Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin: The Common Ground Interview

Latest news:  Dave Alvin was featured in an interview in the August issue of Uncut magazine (Eric Clapton is on the cover). Uncut ran a two-part series on Bob Dylan. Dave was interviewed for a sidebar about his session work with Dylan in 1986. It's the most detailed explanation of his work with Dylan. Dave describes playing guitar with Dylan on a wide variety of songs, including YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE, from the 1945 Broadway musical Carousel. None of the songs have been released. -- Dave Alvin is one of the musicians interviewed in Billy Mize and the Bakersfield Sound, a documentary on the longtime country musician from California. Mize's songs have been recorded by Waylon Jennings, Jerry Lee Lewis, Barbara Mandrell and Dean Martin. Dave recorded Mize's WHO WILL BUY THE WINE as a digital single for Yep Roc and also has performed the song in concert. Other musicians interviewed include Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Ray Price. At 59, Mize suffered a stroke and lost the ability to speak and play guitar. Now 85, Mize regained the ability to sing after a long rehabilitation. ( billymizemovie.com) --  Dave Alvin is interviewed in Rich Hall's California Stars, a documentary on what it means to succeed in The Golden State. Hall, a comedian and author, wrote the script for the film, which was directed by Chris Cottam. The 90-minute movie made its debut on BBC television in July. -- Don Heffington, who has drummed on several Dave Alvin albums including Common Ground, has released Gloryland, a solo album that is described as 'avant garde' or 'avant-Americana.' On the CD Baby Web site, it says "Don Heffington steps out from behind the drums to sing 10 original songs in an unconventional and somewhat abstract recording which you will either love or hate." For more information on Gloryland, visit cdbaby.com/cd/donheffington2. -- Dave Alvin performs LINK OF CHAIN, the title track to Link of Chain: A Songwriters' Tribute to Chris Smither on Signature Sounds records due out September 30th. Dave's recording kicks off  the 15-song CD backed by Danny Ott (electric guitar), Don Heffington (drums) and Dave Carpenter (bass). Other artists include Loudon Wainwright III, Mary Gauthier, Bonnie Raitt and Peter Case. --  Guilty Ones' drummer Lisa Pankratz posted a humorous anecdote on her Facebook page: "How to make a drummer feel a little "dummer"... Phil Alvin can do a long mic check using only prime numbers. I, on the other hand, can count to 3 or 4 over and again for several minutes at a time." -- Dave Alvin has scheduled a West of the West train trip for April 17-27, 2015. The trip begins and ends in Los Angeles and stops in Austin, Denver, Chicago and Emeryville, Calif. ( rootsontherails.com) -- Dave Alvin wrote the introduction for I Apologize in Advance for the Awful Things I'm Gonna Do, a collection of haiku by Danny Bland, who serves as his road manager.  ((((Latest News Continues Page 2 ))))

In This Issue: Dave & Phil Alvin On Common Ground, Keith Wyatt on The Blasters Midwest tour, and Mike Watt.

     It's been 30 years since Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin recorded a studio album. The last one was The Blasters Hardline album on Slash Records in 1984. Their reputation as 'battling brothers' may have been exaggerated over the years, but it always gave the press something to write about - which is good for band publicity. As their musical bond stretched in different directions over the years, the bond of family was always there. The brothers saw many friends and family pass in recent years and it brought them to the realization that family is most important and that time is short. Phil and Dave really enjoy each other's company now, which has taken them back to explore their childhood musical roots together. Blues singer and guitar player Big Bill Broonzy was always a favorite of the Alvins, and that is where they find their Common Ground.

Poetic inspiration for Mike Watt       by Tom Wilk

AMERICAN  MUSIC: The Blasters / Dave Alvin newsletter
editor/writer: Billy Davis      copy editor: Craig Frischkorn     writer Tom Wilk