Dave Alvin has played Houston in all sorts of configurations for the past 30 years, from his days with the Blasters to his original Dave Alvin Band with Hollywood Fats to his Merle Haggard tribute days with pals Tom Russell and Peter Case. But most of the time he traveled with the Guilty Men, his longtime band that included Chris Gaffney, Rick Shea, Joe Terry, Gregory Boaz and Bobby Lloyd Hicks. But with Gaffney's passing last year, Alvin has put together a new all-female band dubbed the Guilty Women. The Austinite-studded lineup is stellar: Lisa Pankratz, Nina Gerber, Cindy Cashdollar, Christy McWilson, Laurie Lewis, Amy Farris and Sarah Brown. The Guilty Women's eponymous new album finds Alvin in a different roots groove than he's ever been in before. In fact, it opens with his oft-recorded "Marie, Marie" and may be the most natural-sounding version of Alvin's signature song yet. Alvin sounds loose and easy, and his band of virtuoso players and vocalists gives us an entirely new vision and conception of what his music can be. And if you never thought you'd hear an ex-Blaster sing "Que Sera Sera," well, you'd best be there.
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