Dave Alvin And The Guilty Women Dave Alvin And The Guilty Women

Dave Alvin is a genuine, if rather unsung, hero of the whole Americana sound, from his work in groundbreaking '80s roots rockers the Blasters through a now lengthy solo body of work. He gets in touch with his feminine side here, assembling an all-female band (including legendary pianist Marcia Ball) to back him up on this album. That may sound a little gimmicky but there's no denying the musical and vocal skills of his Guilty Women. Three of them (Christy McWilson, Sarah Brown and Amy Farris) also contribute to the songwriting, and Alvin also covers numbers from Kate Wolf and Tim Hardin. "Don't Make Promises" is an epic (over six minutes) duet by Alvin and McWilson, and she sings a convincing lead on "Weight Of The World." Blasters classic "Marie Marie" is given a spirited accordion, fiddle and steel guitar-led facelift, while "Boss Of The Blues" shows the versatile Alvin has a knack for the blues too. The album is closed out by a fun Cajun meets boogie-woogie remake of the classic "Que Sera, Sera." Alvin's comfortingly resonant voice is in fine form throughout, and we pronounce the man (and his women) guilty of another fine addition to an ace catalogue. (Yep Roc)