November 11: Dave Alvin is 59 – Happy Birthday

dave alvin
I started writing poetry before I started writing songs. In my checkered college past I was a creative writing major at Long Beach State University, which had a great writing program, and that’s where I learned all the nuts and bolts that helped me out in songwriting. They forced us to write in traditional forms — sonnets, iambic pentameter — just so we could understand that writing wasn’t just splaying free verse all over the page. But then the more songs I wrote using all those poetic forms, the more my poetry become like prose, almost to the point of journalism…

~Dave Alvin (Interview by Jim Catalano)


The Blasters – American Music (Live at Farm Aid 1985):

From Wikipedia:

Born November 11, 1955 (age 59)
Origin Downey, California, United States
Genres Alternative country, roots rock,folk, blues, rockabilly, punk
Instruments Electric guitar, acoustic guitar,vocals
Years active 1980–present
Labels Rhino, Yep Roc
Associated acts The Blasters
The Knitters
The Flesh Eaters

Dave Alvin (born November 11, 1955, in Downey, California), is a Grammy award winning guitarist, singer and songwriter and a proponent of Americana music. He is a former member of The Blasters, X, and The Knitters.

..and I’m seeing him and his brother Phil in Oslo this Thursday, really looking forward to it!

Dave_Alvin_Eleven_Eleven (1)

From (Mark Deming):
Dave Alvin helped to kick-start the American roots rock scene in the early ’80s with the band the Blasters, and has since gone on to a career as a solo performer, songwriter, producer, and sideman that’s been as well respected as it is eclectic. Born in Downey, California in 1955, Alvin was raised by a family of music fans, and as teenagers Dave and his older brother Phil immersed themselves in blues, rockabilly, and vintage country sounds, collecting rare records and attending nightclub performances by the likes of T-Bone Walker, Big Joe Turner, and Lee Allen. Like many fans, the Alvin brothers wanted to play music influenced by the sounds they loved, and in 1979 they formed the Blasters with fellow Downey residentsBill Bateman and John Bazz. Combining the revved-up energy of punk rock with an enthusiastic embrace of classic American sounds, the Blasters became a sensation in Los Angeles and won an enthusiastic cult following across the United States and Europe. However, the Blasters were unable to translate their critical respect and enthusiastic fan base into mainstream success, and in 1986 Dave left the band. Phil Alvin continued to front various lineups of the Blasters, and in 2002 Dave joined forces with Phil, Bill Bateman, and John Bazz for a short series of Blasters reunion shows. 

Dave Alvin & The Guilty Ones “Harlan County Line”:

Album of the day: Eleven Eleven (2011):

dave alvin eleven-eleven

Mark Deming again:
Dave Alvin summed up his work as well as anyone could when he quipped, “There are two types of folk music: quiet folk music and loud folk music. I play both.” Alvin shows off his skill on both sides of the volume divide on 2011’s Eleven Eleven, where he reaffirms his status as one of the best and most distinctive American songwriters alive. There are few artists who can match Alvin’s gift for creating vivid characters and bringing their lives to life through music, and Eleven Eleven finds him near the top of his game as a tunesmith, while also showing off his estimable skills as a guitarist. Whether he’s digging into the dirty details of Johnny Ace’s death in 1954, embodying a man who may kill a powerful politician for money, focusing his powers of seduction on one woman in a dirty nightgown, or swapping stories of an old friend’s adventures on both sides of the law, Alvin’s lyrics give the people he sings about depth and detail, and they’re crafted with the skill of a talented novelist.
…

– Egil & Hallgeir

2 thoughts on “November 11: Dave Alvin is 59 – Happy Birthday”

  1. Thanks for giving recognition to Dave Alvin, a great artist!! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him a few times before & after his shows in the Midwest USA. The last time I met him I gave him a coffee table sized book about the history of the steel mills in Gary, IN. The location of the show was only a short drive from that part of Indiana & of course his latest solo album has a great song about the history of Gary, IN & it’s industrial glory days.

    He was very gracious & we had a very nice chat about the history of the decline of the American steel industry that once gave very high paying jobs to thousands of Americans & immigrants to the US in the late 1800s & early 1900s.

    He has a great poetry book from the early 90s that is long out of print, but I suggest you read if you can ever find it.

    I ‘m sure you’ll enjoy seeing him in your home country!

    1. Thanks for the interesting story and information, now I look even more forward hearing/seeing him live.

      Again, thank you, we appreciate your comment

      – Hallgeir

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