- By Paul Shugrue
- Category: Music
- June 03, 2014
As the feuding brothers who founded and were probably responsible for the breakup of one of the great roots rock band of the 80s, the Blasters, Dave and Phil Alvin say they argue sometimes but never about blues legend Biig Bill Broonzy. So, for the first album they’ve recorded together since 1985, they pay tribute to Broonzy with an album of his originals called "Common Ground."
It took a health scare two years ago to make them patch up their differences and it’s easy to see how their disparate styles compliment each other. Dave, with his fiery guitar work and understated vocals and Phil, with his big booming voice and harmonica prowess. Broonzy was the first artist they discovered together as teenagers and this album calls attention to his work that is on par with the greats of the blues era.
The album begins with an in-joke as they trade off vocals on while singing "Al by Myself" before finally coming together to sing in unison on the last verse.
Broonzy was a pioneer, transitioning his music from early country and ragtime recordings into electric Chicago blues before ending his career during the folk blues revival. He was one of 17 children so he would probably appreciate the sibling rivalry of the Alvins
The songs the brothers play on this album not only honor Big Bill Broonzy's legacy but present themselves as one of the great sibling duos in roots rock history.Tweet