LIVE: Dave Alvin & the Guilty Ones/Los Straitjackets @ Club Helsinki, 6/19/11
The mighty Dave Alvin reeled off the following words of wisdom just before launching into the final song of the evening, a rip-snortin’ take on the classic twangin’ “California Sun,” in which Alvin’s band, the Guilty Ones were joined by the marvelous masked musicians Los Straitjackets:
“There are a couple of rules in show business – and despite what you might have thought watching the show tonight, this is show business. First rule, never work with children or animals, right? Good rule. I’ve been down that road. It’s bumpy, and it’s a dead end. (pause) And then I quit the Blasters and moved on.
(rim shot from drummer Lisa Pankratz)
Oh, come on…
The other rule in show business is that you can never – and it may be true – you can never rock and roll on a Sunday night. What do you think? Sounds like it might be true. Can you rock and roll on a Sunday night in Hudson, New York? Can it be done?”
Oh yes it can, and Mr. Alvin and his band proved it beyond a shadow of doubt. While his previous band, the all-female Guilty Women, dressed up his tunes with harmony vocals, twin fiddles and the sweet, sweet steel guitar of Cindy Cashdollar, the Guilty Ones were nothing but a lean, mean rockin’ machine. Alvin, Pankratz, bassist Brad Fordham and guitarslinger Chris Miller fired it up from the opening blast of “Fourth of July” and pretty much kept the pedal to the metal straight through to the show-closing “Marie, Marie.”
Which is not to say that they played with with nothing but brute force. “Black Rose of Texas,” the gentle memorial to the late Guilty Women violinist Amy Farris, was a down-tempo standout, but even then Miller dished out out some fret-melting slide guitar licks. The intensity rarely let up, especially on the selections from the new album, “Eleven, Eleven,” tunes like the simmering boogie of “Harlan County Line” and the hot-wired, chugging “Johnny Ace Is Dead.”
Of course, if you wanna rock hudson on a Sunday night, it helps to have Los Straitjackets sharing the stage with you. As he did just the day before at Troy’s River Street Festival, Eddie Angel came out with his six-string blazing and whammy bar in full effect, as he led the masked merauders through an eclectic 65-minute show that ranged from the Bar-Kays’ “Soulfinger” to Gene Krupa’s “Sing Sing Sing” to “The Theme from Midnight Cowboy.”
Can you rock and roll in Hudson on a Sunday night? Oh, yeah!
Photographs by Ruby
M.T.’s review at Ammuse’s Weblog