Buy your tickets early and don't miss this special engagement with DAVE ALVIN & MARSHALL CRENSHAW backed by & THE GUILTY ONES.
ABOUT DAVE ALVIN
The rules Dave Alvin has followed throughout his 24 years as a solo artist were discarded during the creation of his 11th album, Eleven Eleven.
For the first time in his career he wrote songs while touring and recorded during breaks on his tours in 2010 with the Guilty Women. He used musicians he had not recorded with since his days in the Blasters, and for the first time ever, he sang on a record with his brother Phil, the lead singer of the Blasters.
"While we were growing up there was a firm line between Phil and me," Dave says, referring to Blasters' division of labor: Phil sang, Dave wrote the songs and played lead guitar. "The main reason I decided to have him sing with me was that we¹re not going to be here forever; we might as well have fun. Life is too short."
Eleven Eleven features three duets: Phil and Dave on the simmering blues "What's Up With Your Brother"; Dave and Christy McWilson from the Guilty Women on the gentle country number "Manzanita" and the whimsical song, "Two Lucky Bums," the final recording of Dave and his best friend, the late Chris Gaffney. The rest of the material, rich in stories that stretch from R&B royalty to labor history to Harlan County in Kentucky, was written over the course of seven months. As he says with sly chuckle: "The songs are not necessarily true, but they¹re all autobiographical."
"It is the first album in which every song was either written or conceived on the road," Dave says. "When I go on the road, I shut off that part of my brain. It¹s really hard for me to write while touring, but I wanted to try something different on this album."
"Whenever we had a break and I'd return home, I'd call my revolving cast of the regular guys, see who was available to go in and record, cut a song, and head back on tour. With the exception of (the late legendary R&B saxophonist) Lee Allen, I had never used anybody from the Blasters on my solo records. Then I thought, well why not use them?"
While the backing cast varies, the constant through Eleven Eleven is Dave's assured guitar-playing, whether it's finger-picking on an acoustic against an accordion on "No Worries Mija" or blazing riffs on electric over a Bo Diddley beat on "Run Conejo Run." Eleven Eleven reunites Dave with pianist Gene Taylor, whose barrelhouse blues sound has not been heard on an Alvin project since the final Blasters album, 1985's "Hard Line."
Taylor was one of several blues veterans who would pass through the band Dave and Phil Alvin founded in their hometown of Downey, Calif., in the late 1970s. Beginning in 1980 with the Blasters' debut album, Dave's songwriting pioneered the marriage of punk attitude with blues, California country and rockabilly. The brothers called it "American music"; it would eventually be labeled by others as roots rock.
The Blasters released four studio albums between 1980 and 1985 and Dave's songs "Marie, Marie," "Border Radio" and, of course, "American Music" became staples of the burgeoning genre.
Dave's solo career began with 1987's "Romeo's Escape" and in 2000 he won the traditional folk Grammy for his collection of songs from the early part of the 20th century, Public Domain: Songs From the Wild Land.
Soon thereafter he began recording for Yep Roc, which released his last three albums, West of the West, Ashgrove and Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women.
"The songs on Eleven Eleven, Dave says, "are all about life, love, death, loss, money, justice, labor, faith, doubt, family and friendship. The usual stuff."
"Mortality has been an issue on my mind ever since Ashgrove.. Since finishing that album, I lost some great friends -- Gaffney, Amy Farris and Buddy Blue of the Beat Farmers. That weighed on me."
The result is an album with songs rich in vivid stories, taking listeners on a bounty hunt in "Murrietta's Head," a tawdry scene of seduction in "Dirty Nightgown" and a true crime recollection in "Johnny Ace is Dead." Dave's guitar work punctuates each tale, reinforcing moments of urgency, remorse and reflection.
Despite making the album with different musicians at sessions separated by weeks of time, Dave was consistent in getting a gritty, bluesy feel from start to finish. The studio, and engineer Craig Adams, played significant roles in getting that feel.
He recorded the album at Winslow Court Studio in Hollywood, the same studio where West of the West and Ashgrove were recorded, both of which Adams engineered.
"Winslow Court is an old Foley studio from the 1930s," Dave says. "It's about the size of Sun Studios and you can have everyone in a circle so you can make eye contact. A lot of the musical dynamics and the arrangement on the record comes just from being able to see each other. If everyone were in a cubicle you wouldn't get that vibe."
It's also the one studio where Dave can place his amp beside him and turn up the volume to capture the essence of a live recording.
"All great records, up to a certain point in time, were just a bunch of guys in a room. The Blasters tended to record the same way, but because of concerns of engineers I wouldn't get my amp right next to me. The way Craig won me over was during the recording of Ashgrove. I asked 'mind if I make it louder?.' That was one of the few times an engineer has said 'turn it up.'."
ABOUT MARSHALL CRENSHAW
Born near Detroit, Michigan, Marshall Crenshaw began playing guitar at age ten and he received his first break playing John Lennon in the off-Broadway company of Beatlemania. In 1987, he played Buddy Holly in the Richie Valens biopic “La Bamba.” While living in NYC, he recorded the single “Something’s Gonna Happen” for Alan Betrock’s Shake Records, which led to a deal with Warner Bros. His debut album, Marshall Crenshaw was acclaimed as a pop masterpiece upon its release in 1982 and established him as a first-rate songwriter, singer and guitarist. The record spawned the Top 40 single “Someday, Someway,” which rockabilly singer Robert Gordon covered and scored a hit with a year earlier, and other classics such as “(You’re My) Favorite Waste of Time,” “Whenever You’re On My Mind” and “Cynical Girl.” The great songs continued with the Life’s Too Short album on MCA (“Fantastic Planet of Love”), three albums for Razor & Tie and the 2009 release Jaggedland (“Someone Told Me,” “Passing Through,” “Never Coming Down
A quote from Trouser Press sums up Marshall Crenshaw’s early career: “Although he was seen as a latter-day Buddy Holly at the outset, he soon proved too talented and original to be anyone but himself.” All Music Guide captured Crenshaw’s vibe perfectly: “He writes songs that are melodic, hooky and emotionally true, and he sings and plays them with an honesty and force that still finds room for humor without venom.”
“His intelligence, integrity, and passion for the great song always show up in his music,” wrote Robert Christgau in his Consumer Guide of Marshall Crenshaw. Over a span of 30 years, Crenshaw has released 13 albums, all of which have received the highest marks from critics and have earned him a fiercely loyal fan base.
“I wanted to think of a different way of working that would inspire me and keep me motivated,” Marshall Crenshaw says of his newest endeavor: a subscription-only service that addresses the recent seismic changes in the music-industry landscape by cutting out the record-company middle man to distribute his new recordings directly to fans.
The subscription service, which the veteran singer/guitarist/songwriter/producer recently launched via a successful Kickstarter funding campaign, will provide fans with a steady stream of new Marshall Crenshaw music via a series of exclusive three-song 10-inch, 45-rpm vinyl EPs on Addie-Ville Records, six of which the artist plans to release over a two-year period. In addition to the vinyl discs, subscribers will also receive a download card for high-quality digital versions of the EP tracks.
Each EP will consist entirely of newly recorded, never-before-released material, encompassing a new original Crenshaw composition, a classic cover tune, and a new reworking of a time-honored favorite.
“I really do think that vinyl sounds best, and that playing a vinyl record is still the optimum listening experience,” Crenshaw asserts. “And with the sound quality that you get at 45 rpm, I think that these things are going to deliver the goods, sonically.”
The first subscription EP’s A-side is the brand-new Crenshaw number “I Don’t See You Laughing Now,” recorded with longtime cohorts Andy York (John Mellencamp, Ian Hunter), and Graham Maby (Joe Jackson, They Might Be Giants). The record’s double B-side features a memorable new reading of The Move’s 1971 post-apocalyptic anthem “No Time,” recorded with veteran New Jersey rocker and frequent Crenshaw collaborator Glen Burtnick; and a new version of “There She Goes Again,” whose original version appeared on Crenshaw’s eponymous 1982 debut album, recorded live with alt-country icons the Bottle Rockets.