Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women
Roots-rocker Dave Alvin turns in a poignant, spirited and spontaneous rush of new folk and bluegrass-inspired music thanks to a collaboration with the Guilty Women, a line-up of first-rate female musical pros who’d joined Alvin for several impromptu live performances before hitting an Austin recording studio. With Cindy Cashdollar on steel, lap steel, dobro and anything else she could wrap her hands on, Nina Gerber on lead guitar, Amy Farris on strings, and several other experienced, empathetic players, Dave Alvin relaxes — after a trying year that saw him lose his accordionist and friend Chris Gaffney — with songs that allow him to sing in his warmest tones. “Downey Girl” is a simmering and gentle offering to his unlikely hometown hero Karen Carpenter. “Anyway” is a striking duet with co-writer Amy Farris. Alvin further shares the spotlight with Christy McWilson’s bluesy “Weight of the World,” pushing an urgent field-holler spiritualism wrapped inside its husky blues. Tim Hardin’s “Don’t Make Promises” and “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” offer up two differing outlooks on the world at hand, both convincingly performed.