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Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore

When Grammy winner Dave Alvin and Grammy nominee Jimmie Dale Gilmore made the album Downey To Lubbock together in 2018, they wrote the title track as a sort of mission statement. “I know someday this old highway’s gonna come to an end,” Alvin sings near the song’s conclusion. Gilmore answers: “But I know when it does you’re going to be my friend.”

Six years later, they’re serving notice that the old highway hasn’t ended yet. “We’re still standing, no matter what you might hear,” they sing on “We’re Still Here,” the final track to their new album Texicali. Due out Jun 21, 2024 on Yep Roc Records, Texicali continues to bridge the distance between the two troubadours’ respective home bases of California (Alvin) and Texas
(Gilmore).

The album’s geographic theme reflects Alvin’s repeated journeys to record in Central Texas with Gilmore and the Austin-based backing band that has toured with the duo for the past few years. The 11 songs on Texicali also connect the duo’s shared fondness for a broad range of American music forms. On their own, both have been prominent artists for decades. A philosophical songwriter with a captivating, almost mystical voice, Gilmore co-founded influential Lubbock group the Flatlanders in the early 1970s. Alvin first drew attention as a firebrand guitarist and budding young songwriter with Los Angeles roots-rockers the Blasters in the early 1980s.

Gilmore is primarily known for left-of-center country music, while Alvin’s compass points largely toward old-school blues. But there’s a lot of ground to cover beyond those foundations, and both artists also are well-known for transcending genre limitations. So it’s not surprising that they’ve spiked Texicali with cosmic folk narratives, deep R&B grooves and even swinging reggae rhythms. “There’s such a strange variety through the whole thing,” Gilmore says. “And I love that.”

They’re both quick to credit the musicians who joined them in the studio as crucial to the sound and spirit of the album. On Downey To Lubbock, they recorded primarily in Los Angeles with a crew that included ringers such as the late Don Heffington on drums and Van Dyke Parks on accordion. This time, though, Alvin’s longtime rhythm section of drummer Lisa Pankratz and bassist Brad Fordham played a larger role, along with guitarist Chris Miller and keyboardist Bukka Allen. “After the time we spent touring, Jimmie and I became members of this band,” Alvin says. “The band can play just about anything, which the album shows off.”

Texicali also found Alvin and Gilmore increasingly focusing on original songs. Among them are “Trying To Be Free,” which Gilmore wrote more than 50 years ago; “Southwest Chief,” a collaboration between Alvin and the late Bill Morrissey; and “Death of the Last Stripper,” which Alvin wrote with Terry Allen and his wife Jo Harvey Allen.

Just as important, however, are the choices they made for non-original material. The covers on Texicali include “Roll Around” by Gilmore’s longtime friend Butch Hancock; “Broke Down Engine” and “Betty And Dupree” from blues greats Blind Willie McTell and Brownie McGhee, respectively; and Stonewall Jackson’s “That’s Why I’m Walking,” which marries Gilmore’s country croon to a New Orleans R&B arrangement. Gilmore says he loves New Orleans music, “but it’s not the music I play.” Dave slyly counters: “It is now!”

The Third Mind ft. Dave Alvin
“I had a crazy idea and was looking for musicians who perhaps didn’t think it was so insane”. – Dave Alvin
Starting four years ago as a wishful music fantasy, this California based Supergroup, The Third Mind, has now become a powerful and thrilling sonic reality.
The brainchild of GRAMMY award-winning guitarist Dave Alvin and veteran alternative music bassist Victor Krummenacher (Camper Van Beethoven, Monks of Doom, Eyelids), they present the stage debut of this psychedelic improv project The Third Mind with singer Jesse Sykes (Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter), drummer Michael Jerome (Better Than Ezra, Richard Thompson, John Cale) with guest guitarist Mark Karan (Bob Weir’s Ratdog, Phil Lesh, Delaney Bramlett). 
“It’s a captivating, often enthralling voyage as these trippy, somewhat hallucinogenic songs get pulled like taffy; stretching, lengthening, and allowing this assemblage the leeway to explore instrumental nuances that shape-shift them into new, perhaps better, surely more experimental versions of themselves. –American Songwriter

Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Roots music legends, Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, have been friends for 30 years, but only recently realized they had never played music with each other before.  So in 2017, Grammy winner Alvin and Grammy nominee Gilmore decided to hit the highway to swap songs, tell stories, and share their life experiences.

Though Texas born Gilmore was twice named Country Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone, and California native Alvin first came to fame in the hard rocking rhythm and blues band The Blasters, they discovered that their musical roots in old blues and folk music are exactly the same.  In these spontaneous shows, audiences enjoyed classic original compositions from the two, and also songs from a wide spectrum of songwriters and styles – from Merle Haggard to Sam Cooke to the Young Bloods.  Mutually energized and inspired by these performances, Dave and Jimmie agreed to hit the road again… this time with a full band, an album, Downey to Lubbock and some new stories to share.

Roots music legends, Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, have been friends for 30 years, but only recently realized they had never played music with each other before. So in 2017, Grammy winner Alvin and Grammy nominee Gilmore, decided to hit the highway to swap songs, tell stories, and share their life experiences.

Though Texas born Gilmore was twice named Country Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone, and California native Alvin first came to fame in the hard rocking rhythm and blues band The Blasters, they discovered that their musical roots in old blues and folk music are exactly the same. In these spontaneous shows, audiences enjoyed classic original compositions from the two, and also songs from a wide spectrum of songwriters and styles from Merle Haggard to Sam Cooke to the Young Bloods. Mutually energized and inspired by these performances, Dave and Jimmie agreed to hit the road again …..this time with a full band, an album, Downey to Lubbock and some new stories to share.

Roots music legends, Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, have been friends for 30 years, but only recently realized they had never played music with each other before.  So in 2017, Grammy winner Alvin and Grammy nominee Gilmore, decided to hit the highway to swap songs, tell stories, and share their life experiences. 

Though Texas born Gilmore was twice named Country Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone, and California native Alvin first came to fame in the hard rocking rhythm and blues band The Blasters, they discovered that their musical roots in old blues and folk music are exactly the same.  In these spontaneous shows, audiences enjoyed classic original compositions from the two, and also songs from a wide spectrum of songwriters and styles – from Merle Haggard to Sam Cooke to the Young Bloods.  Mutually energized and inspired by these performances, Dave and Jimmie agreed to hit the road again in 2018…

this time with a full band and some new stories to share.

Dave Alvin, Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and self-described “barroom guitarist,” is widely considered to be one of the pivotal founders of the current Americana music scene. A fourth generation Californian, Dave Alvin grew up in Downey, California as the local landscape quickly evolved from orange groves and dairy farms to tract homes and freeways.

 

Since forming the highly influential roots rock/R+B band The Blasters, with his brother Phil in 1979, and throughout his long and critically acclaimed solo career, Dave Alvin has mixed his varied musical and literary influences into his own unique, updated version of traditional American music. Combining elements of blues, folk, R+B, rockabilly, Bakersfield country and garage rock and roll with lyrical inspiration from local writers and poets like Raymond Chandler, Gerald Locklin and Charles Bukowski, Alvin says that his songs are “just like California. A big, messy melting pot.”

 

Dave Alvin’s songs have been recorded by a who’s who of contemporary roots artists from Los Lobos, Little Milton, Robert Earl Keen, Marshal Crenshaw and Joe Ely to Dwight Yoakam, James McMurtry, Buckwheat Zydeco, Alejandro Escovedo and X. His songs have also been featured in many movies and television shows including Justified, The Sopranos, True Blood, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Crybaby, Miss Congeniality and From Dusk To Dawn.

Dave Alvin
Dave Alvin is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, music producer, band leader and poet. He is a former and founding member of the roots rock band the Blasters. Alvin has recorded and performed as a solo artist since the late 1980s, and has had stints with the bands X and the Knitters.  He has released twelve solo albums and two collaborative albums with his brother Phil.  Dave won a Grammy Award in the year 2000 for Best Contemporary Folk album for ‘Public Domain:  Songs From The Wild Land’.  He received a Grammy nomination in 2014 for ‘Common Ground’ in the Best Blues Album category. 

Jimmie Dale Gilmore
With his warm, warbling tenor voice and folksy, friendly approach to both his music and his audiences,

Jimmie Dale Gilmore is an easy guy to like.

His music is a rich blend of traditional country, folk, blues, and rock styles, and his lyrics reflect both his philosophical interests and his inherent down-home nature. Since moving to Austin, TX, and reviving his career in the 1980s, Gilmore has in many ways come to represent the current Austin music scene — its rootsy mix of country, rock, and folk music — the way Willie Nelson once reigned as king of the town's cosmic cowboys in the 1970s.

Gilmore's roots go back to Tulia, a small West Texas town where his father played lead guitar in a country band. When Gilmore was in grade school the family moved to Lubbock, a Panhandle town known for being the starting point for a surprising number of musicians (including Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, Terry Allen, and Gilmore's onetime singing partners Butch Hancock and Joe Ely). Growing up in Lubbock, Gilmore met Hancock when they were both 12, and they remained friends and frequent musical collaborators ever since. Gilmore later met Allen, who he says inspired him to write his own songs. One of the first songs Gilmore wrote, in fact — when he was around 20 — was "Treat Me Like a Saturday Night," which is today one of his most enduring pieces. Later, another casual friend of Gilmore's, Ely, turned him on to the music of Townes Van Zandt, which Gilmore says was a revelation for the way Van Zandt integrated the worlds of folk and country music.

Gilmore and Ely began playing music together around Lubbock as the T. Nickel House Band. Later, after a brief stint in Austin, Gilmore hooked up again back in Lubbock with Ely and Hancock and formed the Flatlanders, a now-legendary band that also included Steve Wesson, Tony Pearson, and several peripheral members. The group recorded an album in Nashville in 1972, but it was only ever released at the time on eight-track tape. (Long a collector's item, it was finally re-released by Rounder Records in 1990 under the title More a Legend Than a Band). A mix of acoustic folk, string-band country, and country blues, the album included another of Gilmore's best-known songs, "Dallas," which was actually released as a promo single at the time but generated little interest. By the end of the year the band had split up.

Gilmore moved to Denver, playing music only as a hobby. Ely, meanwhile, had won a record contract and had recorded some of Gilmore's songs. In 1980, Gilmore moved back to Austin, where he began playing regular gigs in local clubs. Finally, in 1988, Gilmore released his debut solo album, Fair and Square, on HighTone, Ely's label at the time. This and his 1989 follow-up, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, featured songs by Gilmore as well as Hancock and Ely played in a more straightforward honky tonk style than anything Gilmore had done previously or since. These two albums gained Gilmore newfound acclaim just as Austin itself was becoming a musical hot spot again. In 1990, the Flatlanders album was re-released, and Virgin Australia put out Two Roads, a duet album with Hancock that was recorded live during the pair's Australian tour. Gilmore was soon signed to Elektra, which released After Awhile in 1991 as part of the label's American Explorer series. The album retained a country feeling but was less honky tonk in nature, and it attracted Gilmore even more acclaim. Nashville showed little interest in Gilmore's brand of country music, but he earned the praise of many critics. His next album, Spinning Around the Sun, came out in 1993 and again featured a mix of contemporary and traditional country-flavored songs and a fuller instrumental sound fronted by Gilmore's rich, warm voice. In 1996 he released Braver Newer World, produced by T-Bone Burnett, but the big news for Gilmore's fans came in 1998, when he reunited with Joe Ely and Butch Hancock to record a new Flatlanders track for the soundtrack of the motion picture The Horse Whisperer. While Gilmore stayed busy with his own music, releasing One Endless Night in early 2000, the Flatlanders began periodically touring together again, and they finally got around to cutting a second album in 2002, Now Again, with a third set, Wheels of Fortune, following in 2004. (That same year, tapes from an old Flatlanders gig were given commercial release under the title Live '72.) Gilmore returned to solo duties in 2005 with Come On Back, an album of classic honky tonk and folk songs Jimmie Dale recorded to honor the passing of his father; Joe Ely produced and played on the project.