The Blazers

The Seventeen Jewels

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The Blazers have received countless comparisons to Los Lobos over the years, as both bands hail from the same area (Los Angeles) and specialize in a similar musical style (roots rock with a Mexican flavor). But whereas Los Lobos tend to incorporate more authentic native sounds into their music, the Blazers stick closer to straight-ahead, bluesy roots rock. This is especially evident on their fifth release overall, 2003's Seventeen Jewels. Produced and arranged by Pete Anderson (who has worked with everyone from Dwight Yoakam to the Meat Puppets), Seventeen Jewels is the first Blazers album not to be issued by Rounder (once more, Anderson aided the band by issuing it via his Little Dog imprint). As with their previous releases, longtime collaborators Manuel Gonzalez and Ruben Guaderrama are joined by a supporting cast of players (everything from trumpet to "cajon accordion"), which makes such standouts as the bluesy "I'll Never Trust" and the rockabilly-esque "Come on Baby" such delights. Also included is a reworking of the Lennon-McCartney obscurity "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party," as well as a soulful track that Otis Redding would have sounded perfect singing, "This Place of Love," which includes some very Stax-like horn flourishes.

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