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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!”

Texas singer/songwriter Jimmie Dale Gilmore creates a unique style of music—some call it “progressive alternative country” and “Americana”—that blends a lifelong interest in esoteric philosophy, literature, psychology, and spirituality with elements of country, folk, pop, blues, and rock music. Three of Jimmie’s CDs, Spinning Around the Sun, Braver New World, and Come on Back, have received Grammy nominations. Along with Joe Ely and Butch Hancock, Gilmore’s legendary band The Flatlanders has been credited as fathers of the Alt-country movement.   

Gilmore was born in Amarillo, spent his formative years in Lubbock and makes his home now in the Texas Hill Country west of Austin.  In addition to his work as a solo recording artist and performer, Jimmie tours, writes and records songs with Dave Alvin (and the Guilty Ones) and The Flatlanders, leading songwriting workshops at the Omega Institute and appearing in movies such as the Big Lebowski, Parkland and The Thing Called Love. 

Jimmie and his son Colin have been singing and playing together for many years now. Colin recently joined the newly formed West Texas Exiles (so named because the members hail from Lubbock, Amarillo and El Paso) and when the band tried their hand backing Jimmie at Willie Nelson's Luck Reunion Festival, the experience felt natural and powerful, like a time-honored tradition was being kept alive. Jimmie Dale Gilmore and the West Texas Exiles have plans to tour together in Texas and California this year. 

There’s Texas, and then there’s West Texas. Nobody knows that better than the newly formed West Texas Exiles. Love of music and a restlessness to escape their hometowns brought them together in Austin. With a new and a few singles under their belts, they nonetheless have a deep catalog among the 3 singers/songwriters: Marco Gutierrez (Dirty River Boys), Daniel Davis, and Colin Gilmore; backed by bassist / producer Eric Harrison and drummer Trinidad Leal (Dixie Witch, Honky). With influences like The Flatlanders and Buddy Holly, they are reinvigorating the music scene with a modern interpretation of the lone star vernacular. Grounded in rhythmic and lyrical honesty, the Exile sound is the vastness of the West Texas sky and the energy of a world where nothing stands still.

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.

For almost five decades, KPFT 90.1, as an independent community radio station, has been Houston’s home
for independent music, news and public affairs programming.To celebrate the station’s 49 th birthday, KPFT will present a special birthday benefit concert at The Heights Theater. Proceeds from ticket sales will help provide much-needed support for KPFT.

Featured performers include:
– Ruthie Foster – Award-winning singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster can burn down any stage with her
combustible blend of soul, blues, rock, folk and gospel. A phenomenal performer, Foster has been
compared to Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin.
– Jimmie Dale Gilmore has been writing and playing songs for more than 50 years, with music that
blends folk, rock, country, blues and bluegrass. In addition to his critically acclaimed solo work, his
career features noteworthy collaborations with the Flatlanders, Dave Alvin, and many more.
– Rosie Flores – In a career spanning more than four decades, Rosie Flores has proved to be a musical
chameleon, from punk rock to country, alt-country, straight-up rock, rockabilly, and, with her latest
album, A Simple Case of the Blues.
– Charlie Faye and the Fayettes craft smart soul-pop that merges the swinging, swaying sound of the
‘60s girl groups with a vibe that’s so current, they’re dancing to the forefront of the retro-revival
movement.
– The Peterson Brothers combine youthful energy and modern influences with old-school blues, soul
and funk to a create a sound that is uniquely their own. Their live shows feature not-to-be-missed
jam-band inspirations.

And be sure to get to The Heights Theater early – GenerAsian Radio will be in the house laying down a great set of
world beats to kick things off!

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
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.