City Winery - New York City February 16, 2010
God bless you Dave Alvin you rockin' troubadour you!!
It was great to see a strong turn out for the under-rated Dave Alvin on a crappy Tuesday with competition from Mardi Gras parties, etc. The place wasn't completely packed but it was a much better crowd than I expected. Shit, I almost blew it off as I would have only been out $25 on the ticket and I either wanted to chill out with my family or check out the Mardi Gras jam at BB Kings featuring George Porter, Jr and Henry Butler (!!!!). Damn I hate missing Henry, especially in a funk/rock combo but Dave Alvin made it worth it.
Anyway, last night was the beginning of a short acoustic tour featuring Dave and two of the ladies from his Guilty Women band: the incomparable Cindy Cashdollar (on steel guitar, Dobro, and some other electric thing) and Christy McWilson (on vocals).
The running joke of the evening had to do with Dave saying that most people start their tours in Birmingham Alabama suggesting that there was no pressure and if you messed up it didn't matter. He said they were doing it in reverse, starting in New York and finishing in Birmingham. So every time they would mess up, Dave would say "just wait for Birmingham". It was pretty funny.
The music was incredible of course. Dave has such a great rock and roll voice and is a soulful and nuanced guitar player. He had some nice acoustic jams and some really great interplay with Cindy Cashdollar especially on Abilene and the Tim Hardin song Don't Make Promises. He played a good portion of the Guilty Women album including Downey Girl and Potter's Field. It was a fairly loose affair, spontaneous and fun.
Other stand-outs from the show included the opener Long White Cadillac, Halley's Comet, Ashgrove (great acoustic blues riffs), Dry River, Poor Man's Dream, 4th of July, and Kate Wolf's Here in California.
If the tour comes your way, very much worth seeing even if you aren't a Dave Alvin freak like me.
A quick note on the venue, City Winery…as much as I hate being crammed into those little tables, at least people are there to listen to the music. It’s like Joe’s Pub in that regard. People pay attention and don’t talk. Besides a few shout outs from the audience between songs and cheering after songs, every body was silent.
Thanks for the review.
I love Dave Alvin! I saw him in a little club a month or two ago in a setting much like what you describe. In this acoustic set-up he does show off his voice and his character, but of course seeing him electric & rocking is always best.
Dave Alvin is a classic American rocker and it's great to see him getting some love!
I caught Dave and some of the Guilty Women, too! Great show!
Thanks Grady. Too bad the tour didn't come to Boston.
Underated is right. Not many who can get you in a nice acoustic groove, then grab the Strat and rip it up.