In the wake of Rhino's rerelease of the Blasters' '80s recordings for Slash, the original lineup of the Downey, Calif.-bred roots-rock band regrouped for a stirring series of West Coast dates this spr

In the wake of Rhino's rerelease of the Blasters' '80s recordings for Slash, the original lineup of the Downey, Calif.-bred roots-rock band regrouped for a stirring series of West Coast dates this spring. This live album is drawn from performances at L.A.'s House of Blues that found the quintet recapturing the fervor of its career-making shows, with nearly two decades of experience under its belt. Guitarist/songwriter Dave Alvin's dynamic chops are on full display, and his original tunes—"American Music," "Marie Marie," "Long White Cadillac," and more—remain durable. His brother Phil's

expressive pipes are in rare form, and

the rhythm section of Gene Taylor, John Bazz, and Bill Bateman have all cylinders firing. This high-powered set, which arrives in advance of fall dates on the East Coast, proves anew that the Blasters have few equals in their metier.—CM