Both with roots-rockers The Blasters and as a solo artist, Dave Alvin has mined the rich seam of American music. Blues, rock, folk and country — it’s all grist for Alvin’s immeasurable talents, and albums like last year’s Big Bill Broonzy tribute Common Ground (recorded with brother Phil) show that the singer, songwriter and guitarist has one foot in the past and his eyes on the horizon.
Live In Long Beach 1997 captures a show where Alvin is joined by friends like Billy Boy Arnold, Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown and Joe Louis Walker.
Although Alvin’s solo set displays understated charms — especially his reading of Long White Cadillac — it’s when his guests jump in that things sizzle.
Brown fiddles the house down on Hank Williams’ Jambalaya while a jam with Walker and Arnold on Long Beach Blues is worth the cost of admission alone./o:p