Special Guests
Saturday, May 26, 2001


Dave Alvin

DAVE ALVIN grew up in Downey, California, near Los Angeles. As kids, he and his brother Phil made frequent trips to Los Angeles blues venues such as the Shrine Auditorium and the Ash Grove. There, they learned their music directly from legends like Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Johnny Shines, Johnny Guitar Watson, and T-Bone Walker. The brothers enjoyed success in the ’80s as members of the roots rock band The Blasters. After leaving that group in 1986, Alvin worked with the punk band X, and wrote the soundtrack for Allison Anders’ first feature film, Border Radio. He released his first solo album, Romeo’s Escape (Epic) in 1987, and has recorded a total of seven since. Typical of his solo career, Blue Blvd, Museum of the Heart, King of California, and Blackjack David (all Hightone), are a mixture of rockabilly, blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll. In addition to his solo recordings, Alvin has recorded with Rosie Flores and Jo-El Sonnier, and produced, arranged, and played guitar on Sonny Burgess’ Tennessee Border. Alvin is renowned as a fine songwriter, and has co-written material with Chris Gaffney and Tom Russell, and co-produced the Merle Haggard tribute album (Tulare Dust) with Russell. In 1998, he toured as Bob Dylan’s opening act for sixteen dates throughout the Midwest and East Coast. Alvin found most of the songs on his latest recording, Public Domain: Songs from the Wildland (Hightone), when he and his brother were collecting old records as teenagers. Their search for something more exciting than what was on the radio led them to thrift stores and junk stores, attics and swap meets looking for old blues, R&B, or country 78s and 45s, and reissue albums on obscure labels. Alvin’s arrangements of the old songs led the album to be awarded the 2001 Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. For more information, see www.davealvin.com. Alvin is joined this evening by Greg Leisz.

Founded in 1991, THE ENSEMBLE SINGERS OF THE PLYMOUTH MUSIC SERIES are the professional chorus of the Plymouth Music Series, and the core of its 100-voice chorus. Under the direction of founder and artistic director Philip Brunelle, they participated in the 1999 Midwinter Festival in Stockholm, Sweden, and performed on a joint program with The King’s Singers at the American Choral Directors Association national convention in Chicago. In June 1999 they performed for the national convention of Chorus America, and in July they represented U.S. professional choirs at the World Choral Symposium in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Commissions and world premiere performances include works of Dominick Argento, Randall Davidson, Libby Larsen, Stephen Paulus and Conrad Susa. The Ensemble Singers are heard on numerous recordings, including three volumes of music by African American composers entitled Witness, and their most recent recording, Dominick Argento: An American Romantic (both on Collins Classics). Performing tonight are: Soprano: Kathleen Hanson, Dara Kirchofner, Becky Lowe, Margaret Lanning Sabin, Andrea Schussler, Linda Zelig; Alto: Kathleen Grammer, Nina Heebink, Cybil M. Jones, Linda Kachelmeier, Barbara Kastens, Karen Lovgren Kennedy; Tenor: Kevin L. Bailey, Dan Dressen, Robert Griffin, John Hazucha, Thomas Larson; Bass: Steve Burger, Ryan French, Adam Gedde, Jerry Johnson, Michael Jorgensen, Robert C. Smith. Accompanying the choir tonight are Charles Kemper and Sonja Thompson.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

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