Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin + The Guilty Ones
As kids together the Alvin brothers—Dave and Phil—loved the blues, and would travel to the big smoke to see blues legends Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, and T-Bone Walker. That love of the blues inspired them, and they became the backbone of the legendary roots-rockabilly-R&B band the Blasters, a group that, along with Slash Records label mates X and Los Lobos, shook the L.A. punk scene in the early ‘80s. Phil’s raspy, blues-shouting lead vocals went perfectly with the retro rockers penned by brother Dave who also twanged it up on lead guitar.
In the great tradition of siblings in the entertainment biz, the two had a falling out. Dave stayed with music, playing with a variety of L.A. bands before settling in solo as a critically acclaimed singer songwriter, fronting his band The Guilty Men. Phil left for the world of academia (he’s a math prof with a degree in artificial intelligence). But eventually the bonds of brotherhood and a passion for the blues drew them back together. Their first reunion recording was a collection of Big Bill Broonzy songs, then another blues-soaked LP.
About their musical reunion after three decades apart, Dave Alvin says, “You get to a certain age and you realize you’re not immortal, so what the hell; let’s make a little music together. Let’s go back to our common ground, the blues.”