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In This Issue: Dave's Grammy, James Intveld's Big band, and Dave's spoken word recordings.


Dave Alvin Gets Off The Interstate Just Long Enough To Win A Grammy     
by Billy Davis


James Intveld Swingin' with his big band

(furniture ad from Philadelphia Courier-Post newspaper, 10-22-00)


an unpublished work in progress BY DAVE ALVIN

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Dave Alvin Old Town School Of Folk Music - Sheffield Garden Walk , Chicago, Illinois 10/14/00    by Jay Faler

There were two Old Town shows, one at 7:30 and one at 10:00. I went to the late one, figuring the band might be more relaxed if they didn’t have to worry about the clock and a set finish time. It was a phenomenal show. They actually played more from BlackJack David than from Public Domain which kind of surprised me. They played the following songs:
Blackjack David
Out in California
California Snow
Blue Wing
New Highway
Railroad Bill
Walk Right In
What Did The Deep Sea Say
Fourth Of July
Long White Cadillac
King Of California
Goin’ Back To San Antone
Honky Tonk
Marie Marie
The crowd was very enthusiastic throughout (I went with a girl who had never seen Dave before and she loved it). Joe Terry and Brantley Kearns took most of the solos during the show and they were regularly applauded each time they finished. Rick Shea took a more supportive role and stayed more in the background than the other two guys but when he stepped up for a solo he was well received also (he was especially good on Fourth Of July).
Everything was played very well, so picking out the highlights is kind of tough. From the main set, I liked BJD, CALIFORNIA SNOW, BLUE WING, the four Public Domain songs and FOURTH OF JULY the best. I’m not sure if it’s fair to say that sixty percent of the set to be “The Best” but what can I say? It was awesome.
For the encores Dave asked for requests and of course got a dozen song titles yelled at him. When there was a break in the shouting, I called for 1968 and I got it! Dave said he rarely plays a place with a balcony, so he had to honor the request from the balcony (he laughed when I told him after the show that I was on the floor and I must have thrown my voice!). It was great to hear that one. Next, he brought out Chris Gaffney who sang the Doug Sahm song GOIN’ BACK TO SAN ANTONE and then HONKY TONK. The latter song must have lasted 10 minutes, and it really turned the place over. After yielding most of the guitar solos to Rick all night, Dave finally stepped forward and took an acoustic solo and it was just phenomenal. Everyone onstage took turns singing the chorus (“Honky Tonk all night long.”) and the crowd took the last turning singing it. It was a rousing performance and I didn’t think they would be able to top it, but they did on the next song. Dave had Chris Gaffney move over to accordion and invited Robbie Fulks (who opened the show with a well received set of his own) and they played a great Cajun-style MARIE MARIE to finish things off. It was the best version of the song I have ever heard from Dave and it generated a final round of raucous applause.
In closing I have to tell you a story that Robbie Fulks told to introduce his SCRAPPLE song (the song is about how people in Pennsylvania will eat just about anything.)  So Robbie explains, “A guy writes me from Pennsylvania   and asks me if I want to play in his living room. I said, “Well maybe sometime if I’m passing through your area.” I quoted him a super high price, “So cough that up and I’m there.” So about two days later my agent calls and says there’s a job for me to do in Philadelphia and he asked did I happen to know of anything in between Philly and Cleveland that I could do. I said, “Yes,” and wrote back to the guy and said, “You’re in luck. I’m coming to play in your living room if you’re willing to pay that exorbitant amount of money.” He said, “Fine.”
Potentially it’s not weird because people do living room shows and house parties all the time. They invite 50 friends and charge 5 or 10 dollars a head and you play songs posing intimate.
I rolled up there on a rainy Sunday afternoon in the middle of nowhere and I see there are no people. There is just this guy who wrote to me, his friend (he and his friend split the cost. They paid like $900 a piece), the guy’s mother, his wife and his two little kids running around in the background.
So, I’m playing songs like “Every kind of music but country” and the two guys are sitting there in chairs, really into it – tapping their feett. They are so happy to have me in their living room. But off in the back, his mom and his wife are staring angrily at me from the kitchen. To them, I was this weirdo over the Internet who deprived their son and his friend of all this money that they had saved up. So, it was a very tense kind of dynamic.
After my first set, his Mom says, “Okay Robbie. We enjoyed listening to your country music. So now come and enjoy our onion sandwiches (laughs).  Now, I’m a totally optimistic guy, but onion sandwiches? It might be good? I picked up this little finger sandwich and as I’m biting into it, his Mom says, “You know the trick is that we take the sharp edge off the onions by marinating it in Miracle Whip for 48 hours in advance.” I said, “Ahhhh!”  I bravely swallowed it, said, “Thank you very much,” but it was one of the most grotesque and weird things that I have ever experienced.”  Ahh, that’s showbiz    --Jay
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