Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women


A first-rate songwriter and guitarist, Dave Alvin was a pioneer of the Americana movement as a member of the Blasters before launching a solo career that continues exploring all manner of roots, from jump blues to folk to rockabilly. Alvin's latest Guilty Women project emerged from tragedy: the death of Chris Gaffney, his best friend, and key member of his Guilty Men band. Not ready to reassemble the G-Men without Gaffney, Alvin made a festival appearance with a septet of women who share his rootsy inclinations: Cindy Cashdollar, Nina Gerber, Laurie Lewis, Christy McWilson, Sarah Brown, Amy Farris, and Lisa Pankratz. The performance was so successful that the band headed almost directly into the studio to record Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women, released last year by Yep Roc on the same day as Man of Somebody's Dreams, an Alvin-produced all-star tribute to ace songwriter and accordionist Gaffney. With Alvin sticking to acoustic guitars, Guilty Women isn't as ferocious as some of his work. But Gerber picks up the electric chores, while Cashdollar's superb steel guitar and the dual fiddles of Lewis and Farris define a sound that's often more sublime that sweaty, but rocks all the same. Meanwhile, Alvin's more reflective vocals blend nicely with McWilson's. This won't be a full-fledged Guilty Women outing, but Alvin, Cashdollar, and McWilson should adeptly handle things themselves. (Image by Todd Wolfson)
Fri., Aug. 27, 8 p.m., 2010

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