A song by Los Angeles' The Blasters, an anthem of sorts, their theme song, of sorts. The band was on the leading edge of a wave of roots rock in the US, with fellow West Coast bands like X, bands like The Raybeats and the perennial NRBQ on the East Coast, and untold dozens out in Middle America, staying true to the bar-band rhythm and blues aesthetic, while all around them raged the sights and sounds of naked emperors bearing the latest and greatest ephemerality.

This was the title track of their debut LP, on a small rockabilly indie, Rollin' Rock. The band quickly gained attention as a live act (Brian May of Queen became a big fan, and The Blasters actually opened for Queen on a few US dates - the horror!), and got signed to semi-indie Slash Records, distributed by the behemoth now known as AOL Time Warner.

The song is based, appropriately, on the 12-bar blues form.


Well a US soldier boy on leave in West Berlin
No music there that rocks, just a thousand violins
He wants to hear some American Music, American Music
They want to hear that sound right from the USA

Well it can be sweet and lovely, it can be hard and mean
But one thing's for sure: it's always on the beam
They want to hear some American Music, American Music
They want to hear that sound right from the USA

It's a howl from the desert, the screams from the slums
The Mississippi rollin' to the beat of the drums
Because they're playing American Music, American Music
They want to hear that sound right from the USA

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


Well it's American Music
It's American Music
It's American Music
It's the greatest sound right from the USA

Well a US soldier boy has to stop right in his tracks
When he hears that crazy beat, he turns and doubles back
Because they're playing American Music, American Music
The whole world digs that sound from the USA

-- Dave Alvin, from The Blasters' American Music, 1980, and The Blasters, 1981

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