Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s Dakota signage
Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore Setlist
09/11/2018 Southgate House Revival Newport, KY
09/12/2018 The Ark Ann Arbor, MI
09/14/2018 Black Box Theatre Toronto, ON
09/15/2018 CityFolk Music Festival
09/16/2018 JCC Hart Theatre Rochester, NY
09/25/2018 State Room Salt Lake City, UT
09/27/2018 Aladdin Theater Portland, OR
09/28/2018 Tractor Tavern Seattle, WA
09/29/2018 The Triple Door Seattle, WA
09/30/2018 Imperial Vancouver, BC
11/04/2018 Sellersville Theater 1894 Sellersville, PA
11/13/2018 City Winery Atlanta, GA
11/14/2018 3rd & Lindsley Nashville, TN
11/16/2018 Manship Theatre Baton Rouge, LA
A musical journey from California to Texas, with even a brief stop in South Wales,
Musical kindship was in fine display on a Friday night in downtown Minneapolis as Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore joined forces at the Dakota Jazz Club, in support of their coming together on Downey to Lubbock (Yep Roc Records), an album that not only went to #2 on Billboard’s Heatseekers, but also even topped the blues charts.
Opening the evening was a Chicago transplant originally from Newport, Wales- singer-songwriter Jon Langford, best known for his work with The Mekons and The Waco Brothers. Joined on stage by guitarist Jon Szymanski, Langford provided a welcome opening fifty-minute opening set that drew on his prolific, post-punk/alt-country background, in support of last year’s Four Lost Souls (Bloodshot Records).
Starting with a new song, working in a Waco Brothers number, and the first song he wrote for Bloodshot (‘Over the Cliff’), the strumming was mostly happy but the lyrics were usually biting, some with political commentary (‘Drone Operator’, ‘Snake Behind Glass’), an homage to lost friends (‘Hey! Rockstar’), a Mekons favorite (‘Millionaire’, which riled up the longtime fans), and ending with a Joe Strummer cover, first telling the story that Strummer lived in his native Newport, working as a gravedigger, before moving to London and helping form The Clash.
Though friends for over thirty years but not collaborating until a 2017 acoustic tour, Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore may not seem like a musical match on paper, but from the very first notes of their hundred-five minute headlining set, it seemed like they’d been playing together for decades.
The Americana roots legends- Alvin, of the sometimes brash rocking and rhythm sound of California’s The Blasters ,and Gilmore, the elder Texas twangy, Flatlanders hippie country singer-songwriter came together along their musical commonalities, celebrating that union with a diverse and hopping mix of Delta blues, early rock, and Western swing classics alongside their own originals.
The set began with the new album’s stomping title track, an homage to their respective hometowns and the 1100 miles between them, with Alvin’s face mostly hidden under the brim of his cowboy hat guitar-slinging from stage right, and Gilmore and backing band The Guilty Ones, front and center showcasing their formidable playing skills. “Every night is a treat, and a joy, and a pleasure… and a surprise”, Alvin would comment.
The pair told the story of ‘Silverlake’ and who writer Steve Young really meant the song for, displayed their blues chops on ‘Stealin’ Stealin’, and shone playing the musical personas on the mellow ‘Billy the Kid and Geronimo’. Gilmore growled with glee on 1952’s rocking ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’ the theme of Woody Guthrie’s ‘Deportee’ was (unfortunately) still very appropriate today, and their cover of The Youngbloods’ ‘Get Together’ had people leaving their proper dinner tables and dancing in the aisles.
Band The Guilty Ones were solid all evening, particularly pigtailed guitarist Chris Miller and drummer Lisa Pankratz who impressed with an extended solo on Alvin’s ‘Dry River’ and even is featured in this month issue of Modern Drummer.
For the encore, the duo again played on each other’s musical strengths to take a foray into classic soul, covering Sam Cooke, then following that with a trippy ‘My Mind’s Got a Mind of Its Own’, a song from fellow Flatlander Butch Hancock that bands like Phish have even covered- “one of my theme songs” Gilmore, noted.
Styles shifted again as things turned towards New Orleans on ‘Marie, Marie’, an Alvin-penned song that became more famous covered later by Buckwheat Zydeco and the evening ended full circle with a reprise of ‘Downey to Lubbock’ followed close behind by the traditional ‘Down by the Riverside’, which was also the intro music they walked out to, and whose pacifistic lyrics beseeches us all to “not study war no more”.
The Golden State met the Lone Star State as Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore came together in musical tandem to celebrate their history, influences, and the roads between their destinations; and for a brief evening, those in attendance were ecstatic to be invited along for the ride.
(click on any photo below to enlarge and see full image)
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