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Dave Alvin, lucky music survivor

  • Dave Alvin is a Grammy award-winning guitarist, singer-songwriter and a proponent of Americana (music). He is a former member of The Blasters, X, and The Knitters.BETH HERZHAFT

Dave Alvin is talking about how the music business has changed over the years when he arrives at a cautionary stopping point:

"If I had a kid, I would not let them do this," he said.

There's a deep pause.

Really?

"No. Hell no," he added. "Unless they were really, really good."

Like Dave Alvin. And really, really good at living on the road.

For a 58-year-old singer-songwriter who calls touring his religion, he's been devout for more than 30 years.

It started way back in 1979 when he and his brother Phil formed the Blasters, now considered a seminal 1980s rock band that could dive windward into punk and leeward into the blues and rockabilly at any moment. He would later do a brief stint with the punk band X, then splinter off into country and folk with the Knitters, then go on to collaborations with the Flesh Eaters and Gun Club.

His solo work these days is filled with the late-night poetry of motels and diners, counted out with loping blues and rock riffs that linger.

Or, as he put it, "I always consider myself as living on the outskirts of pop-music town. I'm way out in the trailer park and that's where people like me live."


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