Option - 11-12/96, pp.90-91
"...captures Alvin and his four-piece band the Guilty Men...in top form, moving through a career-spanning set....Alvin has found his own voice in the vast expanse of American folk tradition..."
Dave Alvin And The Guilty Men: Dave Alvin (vocals, electric & acoustic guitars); Rick Solem (vocals, piano); Bobby Lloyd Hicks (vocals, drums); Greg Leisz (electric & lap steel guitars, mandolin); Gregory Boaz (bass).
Additional personnel: Katy Moffatt (vocals); Ted Roddy (harmonica).
Recorded live at the Continental Club, Austin, Texas on May 30 & 31 and June 1, 1996.
Personnel: Dave Alvin (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Rick Solem (vocals, piano); Bobby Lloyd Hicks (vocals, drums); Katy Moffatt (vocals); Greg Leisz (electric guitar, lap steel guitar, mandolin); Ted Roddy (harmonica).
Audio Mixer: James Tuttle .
Recording information: Fabulous Continental Club, Austin, TX (05/30/1996-06/01/1996).
Photographers: Gregory Boaz; Issa Sharp; Brenda Burns Boaz.
Recorded live in Austin, Texas, this is an energetic document of Dave Alvin with his four-piece band, The Guilty Men. Alvin had been working with Men variously for some time and their command of the material is thorough and empathetic. Greg Leisz's lap steel and mandolin and drummer Bobby Lloyd Hick's harmony vocals add breadth and color to Alvin's weary near-baritone. Bass player Gregory Boaz and pianist Rick Solem provide the anchor.
The set rocks, swings and drops to its knees and wails when it needs to. An all-encompassing sense of musical history imbues the playing (a fine nod to "Train Kept A-Rollin'" in "Jubilee Train"), but never reduces it to museum reverence--this music is alive, breathing and looking towards the future. The songs are populated with dust bowl characters and dreamers wanting a better life. While the set was recorded before an appreciative audience, it in no way is merely a souvenir of a tour. This is a strong and compelling work in its own right--a rarity in the genre of live albums.