April 2005

The Blasters - The Blasters Live: Going Home
DTS Entertainment/Shout Records 69286-01119-9-8
Format: DVD
Released: 2005

by Doug Blackburn

Musical Performance ****
Recording Quality **1/2
Overall Enjoyment ***1/2

The Blasters are one of the seminal American roots-rock bands, marrying elements and sensibilities of rockabilly and straight-up rock‘n’roll. At times, the music sounds like it could have written in the '50s and released on Sun Records. Blastmasters Dave and Phil Alvin are legendary musician’s musicians. The other Blasters may come and go, but the Blasters' groove seems unaffected by the changes.

The Blasters Live: Going Home is the band's first live-performance recording. A previously released CD and DVD-Video are joined by this DTS 5.1 release. The jacket says "DVD-Audio 5.1 48k/24," but there is no DVD-Audio menu choice, just DTS 5.1 and PCM stereo. DTS has confirmed that the DVD-Audio credit on the jacket is a misprint and that the disc is DVD-Video (however, the only video is the disc's menu and a still frame for each song). This disc has five tracks that do not appear on the CD and three tracks that do not appear on the DVD.

This performance finds the band and their guests in fine tune with an energized and enthusiastic audience. The strong performances make subtle nods to many sub-genres of American rock and roots music, from New Orleans to surf guitar. Long-time fans will go nuts for this disc, but potential fans may want to try one of the earlier recordings first.

Disappointingly, both the bass frequencies and the entire drum kit got a little lost in the mix. It should be easier to follow bass lines, and you should feel the bottom end, including the drum kicks, quite a bit more than this disc delivers. Aside from that reservation, the sound is reasonably transparent and enjoyable, though a bright-sounding system may be pushed into too-bright territory. The surround mix is fairly natural, with the instruments mostly up front.