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Alvin, a guilty man and a guilty woman at the Geomatic Attic

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Two guitars, one guilty man, one guilty woman, and a lot of roots-rock mayhem with a touch of blues and folk. That’s what people checking out Dave Alvin at the Geomatic Attic, March 22 will experience.
“There’s been all girl pop bands  like  the Go Gos and all girl punk bands like Sleeter-Kinney and all girl bluegrass combinations, but there’s never been an all girl roots rock band, well other than me,” said Alvin over the phone, eating lunch en route to two weekend gigs in Calgary.Dave Alvin and some guilty women will play the Geomatic Attic on Monday, March 22.

“So when people  see it, it’s so muscular and powerful. It’s just amazing , the looks on their faces.  Especially on the women, they say ‘we could be doing this,’” Alvin enthused adding he won’t be bringing all of the guilty women, which includes some of Austin’s best female performers ( Cindy Cashdollar on steel and lap steel guitar, Weissenborn; electric guitarist Nina Gerber; violinist Laurie Lewis, bassist Sarah Brown; drummer Lisa Pankratz or violinist Amy Farris who passed away last year. But he will be bringing Guilty Woman vocalist  Christy McWilson who used to play in ’90s grunge band  the Picketts and Chris Miller from  Alvin’s Guilty Men band.
“It’s a lot more looser but we all know how to play. I’ll be playing  music from throughout my career,”  Alvin said.

“The CD was recorded based on an acoustic guitar and my voice, but live, it’s all electric,” he said. He is a true road warrior, having just got off the road with the complete Guilty Women band before embarking on this more stripped down tour.

He used to be in early ’80s roots rock band the Blasters, but parted ways with them in 1986.
“I grew up with those guys. We did a reunion tour in 2003-2004 all over Canada and the U.S. and Europe. But we’ve got other projects and also we fight and I try to avoid that,” he said adding he left the the Blasters about the same time the guitarist left X, leaving him an opening.
“It was synchronistic. Their guitarist left X in 1986 in New York about the same time I quit the Blasters in Montreal. And I played in kind of a novelty band with their singer Exene called the Knitters, kind of a punk country band. So I joined X (for a year and a half). It was quite different because that is all eighth notes. As far as solos, I just played the same  blues licks and Chuck Berry licks I played with the Blasters. So I learned 32 songs in two weeks,” he reminisced adding he is looking forward to making his Lethbridge debut.

“I’ve driven through there, but never played there, so when this gig came up, I said ‘I’ve got to do this. I can’t wait,” he continued raving about the beautiful drive up Highway 93 from Spokane through the Rocky Mountains.
“It’s the most beautiful drive I’ve ever been on. I’ve never gone through the Rockies that way though,” he said.
The show begins at 8 p.m., March 22 at the Geomatic Attic. Tickets are $35 for members, $37.50 for non-members and $40 at the door.

— by Richard Amery, L.A Beat editor
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