Album: Dave Alvin, Eleven Eleven (Yep Roc)

Dave Alvin's latest album may be his best yet, its tales of the flipside of the American Dream set to gritty blues riffs that speak of long months on the road.

That's the actual location proceedings start off in "Harlan County Line", Alvin musing in a motel on how "People can be noble, people can be cruel, they can make you president, they can call you a fool". From there it's a broad canvas inhabited by the lost and the losing: striking factory worker of "Gary, Indiana 1959"; the drug smugglers of "No Worries Mija"; the poor farmer who regrets becoming a bounty hunter in "Murrietta's Dead"; the half-blind pugilist of "Run Conejo Run"; and most true and tragic of all, the R&B star whose senseless demise in "Johnny Ace Is Dead" is aptly set to a Junior Parker-style shuffle.

DOWNLOAD THIS Johnny Ace Is Dead; Gary, Indiana 1959; Run Conejo Run; Harlan County Line

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