Good Ain't for Good
I must tell you I have never heard so many minor chords since Jim Morrison was alive. But I must say that in listening to Drew Weaver and the Alvarados I did not feel surrounded by a 'cult of death' the way I did with the Doors music of the sixties. Somehow the Alvarados manage to steer their 'cowboy noir' ballads through the dark heart of the American dream and out again to a high plateau of loneliness where a human voice still cries to connect. Discordant, to be sure. Dissatisfied with what most consider 'the life?' Emphatically! Discontented? Perhaps. But the cause of this may be from ingesting too much distilled corn that clouds the mind. (From what I observe, the band members seem to be partial to Kentucky Bourbon.) And still, I get the feeling that the people, the men especially, who populate the cultural sub-tiers inside the songs are the last true romantics. Is it twisted that their faith grounds itself in Ipana smiles, Brylcreem hair dressing and V8 engines? Or do these things help form the basis of their salvation? I find it hard to say. I see grit in these characters. I see the wanderers gaze at the edge of the frontier. I catch the echoes of all the ancient American warriors-vets, tribes, barrio gangs, rebels, Wild Ones, and shredders--not homogenized like Springsteen's stadium rock, but lonesome, weather-beaten, and artful as a Taos pueblo. Despite the deadpan delivery, I find the Alvarados messengers of hope. Listening, I find the music akin to Portuguese fado. I knew a Puerto-Rican singer who emigrated to Chicago. He had a beautiful voice -- you should hear the cassettes. He never recorded in the states. Then he died, a voice unheard. I hear his spirit in the Alvarados. And, something elusively European. As though a polka band crawled out of the desert with only the guitars and drums intact. I could go on, except my comments would only further explore my own notions about American Culture as opposed to searching the mind of the artists themselves for these answers. Thank God for letting me listen to the Alvarados. They deserve a much wider listenership. Newton David Bugbee Black Saddle Entertainment January 2009 DREW WEAVER AND THE ALVARADOS - Good Ain't For Good The long-lived Drew Weaver returns with los Alvarados (S.F.) for a lengthy 17-song set of patent leather country-surf-western tunes, Good Ain't For Good. Recorded across six different studios ranging from Oakland to Paris to Maine, the album title works it's way into the mournfully dulcet tones of the opening "Downbound Train," a song keenly followed by the moan of "Midnight Wind." "Sittin' Pretty" says it all, "Lovers Graveyard" is appropriately haunting, and as the liner notes already mention the "big pop" sound and Spanish guitar of the luxurious "Trouble Is the Wind" I need say no more on that score. The instrumental "Vaquero" fondly calls the Rawhide theme to mind, nicely countered by the strumming rattle of the retro "Casbah" cover. There's a faithful rendition of "Cry, Cry, Cry," and how can you not like "Trick or Treat"? The disjointed "Crawfish" may be one of the album's weaker moments, but these are fortuitously rare on a disc that you'll most likely find yourself playing over again. Kudos on the layout as well, as not only are the photos great but the whole thing just, well, makes me thirsty. But then again, what doesn't these days? Skip around, find a groove, and settle down. Tom Crites Paniscus Revue February 2009.