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On March 28, 1994 I interviewed Phil Alvin on a variety of topics including: his upcoming solo album, the new Blaster album, other current musical projects, and what he has been doing in the period of time since he last recorded in 1986. In this issue, part 1 of the interview will cover Phil's solo album which is tentatively scheduled for release in late May '94. In the next issue of American Music, Phil will finish out the interview discussing the new Blasters album to be released at the end of the summer.

AMERICAN MUSIC: You mentioned in past interviews that you haven't made any records since 1986 for various reasons. For the benefit of the fans who have not been informed, tell us some of those reasons both professionally and personally.
PHIL ALVIN: When David (Alvin) left the Blasters, it was important to me to establish that, with as great a contribution as David's songs are to any band, including the Blasters, cause he's such a high level song writer, that the sound of the Blasters had not a great deal to do with David. The first time that David had ever played in a band was with the Blasters and all these sounds had been being put down by me and the guys that I had been playing with for 15 years before that. My intention was to then make a very fast record with the Blasters but first - I don't like to have bands that haven't played with each other, so we went out and we played immediately once David left. Hollywood Fats got the Gig and we went out on the road to develop the style with Fats in the band. In December of '86, we were planning to start to make a record, then Fats died. David

have to work. If you have four beats you can take a long time to phrase stuff. Now, music has a tradition of four beats, it's difficult to sell horn bands to youthful, energetic people. Two beats is what its gotta be, I don't need to hear Frank Sinatra doing a Tommy Dorsey arrangement. I will not have it - if I can do anything about it.
The money from this solo record will help in getting some charts up, which is what Joey and I are doing for an L.A. jazz band that we call the Faultline Syncopators. Were gonna play two-beat music to dig it into your ground. So far, we just had our first rehearsal the other day with Fayard Nicholas, other than that everybody has been meeting at the gig and just doing a great job under those conditions. This is a side project that I hope to do for the rest of my life.
AM: Are they going to be on the album?
PHIL ALVIN: Oh yeah. The Faultline Syncopators are doing a Fayard Nicholas tune called LOW DOWN RHYTHM. They're also gonna play on 2 of the Harlem numbers.
AM: With all you have accomplished musically, do you have any other aspirations for the future?
PHIL ALVIN: Well with all my sympathies, originally Sunra and I were to be on this record, our intention was to get kids from colleges, good players and link them up with some of the older players and more experienced players to make sure that two-beat music was handed down properly. If you look at history, you'll find that there are certain parts of art that are lost, things that have not been passed down generation by generation. To me the greatest musicians that ever existed as ensemble players are the Harlem bands like Fletcher Henderson's band,  Ellington, Mills Rhythm Band, and even some of the Chicago bands. People do not know how to play like that anymore and its getting to the point that those who do know how to play like that are dieing off. So, to begin with - one project that will be ongoing with me is the Faultline Syncopators. I will make sure that, to the best of my ability, this style is not lost. -AM


Phil Alvin's latest project is one that he feels will consume a part of him at all times for the rest of his life. It is bringing into prominence 'Hot Jazz.' This two- beat music, as he calls it, can be heard on the new Phil Alvin solo album on HighTone records called County Fair 2000. Phil has assembled a talent- filled band called the Faultline Syncopators which have been charting music and playing gigs at "The Derby" in L.A. The band includes Bob Ringwald, the famous Jazz pianist. Phil Alvin holds him in high regard, "There is a very large traditional Jazz festival that occurs in Sacramento each year and Bob Ringwald was one of the guys instrumental in defining a style. He has a band called 'The Great Pacific Jazz Band' and for 20 years has carried on the tradition, and is one of the last of the two- beat Jazz players." Virtuoso clarinetist John Bambridge, who formed the Jack Teagarden Band and was also an arranger/musician in Doc Severson's Tonight Show Orchestra is a Syncopator player. The other half of the Blasters Alvin/Intveld songwriting team - James Intveld is on lead guitar. James is also playing wooden bass and sharing vocals with Phil Alvin. The Faultline Syncopators are more than just an outlet for Jazz music, it is a platform for introducing to young musicians, the elements of an American Music that risks falling past arms length of the next generation.


Priority records has released two rockabilly compilation CDs with Blaster tracks: 1. Classic Rock Wild Vol. 3  has AMERICAN MUSIC on it. 2. Classic Rock American Music vol. 4 has MARIE MARIE. Slash records has re-released two CD's relating to the Blasters. The Knitters Poor Little Critter in the Road from 1985, a folk/country side project Dave Alvin did with members of the band 'X'. Also available is A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die from 1981 by the Flesheaters, also with Dave Alvin on guitar.

Dave Alvin On The Road

FROM THE EDITOR: The response of Blaster fans to this newsletter has been incredible, its great to see the Blasters are still on the minds of so many American Music listeners. Because of  the cost of printing and postage there is now a subscription fee, but it is minimal. We would like to welcome all the new subscribers who will be coming aboard via the newsletters mention on Phil's solo album. We may not have a slickly printed publication though we could if we wanted to. But most importantly, you are able to recieve the most updated information as witnessed here in an issue released April 15 with a Phil Alvin exclusive interview conducted only 2 and a half weeks ago. Because of the quantity of new information in this issue, I've postponed the discography and Blastory part 2 which was to appear in this issue. Next Issue: Part 2 of The Phil Alvin Interview on the new Blaster album and Blaster Discography. - AM

Here is an old Magazine I found based on Long Island NY with a rare Blasters interview.     > > > > > > > >