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Common Ground: Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy

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iTunes Review

It took a near-death experience for brothers Dave and Phil Alvin to reconcile and record an entire album together for the first time since The Blasters’ Hard Line album in 1985. Older brother Phil had to be revived after losing his pulse in 2012. The brothers soon put aside their issues and went back to the music of bluesman Big Bill Broonzy, who’d been a big part of their lives ever since Phil brought home his first Broonzy album in the early ‘60s. Common Ground works through Broonzy’s 30-year career, with songs that show the various styles and moods that the bluesman brought to his country blues. Blasters pianist Gene Taylor joins the sessions, along with members of Dave’s band—drummer Lisa Pankratz and bassist Brad Fordham—on certain tracks, with bassist Bob Glaub and drummer Don Heffington assisting on other tracks. The guitar work is, naturally, stunning throughout. Vocals are shared, with Phil being the more expressive singer and Dave providing a dark, throaty counterbalance like the reaper himself on tunes such as “Southern Flood Blues,” “Key to the Highway," and “You’ve Changed.”

Customer Reviews

Fabulous roots rock!

Dave & Phil are a great team here. They take Big Bill's songs and present them in virtually every style of American roots music and excel at them all. Might be the album of the year so far in '14. Very solid value.

(Original) Blasters Fans Shouldn’t Miss This

If you were one of the fortunate people who saw the Original Blasters back in the early 1980s (I saw them four times), then you know how powerful are, as the review above says, the “complementary talents” of Dave and Phil Alvin. This is a first rate recording of some great songs by two passionate practitioners of American roots music. I really cannot stress enough, in our benighted era, what a breath of classic and fresh air at once this recording provides. Extremely highly recommended.

Together Again!!!

I got hooked on The Blasters early on. I was fortunate to see them twice. Then one night a friend of mine and I wandered into a CD release party on Hollywood Blvd for
one of Dave’s solo CD’s. Since then I’ll blindly buy anything by Dave & Phil Alvin. But this one just might be their best piece of work, alone or together, yet. Great vocals by Phil, Dave’s world-class guitar and let’s not forget the tunes, courtesy of Big Bill. It’s one of the best CD’s I’ve bought in ages

Common Ground: Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy, Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin
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Customer Ratings