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SLCene Suggests: Dave and Phil Alvin at The State Room

by on August 20, 2014


DAVE AND PHIL ALVIN, THE STATE ROOM, Friday, June 22, 9 p.m., $25

To a whole generation of old punk rockers and roots-rock fans, Dave and Phil Alvin are living legends.  The brothers formed a band called The Blasters back in 1979. Along with fellow Southern California bands like X and Los Lobos, The Blasters helped forge a style of music that had all the edge of the punk rock popular at the time, but remained rooted in traditional blues and old time rock and roll. The Blasters released a few albums through the early 80s, earning critical acclaim and an increasingly large audience. Like many bands featuring brothers, though, Dave and Phil Alvin couldn’t get along well enough to sustain their musical partnership. Dave left The Blasters in the mid-’80s to embark on a successful solo career that continues to this day. And Phil Alvin continued on leading the Blasters.

Earlier this summer Dave and Phil Alvin released their first album-length collaboration in nearly 30 years, and it’s a passion project for the brothers, who both sing and play some mean guitar. It’s a collection of songs by blues man Big Bill Broonzy, who the Alvins have been fans of since they were kids and Phil brought home a record of Broonzy’s music for them to share. The album is called Common Ground: Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy. It’s a long title, but the set breezes by in 12 songs drawn from Broonzy’s long career. The Alvins will be joined by members of Dave Alvin’s regular band, the Guilty Ones. The Far West opens the show.


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