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Interstate City


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Audio CD, July 30, 1996
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$11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 7 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Biography

It took a near-death experience to reunite Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin, the California brothers at the heart of "roots heroes" (Rolling Stone) The Blasters.

"Phil died and was brought back to life over in Spain," Dave says of his brother's 2012 health scare. "That was a real wakeup call to me. We hadn't made a full album together since 1985, but as you get ... Read more in Amazon's Dave Alvin Store

Visit Amazon's Dave Alvin Store
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Interstate City + King of California + Blackjack David
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 30, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hightone Records
  • ASIN: B0000005RS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,494 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. So Long Baby Goodbye
2. Out In California
3. Interstate City
4. Look Out (It Must Be Love)
5. Intro To Mister Lee/Mister Lee
6. Thirty Dollar Room
7. Dry River
8. Museum Of Heart
9. Waiting For The Hard Times To Go
10. Jubilee Train/Do Re Mi/Promised Land
11. Long White Cadillac
12. The New Florance Avenue Lullaby
13. Romeo's Escape

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Dave Alvin is one of the half-dozen best rock & roll songwriters of the past 15 years, but it wasn't until 1991 that he learned how to sing. Before that, he made one disappointing solo album and otherwise left the singing chores to his big brother Phil in the Blasters or John Doe in X. Since he finally matured as a vocalist--learning to sing within his Dylanesque limitations rather than trying to sound like the Big Joe Turner he'll never be--Alvin has gone back to those earlier songs and redone them, as if to demonstrate how he heard them in his own head when he first wrote them. He redid seven songs on the 1994 studio, acoustic project "King of California," and he gives five more new life on "Interstate City," recorded live with a rocking band at Austin's Continental Club. The Blasters' "Look Out (It Must Be Love)" gets additional lyrics, a new swing arrangement and Katy Moffatt harmonies; the band's tribute to Franklin Roosevelt, "Jubilee Train," is jammed together with Woody Guthrie's "Do Re Mi" and Chuck Berry's "Promised Land" into a long, raucous medley. The new songs include "Out in California," a blues-shuffle cowritten with Tom Russell; the title track, a film noir recitation over moody, slow blues; and "Mister Lee," an exuberant New Orleans tribute to Alvin's mentor, Little Richard's saxophonist Lee Allen. This doesn't quite match Alvin's seismic, undocumented 1991-92 tour with the Skeletons, but it's the next best thing. --Geoffrey Himes

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
What can I say about an album that is simply one of the best?
M. Bowers
I saw Dave and his band perform much of this album when they headlined the 25th anniversary celebration of the Zoo Bar and they were phenomenal.
Steve Vrana
Made even better because it's live, with a band of ace musicians that have that special chemistry playing together.
Patrick Earley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Earley on March 4, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Interstate City is an excellent live album by ex blaster Dave Alvin. It was recorded in the legendary Continental Club in Austin. About a week after I bought this cd, I had the pleasure of catching the Guilty Men live at the cosy Blue Door Club in Oklahoma City. Me, and about 100 other lucky fans got to see one of the best roots rock shows that's passed through this city in ages. Alvin put together a fantastic group of musicians for this album. Especially Rick Solem on piano. He stole the show that night I saw him. And he sounds just as good on this cd. Alvin's choice of songs on here couldn't have been better. Divided between his solo career and the music he did with the Blasters, who were in my opinion, one of America's best roots rock bands. And he also does covers of Woody Guthrie's "Do Re Mi", and Chuck Berry's "Promised Land" as part of a medley to "Jubilee Train". This song alone is worth the price of admission to this great cd. A couple of the other highlights on here are "30 Dollar Room", which is my favorite song by Alvin as a solo artist. And "Long White Cadillac", a scorching version from his Blaster's days. The album ends with a rousing version of "Romeo's Escape", that not only shows off Alvin's guitar prowess, but has a Rick Solem piano solo that has to be heard to be believed. I swear it sounds like this cat plays with 3 hands. Incredible. Interstate City is a memorable cd from start to finish. Made even better because it's live, with a band of ace musicians that have that special chemistry playing together. Highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Highley on June 21, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Anyone who misses those Blasters' Shows from the 80's, (especially those opening with Los Lobos), needs this CD. While Alvin's vocals sometimes make me wish for brother Phil's voice, Dave is up to task on nearly every song. He manages to put enough feeling into his music, one almost feels the emotion he must have put into his words.
The Guilty Men play hard and tight on the Rockers and loosen up on the Folkers, (just made that up). Greg Boaz and Bobby Hicks invite favorable comparison to the Bateman/Bazz team of the early Blasters' days. Ted Roddy adds depth with his harmonica and Katy Moffatt's voice is almost too good for back-up duties, almost.
Listen to the meter, pitch, and rythmn changes in the Jubilee Train, Do Re Mi, Promised Land song arrangement and you begin to see how far Alvin's vocals have come. Mister Lee, a tribute to long time mentor Lee Allen is as moving as it is uplifting, remebering the Saxaphone great's spirit and love of life. Tracks move comfortably between Dave's new folk standards, Florence Avenue Lullaby and Out in California and Blasters' Rockers, Look Out (It Must Be Love). Long White Cadillac, and So Long, Baby, Goodbye. Spend the $15 bucks, you won't be sorry.
Lee Allen Lives!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Erik J. Fortmeyer on June 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
There are only two ways you are looking up a review for a Dave Alvin album. Either you have been introduced to him and the Guilty Men by a ravenous fan or, you are a ravenous fan! Whichever you are, buy this album if you haven't already!!! Live albums tend to only be good if there is good chemistry in a band combined with a crowd that is into it. This disc has both in abundance! There is a mix of Blasters material and Dave Alvin solo stuff that shows what can be done when spit and polish is put onto great raw material. "So Long Baby Goodbye", "Look Out (It Must Be Love)", "Dry River", and "Museum of Heart" are some of the best songs I have ever heard making even the excellent studio originals almost look bad!
The bottom line: Buy this album and prepare yourself for a stomping good time!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
So i finally got my hands on this album after searching too many local music stores. Well worth the wait. This live recording really showcases a phenomenal band. There is variety for all here with influences from blues, rock n roll, rockabilly and soul. The band is well versed in all and switch between styles amazingly well throughout the album. A must have for all. That's all.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Bowers on January 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What can I say about an album that is simply one of the best? If it were a vinyl record, the grooves on my copy would be flat by now. I've seen Dave play live a half a dozen times, and every time has been special. This album brings you as close to capturing the energy of a live Dave Alvin performance as you can get without being there.
And what great songs. Dave tells stories in these songs that are so fully realized that they're cinematic. They don't just leave lasting melodies in your head, they leave images: of a girl gazing at her pale reflection in thick bulletproof glass; of a smoky thirty dollar room, next to the airport; of a cop climbing the stairs to confront a dangerous man.
Only Dave can switch between moody film noir songs to bluesy folk songs to rockin' Cadillac songs with such ease and skill. The Guilty Men provide tight, flawless energy to back him up. I can't recommend this cd enough.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 27, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This may be the album that finlly gets me over the fact that the Blasters have not recorded as a unit since the mid-80s. Dave Alvin and The Guilty Men tear through the songs on this live set like a band possessed. The song list mines his day's with the Blasters and his solo recordings. Standout tracks are "Long White Cadillac" from the former and "Romeo's Escape" from the latter.
My personal favorite is the fusing of one of Dave's best songs with Woody Guthrie and Chuck Berry in the medley "Jubilee Train/Do Re Me/Promised Land" which is a seamless slice of Americana.
I saw Dave and his band perform much of this album when they headlined the 25th anniversary celebration of the Zoo Bar and they were phenomenal. Dave has become one of the country's best story-telling songwriters. This is a great place to find that out for yourself.
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