Latest News: The Blasters have been rehearsing and have three shows booked. On 8/1/21 they play with 'X' and Los Lobos at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa CA. They also have gigs on 10/2/21 in Alameda CA at the IVY Room and 1/15/22 at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano CA. II III    Native Sons, the forthcoming album from Los Lobos, will feature versions of songs written by Los Angeles bands and artists. Included on the collection is Dave Alvin's FLAT TOP JOINT that was featured on the American Music album by the Blasters. Other artists represented are Jackson Browne [JAMAICA SAY YOU WILL], the Beach Boys [SAIL ON SAILOR], and Percy Mayfield [NEVER NO MORE]. Native Sons will be released July 30 on New West Records. II III  Victor Krummenacher, bassist for The Third Mind, broke his leg on May 2 while rock climbing in Joshua Tree, CA.  A 'Go Fund Me' page to help him was launched on June 3 with a goal of raising $20,000.  "One month later Victor cannot put his full body weight on his leg. He is having a difficult time concentrating and he is still in a lot of pain. He is facing mounting medical bills, a huge mortgage, and no sign of work in the near future," according to a statement on the page. As of July 1, nearly $17,800 has been raised. To contribute, go to and search for Victor's Broken Leg. II III   Dave Alvin has contributed a blurb to Music in My Life: Notes from a Longtime Fan, a new book by Alec Wightman. Dave calls the book, "a great, funny, smart, and passionate piece of writing." Wightman, is a concert promoter, member of the board of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and corporate lawyer. He has presented Dave in concert with various lineups numerous times in the Columbus, Ohio area since the late 1990s. The book recounts several anecdotes about his working relationship and friendship with Dave. The book can be previewed at II III  Blues guitarist and singer/songwriter Carolyn Wonderland has signed with Alligator Records. Her latest album, which was produced by Dave Alvin, will be released in the fall.  II III   Soulsuckers on Parade, a previously unreleased Jeffrey Lee Pierce album from 1984, has been issued on vinyl and CD by Minky Records. Dave Alvin, Bill Bateman, and Gene Taylor are among the backing musicians. The release includes covers of SHAKE RATTLE AND ROLL and Creedence Clearwater Revival's BAD MOON RISING.  II III   The     Cruzados are releasing their a new album called She's Automatic. It's their first in more than 30 years. Guests include Dave Alvin on guitar, Steve Berlin, David Hidalgo and John Doe.  II III  Dave Alvin is assembling a book of essays, song lyrics, poetry related to music, and writings he did for the Los Angeles Times and various magazines. The book tentatively titled New Highway will be published by BMG   II III   

In This Issue:  Rick Shea's new CD Love & Desperation, Gene Taylor's six solo albums, remembering bluesman James       Harman, and 25 years of Dave Alvin's 'Interstate City.'

(((Latest News cont. from page 1 ))))       II III     Dave: "One of things I'm most proud of is a recording session I did in honor of my friend Don Heffington who passed away. He has been my guy - the      drummer in L.A. who plays on all my albums. His songs can be very folky and sometimes just wacky. He was a trip. Before he died he was organizing a tribute album to himself (laughs). If you knew Don, you'd understand. He made a list of the songs he wanted on there and who he wanted. He called me a few times from the hospital and told me the song he wanted me to do. So, I cut a song called AVENUE C with Greg Leisz, Michael Jerome, Bob Glaub, and Dave Witham [who played on the track Dave and Phil     Alvins' "Wild Man on the Loose" for the Mose Allison tribute album]. We did an abstract version like the Third Mind would do - but bluesier." It's being produced by Sheldon Gomberg. Other artists doing songs are Jackson Browne, Fiona Apple, Emmylou Harris, and Buddy Miller. Dave says it should be released in late 2022.  II III   -- Am

Rick Shea has had a successful solo career since leaving Dave Alvin's band the Guilty Men, in which he was a member from 1998 to 2004. His 12th solo album was released October 23, 2020 called Love & Desperation on Tres Pescadores Records

     He began sessions for a new record in the spring of 2019 at his home studio, Casa de Calora, in Covina, CA employing top-flight talent such as drummer Shawn Nourse [ Dwight Yoakam, I See Hawks in L.A. ] bassist Jeff Turmes [ Mavis Staples ], and his longtime collaborator Dave Hall. Assembling the recordings changed when the pandemic hit, so Shea and his collaborators went the digital route, in their own backyards. "It's not a good time to be in a room all together these days," Shea says. "And everybody's trying to be as careful as they can. So, I worked with guys who

shows of my own and sitting in with my friends The Iguanas. I'm still trying to get a grasp on the deep rich musical history there; it feels like it might take another lifetime.

Guitars & Vocals - Rick Shea    Accordion - Phil Parlapiano     Bass - Jeff Turmes     Drums - Shawn Nourse   

BLUES AT MIDNIGHT (R Shea) Ric O Shea Music BMI, admin BMG
I got a lot of my musical education, for better or worse, in the bars and honky tonks of San Bernardino where I grew up. This song is a pretty good reflection of that. I kind of fell into playing the country bars early on, when I figured out I could make sort of a living at it. I'd been playing solo acoustic shows at coffeehouses and places like that, and weekend gigs with my band. The country bars were steady five-night-a-week gigs, sometimes more, and I learned a lot of the old songs in those places, met guys who'd been playing since the '50s and I got to play my guitar five hours a night and get paid for it, not bad for a kid who just wanted to play his guitar.

Guitars & Vocals - Rick Shea     Accordion - Phil Parlapiano     Bass - Jeff Turmes     Drums - Shawn Nourse

The name Gypsy Sally comes from the Townes Van Zandt song, Tecumseh Valley. The song depicts a scene I kind of imagined some nights in some of the places I played. Some of the places I started out in were pretty rough, truck stop bars,
honky tonks. There was some trouble sometimes, but I never really got caught up in it. It seemed to me that if you were looking for it, trouble would not be hard to find in these places. Outside of that, though there would be married couples out to have a couple of beers and dance a little on a Friday night, a few of the local characters workin' their scene or their little hustle and the working girls who were always very nice to me.

Guitars & Vocals - Rick Shea    Accordion - Phil Parlapiano   Bass & Sax - Jeff Turmes 
Drums & Tambourine - Shawn Nourse

LOVE & DESPERATION (R Shea) Ric O Shea Music BMI, admin BMG
This song has a bit of family history, dramatized for folk song effect. My folks were not great at being parents, they were both pretty involved with their own lives, but I was kind of a wild kid, so I never held it against them. I was never a good
student, I had trouble with authority, but I always read a lot and was wild for      adventure. I hitchhiked all over California and the West Coast and back across the country three different times, always imagining some hippie Xanadu around the next bend. I'd read Kerouac, Jack London and Mark Twain and thought that's what I might find. In the end I realized that most of what I was searching for was inside

years back, but this song came to me during the recording and pretty quickly,     another reflection on these turbulent times we're living in.

Guitars, Pedal Steel & Vocals - Rick Shea    Accordion - David Jackson    Bass - Steve Nelson   
Drums - Shawn Nourse

A TENDERHEARTED LOVE (R Shea) Ric O Shea Music BMI, admin BMG
I owed my wife a love song, and probably a lot more. Being married to a musician is not always easy and she's been kind and supportive to me for a long time. I was trying to capture a bit of the simple and direct feeling of songs like Van
Morrison's TUPELO HONEY or JJ Cale's MAGNOLIA, kind of a tall order I know.

Guitars, Pedal Steel & Vocals - Rick Shea    Hammond B3 - Phil Parlapiano    Bass - Dave Hall   
Drums - Shawn Nourse

JUANITA (WHY ARE YOU SO MEAN?) (R Shea, T Zamora, J Adame) Ric O Shea   Music BMI, admin BMG, PerroFlaco Music ASCAP
Juanita is my wife Susie's mom's name, this song is how I imagined it might have been between her and her husband, Johnny, Susie's dad, when they were just dating. When he first approached her she played a little hard to get and wouldn't tell him her real name; told him her name was Rosie. They were together for 39 years when he died 27 years ago, and there is still a giant hole in the family, a hole that might never be filled. My friend Tony Zamora wrote the Spanish lyric to this that talks about Toloache, also known as the "lily of the devil" and "the fright of the wolf." It's a psychoactive plant that's also considered a back alley love potion, if you know the right curandera.

Guitars & Vocals - Rick Shea    Accordion & Vox Organ - Skip Edwards    Bass - Dave Hall   
Drums - Shawn Nourse

THE WORLD'S GONE CRAZY (R Shea) Ric O Shea Music BMI, admin BMG
Things have been upside down in the world for a while now; I wrote this song     after watching a particularly harrowing episode of "The Rachel Maddow Show." Even though this song was inspired by current events I wanted it to sound more like an older song, like a gospel song, like The Staple Singers, and not be tied so  directly to what is happening today. I'm certain we'll get past the events of these last few years and we'll all be stronger and better for it, but we still have a ways to go, "hold on to the ones that you love."

Guitars & Vocals - Rick Shea    Accordion - Phil Parlapiano    Bass - Steve Nelson   
Drums & Tambourine - Shawn Nourse

NASHVILLE BLUES (R Shea) Ric O Shea Music BMI, admin BMG
This song is kind of a peek behind the show biz curtain maybe, maybe a little too

much, a cautionary tale as my friend Chris Morris puts it. Show business can be a rough business, and those of us who spend our lives in it sometimes understand it the least. I pictured this as a song Bobby Bare or Jerry Jeff Walker might sing, both masters at singing songs where you're not quite sure if they're in on the joke or not, but of course they are, kind of a sly tongue in cheek, I'm just not completely
sure I'm in on the joke on this one.

Nashville Blues Guitar, Dobro & Vocals - Rick Shea    Bass - Dave Hall    Drums - Shawn Nourse   

MYSTIC CANYON (R Shea) Ric O Shea Music BMI, admin BMG
Mystic Canyon is one of my favorite hiking spots; I don't get up there often enough. It's actually called Indian Truck Trail on a couple of maps I've seen, a name I like almost as much. I have a beautiful Red Healer named Katy, an           Australian cattle dog, and she and I will head up there when I think it's not too crowded, and I can let her off the leash for a little while.

Guitar & Steel - Rick Shea    Hammond B3 - Phil Parlapiano    Bass - Dave Hall    Drums & Shaker - Shawn Nourse

TEXAS LAWYER (R Shea, W Reese, J Moyeda) Ric O Shea Music BMI, admin BMG, Amigo A Go Go BMI
This is a song of treachery and deceit that takes place in the badlands of Tamaulipas, the borderlands between Brownsville, Texas and Ciudad Victoria in Mexico. I liked the idea that the antagonist in this story is an American and a lawyer, usually thought of as a respectable profession, and that everyone in the song is guilty of something. I was pretty deep into Elmore Leonard when I wrote the lyric to this song, with help from my friend Wyman Reese, and Spanish refrain from my father-in-law Johnny Moyeda. Johnny's gone now, so singing this is a chance for me to think about him and remember him. The original recording of this song featured my friend the late great Chris Gaffney and is still very close to my heart for that reason, but I felt like I wanted to update it.

Guitar, Mandolin & Vocals - Rick Shea    Accordion - Phil Parlapiano    Bass - Dave Hall    Drums - Shawn Nourse All songs mixed by Walter Clevenger,   Mastered by Paul du Gré

Look for Love & Desperation on to purchase a CD or digital download. You can also view videos for the new album for free.

Billy Boy Arnold and the Dirty Dozen Brass band and all these different people through the thing and we all do songs.
AM: So you will be on a couple of tracks then?
Harman: I think I'm only singing lead on one and singing backup on a few and then when you hear harmonica. It's not all figured out yet. We went to several sessions up at Cesar's [ Rosas of Los Lobos ] house, Phil wouldn't show up until midnight and me and James Intveld had been in there since noon. It's all confused, were all so busy with everything and we never really got anywhere. I know he's got a lot of tracks cut. He went to Chicago and cut some, he went to New Orleans and cut some, and he's got a bunch of different stuff. He's got tons of stuff he has to sort through and put into  order and I'm just one little piece of it. It's a big undertaking, but Phil is my buddy and he called me up, so I'll play on it. [ Ed. note -- James Harman's recordings didn't make it on Phil Alvin's County Fair 2000 CD. ]
AM: How did you first meet Phil Alvin?
Harman: When I first got out to California, I was playing Rick's Blues Bar on Fridays and Saturdays. Phil Alvin and his bunch were like 17 years old and they were playing on Mondays and Tuesdays. The owner of the club told me, "Come down on and hear Phil's band The Night Shift, I think you'll dig this guy." The owner also said, "They've got this killer piano player, a little short fat baldheaded guy, he looks like he's 40 but he's 19." So, I went down there and sure enough they sounded great. Phil just singing with a big man's voice and playing harmonica. I thought all these guys are great. And Johnny Bazz was the drummer, the [ current ] bass player in the Blasters. We became friends and I sat in with them and I talked to Gene Taylor and we became buddies and Gene started coming over to my house, playing the piano and playing the guitar. Gene Taylor is a great guitar player. So, we started hanging out and pretty soon I stole him away from them and they couldn't keep gigs, and Gene played with me for the rest of the 70s. When that disco thing hit, it was rough. All throughout those late 70s we were playing biker parties, fraternity parties, and college campuses.
AM: When Phil Alvin was in the band, were you regularly playing out?
Harman: Yeah, that was the disco period and it was rough. Being in a blues band was awful. Nobody cared. It was a period of time when we played little joints.  J. Geils Band were the only band with a harp player going. Paul Butterfield was barely     working. Charlie Musselwhite was barely working. We all knew each other. It's really a small community.
AM: Gene Taylor I see is on your recent CDs.
Harman: Whenever he is in town, he is on my records. He's on Do Not Disturb, and Two Sides To Every Story' a lot. This year he is busy out with the T-Birds, and the Kim Wilson Band. For my Cards On The Table album' I didn't want that acoustic bass, acoustic piano thing. I wanted Fender bass, Fender guitar, a little harder sound. I like a lot of variety. If you listen to all my albums, they all go from practically nothing to a lot of extra stuff. This album varies from just me and a piano at times to songs with five horns, four back-up singers, two extra guitars, and organ. I may never play any of the songs on it live, I just record what the music calls for and make it sound the best I can.
AM:  Do you cut any songs just one time, one take in the studio?
Harman: On the new album [ Cards On the Table ] THREE WAY PARTY and SPARKS are live just like in a juke joint. They're just like you walked in and a band was     

playing. It's real raw. One or two takes and bang you're done. Other songs on here BLACK UNDER BLACK, WHERE'S MY THING, and I'LL CALL YOU are real big production numbers. They have horn charts written, organ, piano, back-up singers and extra  guitar players.
AM: Well, I'd like to thank you for great music, a great show, and just keep doing what you're doing.
Harman: Well, thank you, it's all I know how to do.   -AM

Prose and Poetry album released on Triple X Records in 1991. The "Side Affects" version bears little resemblance beyond the title to its 1996 counterpart, relying on humor to describe an urban landscape as truckers travel from coast to coast with its rules of the road: keep your petal to the metal and your radar on and don't get caught.
     Dave also recorded an unreleased piano-and-guitar version of the song in 1990 with different lyrics set to a Chuck Berry beat. The 1996 version brought an ominous, moody feel to the song that ends the story on an unresolved note. Of Dave's other new compositions, MISTER LEE serves as a tribute to Lee Allen, the famed saxophonist who died in 1994 and was a member of the Blasters. OUT IN CALIFORNIA, co-written with Tom Russell, is a spirited rocker that would become a staple of Dave's concerts when playing with a band.
    In retrospect,
Interstate City serves as a document of the first lineup of the Guilty Men. By 1998, Solem had departed to be replaced by keyboardist/accordionist Joe Terry. Rick Shea joined as a second guitarist and multi-instrumentalist (mandolin, pedal steel guitar). Their additions expanded the sonic palette of the band.
Interstate City also would start a pattern of live albums and concert DVD releases over the next dozen years, both solo and with other bands. Dave released four more live albums: Out in California and Outtakes in California, both in 2002; The Great American Music Galaxy in 2005; Live From Austin TX on CD and DVD in 2007: and Live at the Great American Music Hall, a DVD, in 2008.
     With the Blasters, he released
Trouble Bound and Going Home in 2002 and 2004, respectively. The latter also was available on DVD with a different track listing. With the Gene Taylor Blues Band, he       released Live!!! 605 Boogie!!! in 2008. Dave also sang on two concert recordings for Tom Russell's The Long Way Around, a career retrospective, in 1997.