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Interview:
Dave and Phil Alvin at the Magic Bag -- Three things to know
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Though Dave and Phil Alvin have had their moments -- both in their band the Blasters and other endeavors -- they're hardly battling brothers akin to rock 'n' roll peers such as the Kinks' Davies and Oasis' Gallaghers.

And since the 2014 release of "Common Ground" and the launch of their touring duo act, things have been positively copacetic between the two of them.

The Alvins -- who releaed another album, "Lost Time," in 2015 -- are doing another go-round this year, both with a full band and in a more stripped down acoustic format. The arrangement clearly has legs, and we checked in with Dave Alvin about what's working so well, and what the future is likely to bring...

Any push and pull between the two of them, which led to Dave leaving the Blasters in 1986, seems long gone. "It's always fun, and it's always slightly goofy," says Alvin, 60, who was also a short-term member of X and the Knitters. "It's just kind of become more second nature. It's extremely organic and extremely casual -- all the things it wasn't 30 years ago. This is all pretty easygoing. The actual touring part -- the travel and the truckstop food and the motel rooms -- that doesn't get easier for anybody out here. But the actual playing part, that's a breeze."

The Alvins may not fill arenas or stadiums, but they have built a particularly strong bond with the fans who come to see them play. "The thing I get addicted to is the extension between the audience and the musician, and where you can go from that," Alvin says. "When you're playing weird music like we play, music that's somewhat out of the mainstream -- it's not Katy Perry or One Direction, right? -- the audience tends to have a closer bond to the artist. There's an aspect of community to it, and I love that."

Alvin expects the brothers will record a third album together "at some point here." But unlike the previous two, which covered some of their favorite American roots music, he predicts the next set "will be a little different, maybe. Both albums we did were -- again, using that word -- organic. They were just like, 'OK, here's these songs and songwriters we've loved. We've always played 'em but we've never recorded them, so let's do that.' Whatever happens next, it'll probably be original songs, but it'll have that same vibe of organic."

Dave and Phil Alvin

Friday, Sept. 9. Doors open at 8 p.m.

The Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.

Tickets are $25.

Call 248-544-1991 or visit themagicbag.com.




Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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