The Kentucky Hoss Cats open, 8 p.m. Sept. 1 at Willie's Locally Known, 805 N.Broadway. $15. (859) 281-1116. willieslex.com
For a few short years at the dawn of the 1980s, ABC-TV launched a late night comedy and music program called Fridays, modeled after NBC's then-faltering Saturday Night Live. While most of its skits and comedic bits were indistinguishable from SNL, Fridays scored a series of home runs with guest music performances by such vanguard acts of the day as Devo, King Crimson and ....
One especially notable Fridays set came from an unknown — a band out of the Southern California suburb of Downey that played with an immediacy many misunderstood for punk. But the roots-driven nature of its songs along with the combustible intensity of a high tenor vocalist was all primal Americana.
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That was the country's introduction to songwriter and guitarist Dave Alvin, elder brother and vocalist Phil Alvin and the band so aptly named The Blasters.
The life span of the original Blasters was fairly brief. Four studio albums and a live EP were issued in quick succession before Dave Alvin left for a solo career in 1986. Since then, the Blasters have largely been a band of myth. Its records went out of print while succeeding lineups were fronted by Phil Alvin with two co-founding members, bassist John Bazz and drummer Bill Bateman.
Dave Alvin returned for a few reunion tours, especially in the wake of the 2002 double disc Blasters anthology Testament that covered everything officially issued by the band in the '80s, save for its 1980 indie debut American Music, which received a separate reissue in 1997.
The brothers reunited again this year for an extraordinary Big Bill Broonzy tribute album titled Common Ground. But the present-day Blasters roar on with guitarist Keith Wyatt in place of brother Dave. The absent sibling will be well represented, though, at the first-ever Lexington concert by the Blasters. The band plays on Labor Day night at Willie's Locally Known.
Look for a repertoire that includes such monstrous rock and soul Dave Alvin originals as Marie Marie, Border Radio and So Long Baby Goodbye along with fare from the fine 2012 Blasters album Fun on Saturday Night. The latter boasts Phil Alvin's soul drenched take on the James Brown classic Please Please Please and a duet cover of the Johnny Cash-June Carter hit Jackson with X songstress Exene Cervenka.
Sounds like a blast to me.
The 36th Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival takes over downtown Winchester starting today. The culmination, as always, will be a Sunday performance by soon-to-be-country music celebrities. This year's show features Iowa singer Frankie Ballard (of Helluva Life fame), who will tour as a headliner for the first time this fall, and 18-year-old Danielle Bradbery, the youngest winner so far on the TV music competition show The Voice. Winchester's own Lauren Mink Band will open (5:30 p.m., $10). For more info, call 1-800-298-9105 or go to danielboonepioneerfestival.com.
Our friends at CD Central, 377 S. Limestone, have some free music on tap for Labor Day. The store will host a 1 p.m. performance by the Glasgow quartet Otis. The band — guitarists Boone Froggett and Steve Jewell Jr., bassist John Seeley and drummer Andrew Gilpin — are promoting a new album called Tough Times. Founding Kentucky HeadHunters guitarist Greg Martin served as producer for the project, which is a tribute to 1950s-era Kentucky bluesman John Brim.
For more info, call (859) 233-3472 or go to cdcentralmusic.com.