Roots rockers of the '80s did more than their part to confuse the hell out of record executives and radio programmers, as this fine track from Alvin's 1987 solo debut, titled Romeo's Escape for its U.S. release, clearly attests. Marketed as a country music album but built upon Alvin's fascination with early rock and roll and his rich, genre-bending vocals, the record was somewhat lost on audiences two decades ago that hardly knew what to do with it. Unfortunately, they certainly didn't buy it or hear it in significant numbers.
Still, one listen to the expansive ballad "Every Night About This Time" leaves little doubt as to the contribution Alvin was capable of making to country music at the time. As members of the seminal California roots rock band the Blasters, Alvin and his brother, frontman Phil, tended to appeal to rockabilly and even R&B influences more than anything else. That made for some wonderful, time-warp music, but Dave Alvin's emergence as a solo performer singing his own compositions had far more potential to benefit contemporary mainstream country and rock than was ever realized. Alvin has gone on to build a perfectly solid, respected solo career primarily as an under-the-radar Americana artist, but this early effort proves that it didn't really have to be that way.
- Sample or download "Every Night About This Time" here.
- Compare prices on Dave Alvin CDs here.
- Dave Alvin's Official Website
Album Cover Image Courtesy of Lucky Dog Records