Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Downey To Lubbock

Latest News: Phil Alvin mentioned on the Roll FM radio show that the Blasters will record a new album in the spring of 2019 that will include cover songs that have rarely been heard. -- The Flesheaters (Dave Alvin, Chris D., John Doe, Steve Berlin, DJ Bonebrake, and Bill Bateman), will release a new CD in January 2019 called I Used To Be Pretty on Yep Roc Records. Dave Alvin: "It was recorded at Craig Parker's studio in L.A. and has a truck load of guitar on it. There's a 13 minute long song and mainly originals. We do a few covers by The Sonics and The Gun Club and also a Peter Green song called GREEN MANALISHI. This is just a great band. Bateman plays his ass off. I forgot what a great bass player John is. We will probably do a tour of big cities on the west coast and east." -- Dave Alvin is writing a chapter for the History of Punk Rock Volume 2 book due out in 2019. Dave: "I'm writing about dealing with record companies and why a Blasters song called KATHLEEN didn't make it on the Hardline album." -- As they continue their nationwide tour, Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore are making radio and podcast appearances to promote their Downey to Lubbock CD. They have appeared on World Café in Philadelphia; Live from Studio A during the Global Village broadcast in Columbus, Ohio; and Mountain Stage in West Virginia, among others. Some of the performances are archived online. Dave did a 70-minute podcast with Foo Fighters drummer Chris Shiflett at Rollingstone.com. Dave and Jimmie Dale also appeared on American Routes radio show, hosted by Nick Spitzer. -- Chris Miller, guitarist for the Guilty Ones, has released Tell It to the Jukebox (Never Lucky Records available at CDBaby.com), a collaborative album with James Sasser. They are billed as Miller & Sasser. Chris had a hand in writing five of the album's 10 songs and also is a featured vocalist. Steve Mugalian, formerly of the Guilty Men, plays drums.  -- Tom Russell has teamed up with guitarist Andrew Hardin to release Old Songs Yet to Sing (Frontera Records). The CD features 20 acoustic remakes of Tom's songs, including HALEY'S COMET and CALIFORNIA SNOW  which he co-wrote with Dave. -- Former Blasters pianist Gene Taylor has scheduled an East Coast tour that begins in September. Visit gene-taylor.com. -- Christmas is still a few months away, but the Blasters will be touring in December again as part of Horton's Holiday Hayride. In addition to the Blasters, the bill will feature the Rev. Horton Heat, Junior Brown, and Big Sandy. -- Dave Alvin's West of the West 2018 rail trip runs from Oct. 7-17. The journey begins in Los Angeles with stops in Fort Worth, Chicago, Kansas City, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe before ending in Los Angeles. Artists schedule to perform include Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Rick Shea, Christy McWilson, John Doe and Exene Cervenka, Bill Kirchen, Carolyn Wonderland, Dead Rock West, Howie Gelb, Blind Boy Paxton, and Ruthie Foster. Roots on the Rails, which organizes the trips, warns that this journey could be the last one because of changes in Amtrak policy regarding the use of railroad tracks. .-- AM

This Issue:  Dave & Jimmie Dale 'Downey To Lubbock' interview, The Blasters in Finland, Dave's Poems: From Printed Page to DVD, and Dave & Jimmie Dale Live in Philly review.   

of the really old stuff that he knew. The initial impetus was discovering that we both knew those blues things and it was an important part of our backgrounds. We both loved Lightnin' Hopkins, Brownie and Sonny.
DA: Well I had a version of that song recorded live at the Ashgrove from 1961. We needed lyrics that were more central to us. And we needed lyrics where no one dies, so we wrote verses on the spot.
JDG: I did the song out of memory. In places where I didn't remember the lyrics, I made up new ones.
DA: We cut another Brownie McGhee number which is full on rockabilly.
JDG: I have some songs that might be good for Dave and I to do together, so maybe there will be another album. Time will tell. Much gratitude to Dave Alvin for being an all-around talented and great guy. --AM

Downey To Lubbock Photography by Joseph Murray, Todd Wolfson, Jeff Fasano, Dave Alvin, Craig Parker Adams, Jack Rudy, and Danny Bland.

Hey, "Roots On The Rails" train trip travelers: Is there anyone who would like to write a review or story about your experience on the October, 2018, final Dave Alvin train trip? The American Music Newsletter has never had any written coverage of the many trips Dave has traveled on. We would love to hear every detail of this exclusive and special experience. Email davistb@aol.com if you'd like to submit something.

audience in live performance:  "When I was in the Blasters or 'X', people were more interested in the drumbeat or the melody lines."  But Dave points out that the lyrics matter, too:  He notes of reaction to his songs. "After a while, you want people to know what the song is about."
   Dave's poetry readings show him capturing the raw emotions of a parent's physical decline in MY MOTHER FELL and the frustrations of a life on the road in MEMPHIS TENNESSEE, NOVEMBER 1981. They recall the spoken word recordings he did in the 1980s.
   There's a feeling of achievement in writing a poem or song, but something special about the latter, according to Dave. "It's twice the kick to write a song and make the music and melody fit the words."
 Innerscapes also features profiles of such poets as Wanda Coleman and Jack Grapes and a teen-age Beck Hansen, now known as the singer/songwriter Beck. He is included in a feature on a literary/arts magazine geared to young people.
   The film was initially screened in the late 1980s, but only became widely available in 2015. In a 1988 story, Kevin Thomas, a writer for The Los Angeles Times, called the movie "a succinct and vibrant introduction to a highly varied group of talented, impassioned people seen and heard both in interviews and in performance."