DAVE ALVIN ‘From An Old Guitar’ (Rare & Unreleased)


Available on backorder

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This 16 tracker from Dave Alvin’s extensive post-Blasters career is not just a welcome release for longtime fans of the singer/songwriter/guitarist. It’s also a potent and illuminating collection, particularly for newcomers to his rousing unapologetic love of and devotion to all things Americana.

These studio tracks are grabbed from a variety of sources; some were included on obscure tribute albums to artists as varied as Peter Case, Mickey Newbury, Waylon Jennings and Doug Sahm. Others were recorded with a variety of Alvin’s backing bands over the years, most with the word “guilty” in them (the Guilty Men/Women/Ones) and were either cut from his solo albums or simply never found a home. Tom Waits called his similar collection Orphans.

Regardless of the source, these songs not only provide a glimpse into Alvin’s many inspirations such as hot or viper jazz and country but also display influences including blues (a cover of Willie Dixon’s seldom-heard “Peace” thumps along with tensile, controlled intensity) and folk (Chris Smither’s “Link of Chain” gets a typically tough, restrained reading).  Alvin’s talents as both an astute interpreter of other’s material — his spoken vocals to “Highway 61 Revisited” bask in Dylan’s surreal lyrics — and a musician with deep roots in a variety of American genres that aren’t obvious on his solo albums are both enthusiastically displayed.