DAVE ALVIN CAPTURES SNAPSHOTS OF BLUE-COLLAR AMERICA IN NEW CD
Of the Post-Dispatch
July 8, 2002
Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men
"Out in California"
It's been a long trip for Californian Dave Alvin. He arrived in the late '70s as chief songwriter and lead guitarist for the rightly named Blasters (with brother Phil Alvin), and he won a Grammy two years ago for - get this - best traditional folk album for "Public Domain."
But anyone who saw Alvin with Tom Russell, Chris Smither and Ramblin' Jack Elliott on their Monsters of Folk Tour at Off Broadway a few years ago, or his subsequent full-band dates with his Guilty Men at the Duck Room, can testify to this artist's range. The new CD is electric in every sense of the word and includes songs from every phase of his career.Alvin, whose sensibilities were shaped at the dinner table with his labor-organizer father, serves up a generous helping of blue-collar characters ("Abilene," "Wanda and Duane"), heartbroken lovers ("Little Honey," "Fourth of July") and snapshots of life ("Haley's Comet"). Above all, Alvin exudes the joy of rootsy "American Music," which, as the song says, "the whole world wants, right from the USA." (Consumer note: Although "Out in California" arrives just six short years after the live "Interstate City" by Alvin and the GM's, only one tune is repeated - the title track, co-written by Russell. )
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