Legendary California songwriter and rock-and-roll icon Dave Alvin returns to Davis for the first time in thirty years to perform at this year’s city-wide July 4th celebration.
Born in Downey, CA, Alvin was raised on blues, rockabilly, and vintage country music. Combining the energy of punk rock with an enthusiastic embrace of these classic American sounds, He has become a poet laureate for California’s inland working-class, crafting one of the great California songbooks rivaling Brian Wilson’s seaside pop cannon.
Dave Alvin helped kick-start the American roots-rock scene in the early ’80s with the band The Blasters, and has since earned decades of critical acclaim as a solo performer, songwriter, and producer. He has more than twenty-five albums to his credit, moving easily between the hard-edged roots rock of The Blasters 1980 debut American Music and more introspective acoustic material, including his Grammy winning collection of traditional folk and blues classics from 2000 Public Domain: Songs from the Wild Land.
After leaving The Blasters, Alvin joined the seminal LA punk band X and their rockabilly stepchild The Knitters, both featuring John Doe and Excene Cervenka. His song “Long White Cadillac” was a hit for Dwight Yoakam, and he penned the rock anthem “4th of July” – sure to be heard in Davis on Wednesday.
And it’s been a long time coming. A civic ban was imposed on The Blasters and its members in 1982 after a riot broke out at an over-sold UCD Coffeehouse show. “We were innocent,” Alvin protested, recalling that fated night. “We were just doing our job.” *
In April, 2011 Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza presented Alvin with a formal proclamation absolving him of any wrongdoing and inviting him to play in Davis again. Since then Krovoza and the Davis Live Music Collective have worked hard to make Alvin’s storied return to Davis a reality.
This free, all ages concert will cap a day of entertainment at Community Park provided by generous sponsors. Music will begin at 5:30pm with local rockers Crow Canyon, followed by 12 Mile Blues. Look up to see Skydance Skydiving at 7pm, then traditional drumming from Davis Wakamatsu Taiko Dan. Dave Alvin & the Guilty Ones will take the stage at 8pm, followed by the National Anthem performed by Carla Penner Attallah before the annual fireworks display at 9:30.
* Mark Z. Barabak Los Angeles Times