Album Review

Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore Offer a Troubadour Travelogue

Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore - Downey To Lubbock

Don't forget the Pleasure Barons!

Nice review, Grant.  As big a fan as I am of both guys, I wasn't so sure about this record on first listen.  Took a few spins to warm up to it (although Downey to Lubbock is immediately cool) but I'm on board now.  I would guess both guys voices are an acquired taste for some people, and I'm not sure harmony is a strength on this record, but singing separately on the same song sure sounds great to me. Dave has done a nice job of switching gears during his career with the various iterations of his backing band, his projects with Phil, mixing in some terrific live records, etc., nice to see this record come about. And that was a nicely done video, thanks for including it.

I don't have the record, but I think I will get it...I am in Jack's camp here...not crazy about their voices together but I like both of them separately well enough...and the video is inspired...

Thanks Grant for your insight. Quite an interesting record. I've been a fan of Dave since I discovered the Blasters by listening to their Testament collection in one of the old Borders listening stations.  I'm still envious of Phil and Dave's teenage experience of hanging out in roots music stores on the dark side of town in a LA-area working class town while their chums were into cars and girls, as well as sneaking into shows at the Ash Grove and driving Big Joe Turner around LA in the middle of the night.  Dave's eclectism shows on the choice of songs including my favorites:  Walk On and Lawdy Miss Clawdy.  Interesting to hear a West Texas country guy singing a New Orleans tune.  Hope they come to Central NC sometime.

  Nice review.

  It doesn't seem like an unlikely pairing to me given Dave's solo debut on through his other discs over the years including "King of California," "West of the West," and "Blackjack David." He's got a great acoustic side that fits well with Jimmie.

They're storytellers, albeit with vastly different roots.

Catch them live if you can. I was lucky enough to host them last fall at my house concert series. 

https://youtu.be/y2OWy7FEeOs

Doesn’t seem like an unlikely pairing to me either. I just don’t think the harmony singing works well.  Singing separately they sound great. Solid song selection as one would expect, solid arrangements very well played.

I feel fortunate to have seen them perform solo acoustic in Seattle. What a great concert! Their stories between songs were as entertaining as the music. Now they are returning to Seattle in September with a full band which I'm sure will be fantastic. Unfortunately I'll be out-of-town so will miss it.

I didn't see anything incongruous about them teaming up. After all Dave has described the Blasters as electric folk music.

After several listens I have enjoyed the disc but does it work or is it more of an interesting Americana artifact from two superstars - if this genre has superstars, Jason Isbell notwithstanding? Would I want a series of albums from Alvin and Gilmore?  No. Would I want them to form a band? No. Sure, I'd love to see them live swapping stories and songs but I don't see/hear this as one of my favorite albums of 2018.