Various Artists

L.A. Ya Ya

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A compilation disc that aims to highlight the long-overlooked L.A. blues scene...There's energy, chops, and laughs aplenty on this disc, but absolutely nothing that makes any of these bands more distinctive than a ton of similar genre enthusiasts...That is to say, all the grandstanding elements of barroom R&B are on display here: good choices in covers ("Reet Petite," "Three Cool Cats," "I Want To (Do Everything for You)"), some good players (D.J. Bonebrake, Leo Nocentelli, Billy Bremner)...But as with most comps, all is never lost, because there are always some tracks that shine amongst the dreck. Here it's the work of sturdy Scottish journeyman Billy Bremner, who does a Rockpile-like take on "Reet Petite," and Chuck E. Weiss...doing his best Tom Waits impression during a workout on "Cherokee Dance..."

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