Dave Alvin & His Guilty Men
Friday, July 2
Dave Alvin rose to national prominence as leader of the Blasters, one of the most acclaimed and beloved American groups in recent memory. He’s now on tour behind his most recent solo album, Ashgrove. The tour will stop at Birdy’s on Friday.
NUVO: This album takes a different path for you, doesn’t it?
ALVIN: The past couple studio records have been mainly acoustic and people said, “Why don’t you do both?” This one is more electric, but the songs dictate how they sound.
NUVO: Some of the hard-core Blasters fans have had quarrels with your solo work, haven’t they?
ALVIN: When I first went solo, it was different than what they expected. But over the years, some of ’em have come back to the fold. It was rough at times. I always believed, and still do, that there’s an audience for this type of music. I didn’t think I was abnormal to like this stuff. The only drawback is you have to go on the road nonstop to promote it. I sure didn’t think when I started that 24 years later, I’d still be on an interstate highway.
NUVO: How do you draw from your backlog of material to choose the live set?
ALVIN: It ain’t easy. It depends on the venue. If I’m doing an acoustic venue, I pull out certain songs. If it’s a bar, I pick other songs. My attitude is, “If I wrote it, I’ll play it.” When you’re playing live, all your old songs are brand new again.