Phil Alvin brings his brand of American music to town

Rockabilly and blues weren't exactly in fashion in the late '70s, but growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, that's what brothers Dave and Phil Alvin were drawn to. It helped that they counted blues legends like T-Bone Walker and Big Joe Turner as mentors.

Listening to the Blasters' 1980 debut, American Music, and the band's 1981 self-titled album, it's striking how different the Alvin brothers' conception of American music was from other popular music of the time (Olivia Newton-John, Blondie). They played their roots music a little more straight than local pioneers the Gibson Bros., but it was outsider enough that punks embraced the Blasters, and the Alvins, in turn, embraced punk.

Dave Alvin eventually left the Blasters, playing with X, the Flesh Eaters and the Gun Club and enjoying a solo career, while Phil reunited the Blasters, which now features Keith Wyatt on guitar. The Alvins have since reunited, as well, recording two albums as a duo in the last few years. (Safe bet)