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West Of The West

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iTunes Review

For West of the West, Dave Alvin paid tribute to his personal canon of California songwriters, both known and unknown. California’s history has shaped Alvin’s work since the start of his career. Since so much of the state’s culture is hidden (or rather, obscured by stereotypes), Alvin does a great service by highlighting fairly unknown songwriters like Jim Ringer (“Tramps and Hawkers”), John Stewart (“California Bloodlines”), and Blackie Farrell (“Sonora’s Death Row”). He also repositions Tom Waits, John Fogerty, and Merle Haggard, songwriters who aren't often identified as Californians but whose work is deeply tied to local traditions and landscapes. There's an air of fellowship to this album; Alvin plays the songs as a brother of the people who wrote them, not because he puts himself in their class of talent but because he shares with them an origin story. Even as he gently reforms songs by giants like Jackson Browne, Jerry Garcia, and Brian Wilson, the most personal rendition is of “I Am Bewildered,” written by unsung Los Angeles R&B performer Richard Berry, who was Alvin’s first musical idol.

Customer Reviews

the gentle side of the wild west

Terry Gross just interviewed this dude Dave Alvin on her Fresh Air show (6/2006)...very cool tunes covered, lush voice...definitely worth a listen.

West of the West

Dave Alvin has chosen some of the finest California-grown songs for this labum. Great covers !!

Dave Alvin West of West

Dave Alvin has always been a great writer and performer. Ever since "The Blaster" Dave Alvin has shown a great feel for rock and roll and the blues. A great story teller, he has written many great songs about life and it's troubled times. This collection covers many different artist's music done in Alvins own style. If you like his past work you will enjoy this album.


Born: 1955 in Downey, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Dave Alvin helped to kick-start the American roots rock scene in the early '80s with the band the Blasters, and has since gone on to a career as a solo performer, songwriter, producer, and sideman that's been as well respected as it is eclectic. Born in Downey, California in 1955, Alvin was raised by a family of music fans, and as teenagers Dave and his older brother Phil immersed themselves in blues, rockabilly, and vintage country sounds, collecting rare records and attending nightclub performances...
Full Bio