Eleven Eleven

Dave Alvin is steeped in Americana – not just the genre but a deep river of American myth that keeps giving him characters to write about. Former guitarist for roots heroes the Blasters, Alvin fills his 11th album with small towns, highways and losers we imagine he’s encountered on countless tours. Though Alvin has often switched between electric and acoustic, almost everything here is plugged in – above all Alvin, an underrecognized guitar hero. Two songs are addictive: the tear-jerker "Black Rose of Texas" and "Johnny Ace Is Dead," a tragicomedy powered by Steve Mugalian's backbeat and Alvinss burning Strat.

Listen to Eleven Eleven:

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From The Archives Issue 1134: July 7, 2011