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Alvins bring heart, soul, love

Sinclair Cambridge, Cambridge, Mass., June 22, 2017

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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Dave and Phil Alvin haven't had anything new for masses - unless you count a very under the radar screen apparent recent release that doesn't even show up on Dave's web site - for a few years.

But that didn't matter to these musical vets or their most excellent backing band, The Guilty Ones, in yet another engaging and inviting outing.

They rocked. (roots rock really with "American Music"). They hit the blues ("Truckin' Little Woman" from the Big Bill Broonzy CD they made a few years ago) and more. All quite good. Phil Alvin may not be the most magnetic personality onstage (he definitely leaves that to Dave, who handles most of the yapping), but there's a reason he is the lead singer. He's got a lot of soul in that voice.

Dave took to having a chunk of lead guitar lines and also took over on lead vocals at times. He's a known quantity and never disappoints.

The Guilty Ones could be considered a well-oiled machined by now with the ever strong, muscular drumming of Lisa Pankratz (she is worth the price of admission almost alone for the various faces she makes during the show. It also helps that she ignites the music), bassist Brad Fordham and guitarist Chris Miller. He may hide underneath his pony tails and hat, but he does a good job in playing second fiddle, so to speak.

Like the Alvins, The Guilty Ones bring the musical joy.

The Alvins - well mainly Dave, it seemed - was intent on sowing seeds of discontent between the brothers once upon a time. That seems well in the past as the Alvins leave the brotherly feuds to the likes of the Gallaghers and the Davies.

As if to underscore the point, Dave joked on a number of occasions how much better a singer Phil is than he (that is the actual truth as well, and Dave wasn't afraid to acknowledge that). And they also played "What's Up With Your Brother?" Dave's song about not escaping from his brother.

Good thing, too, because these guys continue making great music with a lot of heart, soul and love.