Audio Mixer: Craig Parker Adams.
Liner Note Author: Dave Alvin.
Recording information: Winslow Court Studio, Los Angeles, CA (01/2015/05/2015).
Photographer: Joe Murray.
It took a brush with death to get Dave and Phil Alvin back on good enough terms to make music together again, and after reuniting in the studio for 2014's Common Ground: Dave & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy, the siblings thankfully didn't wait until one of them ended up in the emergency room to give it another try. Lost Time is another set of vintage blues tunes, but while Common Ground was an acoustic set that focused on the songbook of blues legend Broonzy, the Alvins mix it up on Lost Time, playing both electric and acoustic numbers and drawing inspiration from a variety of artists and songwriters, though rollicking jump blues master Big Joe Turner gets special attention here, with Dave and Phil tackling three of his compositions. Dave's raucous guitar lines give their Turner interpretations a feel that's different than the originals, but Dave and the band show plenty of love for the joyous, rolling boogie of Turner's signature sound, and Phil's big, bold voice is the perfect instrument for tunes like "Feeling Happy" and "Cherry Red Blues." If Phil is the star singer in the Alvin family, Dave shows he can give sly, streetwise readings to tunes like "Rattlesnakin' Daddy" and "Sit Down, Baby," and his vocals help give this album a looser, more playful sound than Common Ground. Dave and Phil seem a little less concerned with honoring the legacy of a great artist (even if they had fun doing so) than they are in jamming on tunes they love and kicking up some dust in the studio, and Lost Time does just that. Dave and Phil Alvin sing and play this music direct from the heart, whether they're wailing on an early James Brown side or getting right with the Lord on a classic spiritual from Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey, and as always they consistently hit the sweet spot between technique and passion. If Dave and Phil Alvin want to crank out an album like Lost Time every year until the sun finally sets on them, no one who loves blues and roots music would have any room to complain. ~ Mark Deming