“It’s like we’ve been playing together since we were kids,” says Downey, California’s Dave Alvin of his musical partnership with Lubbock, Texas native Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Given their myriad of shared influences and the undeniable chemistry the pair exhibits on ‘Downey To Lubbock’ (June 1/Yep Roc Records), it seems hard to believe they haven’t.
Friends for over three decades, it took Alvin – the founder of seminal punk roots band The Blasters – and Gilmore, of the pioneering country-folk trio The Flatlanders, until last year to collaborate at long last. Embarking on a spontaneous twelve-city tour, the two seasoned veterans of the road found a mutual love of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues, Texas and West Coast Country Music, traditional folk and early Rock n Roll. Their duo sets could effortlessly drift from Merle Haggard to Sam Cooke to the Youngbloods, and the pair had so much fun they began planning a record as soon as the tour wrapped.
The result is ‘Downey To Lubbock,’ a twelve-song collection that takes on a diverse range of American music spanning nearly one hundred years. Along with ten covers, Dave Alvin wrote two originals for the record: the autobiographical title track and the fantastical “Billy The Kid and Geronimo.” The latter sees Alvin and Gilmore trade verses as their folk heroes have a prescient bar room debate on morality, oppression and injustice.
Stream “Billy The Kid and Geronimo” via the LA Times: lat.ms/downeytolubbock
‘Downey To Lubbock’ is available for pre-order everywhere now.
Elsewhere on ‘Downey To Lubbock,’ Alvin and Gilmore explore the musical pipeline between their home states, taking on the work of Texan-Californians Lightnin’ Hopkins, Brownie McGhee and Johnny “Guitar” Watson. Hopkins was a personal favorite of both men during his regular sets at Los Angeles’ Ash Grove in the 1960s. A wholly unique version of “Deportee – Plane Wreck at Los Gatos” breathes new life into a 1940s Woody Guthrie classic that is timelier than ever, while contemporary covers focus on friends of Gilmore and Alvin gone too soon: Steve Young, John Stewart and Chris Gaffney.
Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore will tour together this summer, kicking things off with the following dates:
May 25 – Grass Valley, CA – Strawberry Fest
June 1 – Houston, TX – Heights Theater
June 2 – Austin, TX – Antone’s
June 3 – Dallas, TX – Kessler
June 7 – Philadelphia, PA – World Café Live
June 8 – New York, NY – City Winery
June 9 – Fall River, MA – Narrows Center for the Arts
June 13 – Annapolis, MD – Rams Head
June 14 – Alexandria, DC – Birchmere
June 16 – Turner Falls, MA – Shea Theater
June 17 – Croton on Hudson, NY – Clearwater Fest
June 20 – Buffalo, NY – Sportsmen’s Tavern
June 22 – Columbus, OH – Valley Dale Ballroom
June 23 – Pittsburgh, PA – Club Café
July 21 – Telluride, CO – Americana Music Fest
July 25 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up
July 26 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
July 27 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
July 28 – Santa Cruz, CA – Moe’s Alley
July 29 – Chico, CA – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co
Check davealvin.net for more dates to be added in a town near you.
‘DOWNEY TO LUBBOCK’ TRACKLIST
1. Downey To Lubbock
3. Stealin’, Stealin’
4. July, You’re A Woman
5. Buddy Brown’s Blues
6. The Gardens
7. Get Together
8. K.C. Moan
9. Lawdy Miss Clawdy
10. Billy The Kid and Geronimo
11. Deportee – Plane Wreck At Los Gatos
12. Walk On