Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Interview: Dave Alvin, musician

On his recently released album, West of the West, roots rocker Dave Alvin covers a collection of songs written by other famed California songwriters including; Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), Jackson Browne, Merle Haggard, Tom Waits, and others. Recently Dave phoned in to discuss his new album.

RG: Another album of covers?

DA: I am a real strict writer for my albums: my solo career is pretty intense. So [Public Domain and West of the West] are like vacations for me. That and getting to play with other bands like the Knitters.

RG: How did you go about picking the songs?

DA: I went ferreting. So many great songwriters live out here. Some guys, like Captain Beefheart, can’t be done so we eliminated them right away. Diane Warren’s a pop singer so I knew that wasn’t going to work either. I wanted artists with a roots background: songwriters that are close and had a direct affect on me as a songwriter. I also knew I had to be able to sing their song…like Jackson Browne’s, ‘Redneck Friend.’

RG: Of the thirteen tracks I know most of the writers but who is Jim Ringer? (Ringer’s track, ‘Tramps and Hawkers’ is included on the album.)

DA: You mean who was Jim Ringer. Jim passed away in the late ‘80’s. Along with Kate Wolf, Jim Ringer kept the folk music flame alive during the musical drought known as the 1970’s. Tom Waits was one of the people I talked to when I was putting together this album. Waits was the doorman at a club in San Diego where Ringer would play. Waits’ track, ‘Blind Love’ also appears on the album.

RG: The song, ‘Sonora’s Death Row’ is by Kevin ‘Blackie’ Farrell. What can you tell me about Blackie Ferrell?

DA: Well he’s still alive! Ha. My producer Greg Leisz grew up with Ferrell and knew him when Asleep At the Wheel began as a Bay Area band. Ferrell is a bit of a Cowboy Poet and worked with Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen and Michael Martin ‘Wildfire’ Murphy.

RG: I hear you’re in the radio business now too.

DA: Yeah. I have a show in production for XM satellite radio. It will only be one hour a month

RG: Why?
DA: Why not?

RG: I see you’re going to be playing this area in late June; including Lincoln’s final July Jamm.
DA: Yes. We are touring quite a bit these days. We’ll be playing songs from the new album as well as some of the older material too. Fans will be pleased.

RG: Aren’t they always?
DA: You’d be surprised.

RG: So this project reminds me of Lyle Lovett’s, Step Inside This House.’

DA: Yes, I had that in mind but I’ve actually been thinking about doing this album for some time. The turning point was when K.D. Lang released her album where she covers songs by famous Canadian songwriters; Neil Young, Joni Mitchell. I have to add this, nic that most of those songs she chose were written when these artists were living in California.

RG: So how does the new label treat you?

DA: I love it. Glenn and Tor are both looking out toward 2015. They both began as musicians so they know you can’t play Denver the day after playing Nashville. They have a passion to work with great music. It’s real nice.

RG: Have you always been a songwriter?

DA: When I was 13 or 14 I wrote a song for Big Joe Turner. I was so excited. I said “Big Joe, I wrote a song for you.” Joe said, “Let’s hear it,” but I couldn’t remember it. “Must not be much of a song if you can’t remember it” he said. And he was right. So these days I walk around the house for weeks singing a song before I’ll record it. I want to make sure I like it before I ask someone else to listen to it.

Other songwriters on the album include Jerry Garcia with Robert Hunter, John Fogerty from Credence Clearwater Revival, David Hildago (Los Lobos), soul singer Richard Berry, and John Stewart.

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