Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore – TexiCali (Yep Roc)

Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore reunite after their 2018 Down To Lubbock album and this time they are in TexiCali.

Well, Gilmore is from Texas and Alvin is from California, so it all makes sense, especially once you hear them together.

These days, Dave Alvin, the Blaster, is 68 and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, the Flatlander, is 79 and as they like to remind us one the rollicking final track, We’re Still Here.

So, what does Flatlander meets Blaster V2 sound like?

Like two old friends having a good ol’ time.

The 11 tracks are a mix of originals, covers, old songs reimagined with old friends being remembered.

One of those friends is Alan Wilson, the late, rather tragic man, known as Blind Owl, who co-founded Canned Heat and is a member of the dreaded “27” club.

Alvin pays tribute to Wilson with a song called Blind Owl that sits in the middle of this collection cooking along with that classic Canned Heat boogie beat.  The band behind him (Chris Miller: electric slide guitar, Lisa Pankratz: drums, Brad Fordham: electric bass, Bukka Allen: piano) sizzle and Gilmore blows a mean harp as Alvin lets loose with one of his many blistering guitar solos. Blind Owl would be proud.

Needless to say, there’s not a duff track in the lot so allow me to point out a few more highlights.

Jimmie Dale’s distinctive, weather-worn voice gets us started with his old song, Borderline, originally recorded back in ’96 and sounding as fresh as ever now.

I’m also liking Death Of The Last Stripper, an Alvin original, with a sad, sad story. Dave and Jimmie trade lines and hold back their tears as they sing, “We’re the only ones in the world who even know she died”.

The album take a more upbeat turn (how could it not) as it reached for the goal line with a cover of Stonewall Jackson’s Why I’m Walking made to make your feet move. Dave plays more killer guitar on Josh White’s Down The 285 and the triumphant We’re Still Here wraps things up nicely.

“I’ve been boppin’ these blues for over 40 years”, sings Alvin.

Here’s to 40 more.

Marty Duda