“East Side Soul”
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Don’t let the shadow of Los Lobos keep you from embracing this other delightful East L.A. band.
The quartet doesn’t aim for the sociopolitical undercurrents or carefully groomed textures of Los Lobos, but the Blazers’ roots rock--which is more in the raw tradition of the Blasters and, at times, Keith Richards--comes across with such assurance and authority that the album is a fine companion, whether you accept its invitation to pull up a bar stool or step onto the dance floor.
In “East Side Soul,” the Blazers move so effortlessly from style to style (blues and country to norten~o and more) that it’s easy to overlook all the rich resources in the band’s musical arsenal.
There is, however, no missing the feel-good spirit. And there are signs in “Brother,” a brotherhood anthem by Manuel Gonzales and Ruben Guaderrama, that the Blazers are capable of some of the evocative observation of Los Lobos, whose Cesar Rosas produced this collection.
Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).