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Out in California Live

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Audio CD, Live, May 21, 2002
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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
for 33 albums, 12 photos, videos, and 3 full streaming songs.

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Out in California + Interstate City
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 21, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Hightone Records
  • ASIN: B000065DVN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,055 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Out In California
2. Highway 99
3. Abilene
4. 4th of July
5. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down
6. Little Honey/Who Do You Love?
7. Blue Blvd.
8. Andersonville
9. Haley's Comet
10. Wanda and Duane
11. All 'Round Man
12. American Music

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Out in California -+ Haley's Comet -+ Little Honey/Who Do You Love? -+ Abilene -+ Don't Let Your Deal Go Down -+ Highway 99 -+ Andersonville -+ All 'Round Man -+ Blue Blvd. -+ Wanda and Duane -+ 4th of July -+ American Music -+ Evertthing's Gonna Be Alright


Though Dave Alvin's reputation rests with his songwriting, the dynamism of this live recording puts the pedal to the metal and leaves the studio versions of much of this material in the dust. Highlights range from a nine-minute medley of Alvin's "Little Honey" and Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love" to the honky-tonk country of "Highway 99" to the raucous celebration of "American Music" that has been Alvin's anthem since his days with the Blasters. Not since Creedence's John Fogerty has a roots rocker mined such a rich vein of Americana, though material such as "Haley's Comet," "Blue Boulevard," and "Wanda and Duane" find Alvin's hard-bitten lyricism growing increasingly dark as it matures. While his half-spoken, half-sung vocals lack the nuance of the best of his songwriting, a killer band featuring drummer Bobby Lloyd Hicks and keyboardist Joe Terry provides propulsive support for his stinging guitar. --Don McLeese

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 1, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Dave Alvin has released only two studio albums since his last live album (1996's equally enjoyable Interstate City), but Alvin said in a local newspaper interview before an Omaha appearance that his favorite thing to do is to play before a live audience. "There are things that happen when we play live--intense musical things that are just about impossible to capture in the studio for whatever reason."
This live album is full of raw energy and touches all the bases of Alvin's career to date. There are songs from his days with The Blasters ("Little Honey," "American Music"), X ("Fourth of July"), and his solo career through 2000's Grammy-winning Public Domain (a seven-minute version of "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down"). Alvin performs four songs from 1991's Blue Blvd: "Andersonville," "Blue Boulevard," "Wanda and Duane" and "Haley's Comet," the latter a touching portrait of fleeting fame. The title refers to Bill Haley, but the song's theme is universal. Alvin's world-weary voice is perfectly suited to these songs and the Guilty Men provide excellent support, including his long-time rhythm section of bassist Gregory Boaz and drummer Bobby Lloyd Hicks who have been with Alvin since his last live album. [Note: "Out In California" is the only track repeated between the two live albums.]
Alvin rounds out the album with some rock chestnuts (Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love") and obscure R&B (the slighlty racy "All 'Round Man"). An unlisted bonus track is an abbreviated version of "Free Bird," which some joker requests but Alvin takes up as a challenge ("You think we don't know it?" he asks. "You think we can't play it?
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By david favrot on May 27, 2002
Format: Audio CD
in a just universe, we'd already be a little tired of dave alvin and the guilty men: the stadium shows, the pepsi commercials, the halftime gigs at the nba finals... but it's not a just universe, and dave and the lads are playing bars and clubs like the venues at which this live set was taped. the music is a gumbo of rockabilly, r & b, country and folk. the band kicks back for a fiddle-flavored "abilene," but it also channels chuck berry as it tears through "american music." this release is rowdier than "interstate city," alvin's previous live album, and the arrangements are busier, but it's all good.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on July 25, 2002
Format: Audio CD
As a full-time road warrior, it's no surprise that Alvin's confluence of music, philosophy and work ethic is captured so vividly on these live recordings. Steeped in rock, blues, folk, and country, Alvin's decidedly non-Hollywood California viewpoint is born from the grit of a working man's life, and fueled by the endless miles in between countless road gigs.
These thirteen titles are drawn from Alvin's earliest work with the Blasters and X, solo albums (including a generous helping from his 1991 debut), recent public domain recordings, and a newly penned saga, "Highway 99." Highlights include "Blue Boulevard," Alvin's riveting homage to an influential, music-loving cousin, and a smokin' piano and guitar-driven cover of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love." An acoustic cover of Bo Carter's "All 'Round Man" and an electric stab at Little Walter's "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" show off two sides of Alvin's blues. Grace notes invoke Link Wray, Bruce Channel, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Whether fronting the Guilty Men in electric club performances, or a smaller acoustic group at a Pasadena church, Alvin puts across his lyrics with incredible conviction. The spontaneity of live performance reveals additional details of his songs, as if their studio incarnations were drawn as maps to the road ahead.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By N. Banche on May 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
My first thoughts on the opening notes of this CD were, "Only the most confident musicians would open a show with the sound of tuning instruments"! "How can they get away with that"? "Are they really that good"? THEY ARE! The songs found here aren't about California dreaming. This isn't Hotel California! It is a culmination of many things found on the road in California, as the dream fades and reality sets in. Hot asphalt, cold beer, little diners, love, loss, dysfunctional relationships, and hope. Not one song on this CD was cleverly thought up by a song writer staring out the window of a luxury tour bus. Dave drives his own van. He lived them before he wrote them. The title track will lift you right off your feet with smokin guitar, and lyrics that compare California mountains to a woman lying naked on a bed. Haley's Comet is also a rocker, but a sad story all the same. The idea that an original American Rock n Roll hero could be forgotten to the point he's not even recognizable. Little Honey is a classic Blasters tune reformatted with guitar licks that will make the listener hang on every note; Mr. Thorogood included. Abilene is the story of too many girls who run away to California, only to end up alone in Hollywood. Don't let your deal go down offers a glimpse into one of the tougher drinking establishments several hundred years ago. Highway 99 is the type of straight ahead country that used to come out of Bakersfield, and actually get played. This is a great song, but it does sound an awful lot like Out in California. With the exception of All around Man, which is a fun loving blues romp full of sexual inuendo, the songs are very much grounded in the hard realities of life.Read more ›
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