Rhino has rectified the situation with Testament, a two-CD set that contains everything the band recorded for Slash, along with a handful of unreleased tracks. Propelled by Phil's Carl Perkins-meets-Jimmy Reed voice and Dave's sparkling guitar riffs, the Blasters delivered a spirited blend of rockabilly ("Marie, Marie"), rhythm and blues ("I'm Shakin'"), and good old-fashioned rock and roll ("I Love You So"). No mere oldies act, the band was smart and talented, mixing original songs with obscure-but-tasty covers. Their eclectic approach was summed up in the anthemic "American Music": "We got the Louisiana boogie and the Delta blues/Country swing and rockabilly, too/We got jazz, country-western, and Chicago blues/It's the greatest music that you ever knew."
Even at two discs, Testament may be a bit too much Blasters music for all but the most ardent fans. Still, it's about time the band got its due. In an era when rock had lost its bearings -- Styx, anyone? -- the Blasters took it back to basics.