Customer Reviews: The Great American Music Galaxy
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VINE VOICEon August 15, 2006
As it was for another reviewer, Great American Music Galaxy kind of slipped between the cracks for me. Though I have purchased most other Dave Alvin CDs, for some reason I didn't remember that this had been issued until I was perusing the listings here for anything I might have missed. And had I not read the reviews and discovered that it was not a recording along the lines of Rod Stewart's smarmy Great American Songbook, I really would have been missing something great.

I am usually leery about live albums, oft-times they are issued just to generate some income and to keep an artist's name before the public while he/she struggles with something new. Additionally, the quality of a live concert recording is often far inferior to a studio recording. Not so with Great American Music Galaxy. On this CD, Alvin and his Guilty Men give their all. There is a generous dash of rockabilly, a dollop of country, and a taste of the blues but mostly there is a massive tidal wave of high-energy rock and roll.

I like the whole CD, but the standout song is an absolutely blistering delivery of the very dark Out of Control. What a song! After that, my favorite cuts are the hard-rocking Ashgrove and Alvin's sinister tale of misguided and obsessive love, Mary Brown.

If you have not heard Dave Alvin live, you are in for a treat here. Great American Music Galaxy is probably very different from what you might expect. I strongly recommend getting this while its still around.
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on August 16, 2006
I had the tremendous fortune of actually attending the Great American Music Hall performance that partly appears on this album. This disk captures the energy and excellent musicianship that Alvin and his band regularly bring to their live performances. For example, terrific songs from the "Ashgrove" album such as "Out of Control" are further elevated, while older songs from the Blasters, like "Trouble Bound," sound better than ever. My only regret is that it's not a double-set.
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on January 3, 2016
This is one of the best live albums I've ever heard. Dave's guitar work on here is mind-boggling, it makes you realize how modest he is with his playing on studio albums. The highlights include a bluesy, sped up, electric version of Dry River, the Johnny Cash-meets-the-blues version of Mary Brown, an incendiary version of Ashgrove, and Out of Control which stands as one of my all time favorite live performances I've ever heard.
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on September 25, 2006
Alvin's is a great songwriter and his stuff really cooks live. It had better, since this is his fourth live album in the last decade (sixth if you count the two Blasters reunion albums). It follows "Interstate City," "Out in California," and the web-only "Outtakes in California." Still, it is always a treat to hear dave open up his songs with searing guitar solos and first-rate backing by the Guilty Men.
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on May 21, 2006
In reading the liner notes, Dave Alvin states that they didn't intend to record a live disk, but as they continued to tour it became evident this band was so damn good they just had to. Have to agree. Dave Alvin has always been a first rate guitarist, but these are some of the best solos he's ever put on record, just blistering. Good selection of cuts from the underated 'Ashgrove' cd. If your a fan of DA, do not hesitate to buy this disk, you won't be disappointed!
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on July 16, 2006
This one just kind of slipped through the cracks. I haven't seen it at any major Cd stores. I bought it at a swap meet without hearing it but based slowly on Alvin's reputation. Geez, it really cooks from the beginning to the end. One great song after another, and the band chugging along with Alvin. If you like rock and roll and good old American roots music, you'll love this CD. Alvin is getting better as he getrs older.
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on February 1, 2015
I own ALL of Dave Alvin's studio CDs and all but one of his live CDs and this one, while being ok, simply does not do it for me. For those who give this 5-stars; How many stars does Interstate City get if you give this 5-stars? A dozen stars? Because, Interstate City is a far better performance by the man and his band.
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on October 19, 2009
I bought this CD after seeing a youtube clip of Dave and the Guilty Men playing "Out of Control". How I stumbled across it, I don't know. But it simply blew me away. The dynamics, the lyrics, his powerful and expressive voice, and the ferocious abandon of the solos was simply amazing. That song just penetrated me. So I bought the CD.

I have some Blasters music and love it, so I thought I knew what Dave was about. I didn't have a clue. An amazing songwriter, dynamic frontman, wonderful storyteller, and someone who writes songs in such a way that the scars and fears and hurts we all have are exposed, and somehow that makes me feel better and more connected. To borrow the Blasters reference, this truly is "American music" at its best. I'm not much of a country fan, but this has some country with some blues and some good old fashioned roots rock, woven together seamlessly. The band is tight, and every song is very good. Another standout for me, other than "Out of Control", is "Ashgrove". But they're all good.

One of the few CDs I've ever bought that drew me in so completely that it reminded me of what music is capable of doing, and inspired me. Beautifully passionate, real, gritty yet polished music. Couldn't recommend it more.

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on June 25, 2016
I love DA!
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on December 26, 2012
Heard so much about him but was disa ppointed with this. Their is music and there is noise and this was the latter.I know he has done far better
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