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Posted by: thepinetree on 05/13/2014 05:40 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 05/27/2014 06:45 PM
Expires: 01/01/2019 12:00 AM

Twisted Folk Concert Series Presents: Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin with The Guilty Ones! Special guests Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum (Tonight)

Vallecito, CA....Twisted Oak Winery is pleased to announce the continuation of our Twisted Folk Concert Series – featuring roots rock legends Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin! “Dave and Phil Alvin, who formed The Blasters back in 1979, are back together singing the songs of blues legend Big Bill Broonzy,” said winery co-owner Jeff Stai. “If you have any love for the blues in your soul, take my word for it you need to come to this show. (Or bop on over to and listen to a few tracks if you still need convincing.)” Opening the show are bluegrass favorites Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum. “Laurie and Tom last played here at Twisted Oak in 2012 and we’re really happy to have them back for this special holiday weekend event.” Laurie, along with Nina Gerber who is performing at Twisted Oak July 26, toured as part of Dave Alvin and The Guilty Women. This should be fun!

A hot dinner will be available for purchase, along with yummy Twisted Oak wine, brownies, popcorn, and soft drinks. Concertgoers are welcome to bring their own picnics but we ask that no outside alcoholic beverages be brought in.

Seating at Twisted Folk concerts is outdoor festival style, first-come, first-served – bring a low beach-type chair or a blanket. We’re on top of a hill and there is always an evening breeze – it can get a little chilly after dark so please plan ahead.

Twisted Oak Winery is located in the foothills of Calaveras County, and specializes in wines made from Mediterranean varieties like Tempranillo, Viognier, and Petite Sirah. Our concert venue, located at the winery in Vallecito, sits on a hilltop that commands a sweeping view of the Sierra Nevada and the surrounding foothills, presided over by a 350-year old California Blue Oak that graces the label of every wine we bottle.

Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin

For their first album together in 30 years, Dave and Phil Alvin of the Blasters have turned to the blues of Big Bill Broonzy. “Common Ground: Dave Alvin + Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy” will be released June 3 on Yep Roc Records.

“The whole idea is to showcase the breadth of his songwriting,” says singer/songwriter/guitarist Dave Alvin. “On the couple of songs I sing, I took some liberties, but I am always playing Bill Broonzy chords.

“His influence on a variety of players went from the uptown musicians to the country blues guys like Big Joe Williams. He was an influence on Muddy Waters, an influence on the folk musicians of the early 1960s and one of the first blues guys to go over to Europe where he was an influence on skiffle bands and guitarists like Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton.”

In the 1920s, Broonzy worked as a fiddle player in bands in Chicago until he made his first recording in 1927 and became one of the city’ most prominent blues stylists. He filled in for Robert Johnson at the first "From Spirituals to Swing" concert at Carnegie Hall in 1938. He was one of the first musicians to use electric instruments in the very early 1940s. While he made more than 200 recordings between 1927 and 1942, his best-known work is the blues standard “Key to the Highway.” Broonzy died in 1958.

Prior to forming the Blasters in 1979, singer Phil Alvin, 60, had a blues band that covered a good number of Broonzy songs. “I felt I had a connection with him,” he says, mentioning a guest appearance once with former Broonzy associate Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson at a show that “solidified that connection.”

“He influenced how I became a singer and the kind of singer I became,” he says. “These are songs I’ve been singing for so long. I don’t think I could have done the record without doing ‘Feel So Good’ or ‘Trucking Little Woman’ - those were the natural ones for me to choose. And I always loved ‘Tomorrow’.”

The Alvins’ performances together since Dave’s departure from the Blasters in 1986 have been mostly limited to a reunion tour in 2003 and tracks on the John Mellencamp-Stephen King musical “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” and Dave’s last album, “Eleven Eleven.” Famous for not getting always along, they joked that doing Broonzy songs would eliminate the arguing.

The project began as an EP that Yep Roc executives encouraged the Alvins to turn into a full album. Former Blaster Gene Taylor backs the brothers on piano with bass duties split between Bob Glaub and Brad Fordham and drummers Don Heffington and Lisa Pankratz.

As they fleshed out the material, both Alvins wanted to cover every element of Broonzy's career – the guitar skills he showcased in the late 1920s and early ‘30s, his songwriting in the late ‘30s and 1940s and his versatility in the 1950s. “It’s hard to pick a peak time for him,” Phil Alvin says.

“He was denigrated because he had such a long career and he wasn’t afraid of the purists,” Dave Alvin says. “He didn’t like to be pigeon-holed. In the early ‘50s he’s playing acoustic folk shows to progressive white crowds, then playing uptown with an electric band and then heading to Europe where he’ll play (traditional folk songs) like ‘John Henry.’ It’s a lot of different styles and a lot of great songs to play around with.”

Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum

The Sacramento News called Laurie Lewis “as fine a singer as anyone on the acoustic music circuit, anywhere in the world.” Billboard praised her ability to “successfully walk the high wire above esoteric country, combining elements of bluegrass and pure country to form her own seamless mix.” Sing Out! magazine recently stated, “It’s not too much of a stretch to suggest that if the “Americana” format wasn’t invented for her, it should have been.” And American folk music icon Utah Phillips boiled it down even further, asserting: “Whatever country music is supposed to be, she’s at the center of it.”

Since joining forces with Laurie in 1986, Tom Rozum’s versatility and diverse musical influences come to the fore every night on stage with the band. He plays primarily mandolin with the band, but is also an accomplished fiddle, mandola, and guitar player. His background as a rock and swing musician adds a uniquely satisfying flavor to the band. His rhythmic approach to mandolin especially punctuates the band’s repertoire, adding to their on-stage shows a verve and excitement that has become a distinctive feature of their performances. He is a fine lead vocalist, the ideal harmony partner for Laurie (it’s not for nothing that their duet collaboration The Oak and the Laurel was so highly regarded that it was a Grammy nominee for the Best Traditional Folk Album of 1996), and occasionally functions as the comic foil for on-stage goings-on whenever things get too weighty. Tom can be heard on most of Laurie’s recordings; their other duet albums, Guest House and Winter’s Grace; and the band’s The Golden West and Live. Originally from New England, Tom moved to Berkeley from Arizona, where he played many kinds of traditional and original music with Summerdog and Flying South; and San Diego, where he honed his swing chops with the Rhythm Rascals.

What: Twisted Folk Concert Series Presents:
Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin with The Guilty Ones!
Special guests Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum

Where: Twisted Oak Winery, 4280 Red Hill Rd at Hwy 4, Vallecito
When: Sunday, May 25th, 2014 – 7:45pm. Concertgoers admitted 6:30pm

Ticket Information:
Tickets $30 advance ($27 Twisted Few wine club members), or $35 at the gate, if available.
Children 12 and under: $10. All proceeds from children’s ticket sales will be directed to supporting music education in local schools.
For more info, or to purchase tickets: 209-736-9080,

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