East Side Soul

The Blazers

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East Side Soul Review

by Richard Foss

Few bands have ever combined gutsy blues-rock and sheer joyous energy the way the Blazers did on East Side Soul, much less created such a successful and interesting fusion of musical cultures. Many critics have remarked on the richness that their Latin rhythms brings to straight-ahead rock numbers, but not on the tasteful way those influences go the other way. You can hear traces of Little Feat and John Fogerty on the cumbias and other numbers which are sung in Spanish. On this album everything mixes perfectly, and the material is of uniformly high quality. Manuel Gonzales contributes stinging guitar leads throughout, notably on "Let Me Go," which has a distinct hint of Stevie Ray Vaughan in the tone and phrasing. The band plays with precision and passion, and the production on East Side Soul is more polished than on their first album. This is definitely the one to get if you're interested in hearing the Blazers in full cry.

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