Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin are well known as founders of the prominent Los Angeles band the Blasters, which existed where blues, punk, country, and rockabilly found a way to intertwine, and helped spark the resurgence of what has come to be known as roots rock or Americana music. In the late 1980’s, the brothers went their separate ways with solo acts and side projects, until rejoining forces for 2014’s Grammy nominated Common Ground, a tribute to Big Bill Broonzy. Dave Alvin’s driving guitar work, along with Phil Alvin’s powerful howling vocals, and backed by the Guilty Ones, make for an irresistible sound on last year’s release, Lost Time, also available from Yep Roc Records. That recording saw Dave and Phil continue to pay homage to their influences, and includes four songs written by Big Joe Turner, who they had met when still teenagers. Turner had been a friend and mentor to the Alvins until his passing in 1985.
As for the enduring appeal of the music they play and cover, Dave Alvin has said, “In some ways, this type of music doesn’t die. It goes through bleak periods or droughts, but I think there’s always going to be a type of kids like us, who are looking for something else. We may not be in the majority, but there will always be a sizable minority of oddballs that find purpose in old music, find meaning in the older music, and then take it wherever they’re going to take it from there.”
On Friday, September 2, the Earlville Opera House will present Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin with The Guilty Ones, along with special guest opening performer Sarah Borges, beginning at 8:00 p.m.
The Earlville Opera House is an intimate, historic building originally constructed in 1892. A limited number of tickets remain available for the show, and may be purchased through the Earlville Opera House.
Photo credits: Jeff Fasano