billy Boy Arnold); I Ain’t Got You w/Intro; American Music; One Bad
Stud w/Intro (With The Calvanes & The Medallions); J.B. Lenoir Jam;
All Your Love; Flip Flop & Fly.

-Brian Bloom




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