King of California

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
From the time the Blasters began making waves on the California rock scene, the standard line always was that Dave Alvin was the group's great songwriter and Phil Alvin was the great singer. And when Dave launched his solo career in 1987, he was frequently saddled with the criticism that he wasn't much of a vocalist compared to his brother. While dozens of blues and roots rock performers have built solid careers without singing any better than Dave Alvin, it's true that on Romeo's Escape and Blue Blvd his rough, flinty voice lacked the natural grace and projection of Phil's work with the Blasters. But on 1994's King of California, Alvin recorded a few new songs alongside a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
From the time the Blasters began making waves on the California rock scene, the standard line always was that Dave Alvin was the group's great songwriter and Phil Alvin was the great singer. And when Dave launched his solo career in 1987, he was frequently saddled with the criticism that he wasn't much of a vocalist compared to his brother. While dozens of blues and roots rock performers have built solid careers without singing any better than Dave Alvin, it's true that on Romeo's Escape and Blue Blvd his rough, flinty voice lacked the natural grace and projection of Phil's work with the Blasters. But on 1994's King of California, Alvin recorded a few new songs alongside a stack of classics from his back catalog and some well-chosen covers with a small acoustic combo backing him up. Suddenly freed from having to shout over a high-powered rock band, Alvin proved on this release just how good of a vocalist he really was. While Alvin's natural instrument still shows certain limitations on King of California, when allowed to play with the nooks and crannies of his voice he reveals a subtle but dramatic sense of phrasing and a marvelous feel for the characters he created; he's still no Al Green, but as a musical storyteller he's mighty impressive. Of course, it helps that he has a bunch of superb songs to work with here, including "Barn Burning," "Fourth of July," "Border Radio," and "Little Honey," and that the great Greg Leisz is on hand to anchor the band, produce the sessions, and play marvelous slide guitar. While King of California was often lumped in with the then-fashionable unplugged craze, in retrospect it was the album where Dave Alvin's abilities as a performer began to catch up with his gifts as a songwriter, pointing the way for his later albums Blackjack David and Public Domain.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/1/1994
  • Label: Hightone Records
  • UPC: 012928805421
  • Catalog Number: 8054
  • Sales rank: 56,522

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 King of California (4:51)
  2. 2 Barn Burning (4:01)
  3. 3 Fourth of July (4:35)
  4. 4 Goodbye Again (3:58)
  5. 5 East Texas Blues (4:07)
  6. 6 Every Night About This Time (4:24)
  7. 7 Bus Station (4:04)
  8. 8 Mother Earth (3:39)
  9. 9 Blue Wing (3:43)
  10. 10 Little Honey (5:10)
  11. 11 (I Won't Be) Leaving (5:06)
  12. 12 What Am I Worth (3:20)
  13. 13 Border Radio (3:51)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Dave Alvin Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Steel Guitar, Vocals
Rosie Flores Vocals, Track Performer
Syd Straw Vocals, Track Performer
Bob Clark Percussion, Electric Bass
James Cruce Percussion, Drums, Washboard, Snare Drums
Alan Dereino Electric Bass
Skip Edwards Organ, Accordion
Don Falzone Bass, Acoustic Bass
Bob Glaub Percussion, Electric Bass
James Intveld Bass, Acoustic Bass
David Jackson Accordion
Greg Leisz Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Mandolin, Pedal Steel Guitar, Electric Guitar, Steel Guitar, Slide Guitar, Weissenborn
Donald Lindley Percussion, Drums, Snare Drums, Shaker, Vocal Harmony
Steve VanGelder Fiddle
Jim Wood Harmonica
Alan Deremo Bass, Electric Bass, Fretless Bass Guitar
Jimmie Wood Harmonica
Bobby Lloyd Hicks Percussion, Drums, Snare Drums, Vocal Harmony
Bob Galb Percussion, Electric Bass
Steve Van Celder Fiddle
Technical Credits
Whistlin' Alex Moore Composer
Dave Alvin Arranger, Adaptation
Fats Domino Composer
Paul DuGre Engineer
Greg Leisz Producer
Gavin Lurssen Mastering
Ted Koehler Composer
James V. Monaco Composer
Shelly Heber Director
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Customer Reviews

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    Posted February 22, 2009

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