HOME SOUNDcheck GOhear GOview GOread GOplaces DOmore


  » Contact Us
  » Advertise With Us

  » Classifieds
  » Newspaper Ads

Dave Alvin at The Ark, 3 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

» See more SOUND CHECK

"King of California" was not Dave Alvin's first solo album. That was "Romeo's Escape," which came seven years earlier in 1987.

But this year Alvin is celebrating "King of California's" 25th anniversary as pivotal moment in his career. Though the Blasters guitarist had done some acoustic singer-songwriter work on his three previous solo albums, it was "King...," produced by Greg Leisz that took Alvin fully in that direction and opened a new lane for him to work in even as he continued to strap on his electric guitar and rave it up.

Alvin is celebrating the album's silver anniversary this year with a new, expanded edition of "King..." as well as concerts where he's playing the 13-song set in its entirety...

• Looking back at "King...," Alvin, 63, says by phone that, "In hindsight I was trying to really establish myself as a singer-songwriter rather than being the loud, mid-level guitar player who jumps around onstage like a goofball," Alvin recalls. "I wanted people to think, 'Here's a guy that can write OK songs,' so it was kind of like my first singer-songwriter record, I suppose. I think some people were surprised."

• Nevertheless, "King..." won rave reviews and opened Alvin's audience beyond the Blasters' rock crowd. “One of the reasons I left the Blasters was when you're in a band, the band decides what a song sounds like and that can sometimes be a plus and sometimes be a minus," he says. "I wanted to let the song decide what it was going to sound like and follow that. King of California was where I decided that the songs from now on will rule the decision-making."

• The "King..." celebration comes in front of a couple of other projects Alvin has in the works. Alvin is continuing to work with the reunited Flesheaters, an all-star band out of Los Angeles, while he and Jimmie Dale Gilmore plan to make a follow-up to their 2018 collaboration "Down To Lubbock." Alvin has also recorded "this weird record" with members of Counting Crows, Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker and Richard Thompson's band that he expects to have out "fairly soon." "It's the total opposite of 'King of California.' It's sort of folk rock, but it's like folk rock for everybody that smokes weed and took LSD -- for lack of a better term it's psychedelic. It would sound great on a co-bill with Quicksilver Messenger Service at the Avalon Ballroom in 1966. It's really fun, and I've always wanted to make a record like that."

Dave Alvin performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 13 at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Dead Rock West opens. $30. 734-761-1800 or theark.org

Web Site: www.theark.org

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


GO & DO Michigan, an Entertainment Portal
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written permission of the copyright holder.

© Copyright MediaNews Group, Inc. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Arbitration