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Dave Alvin — King Of California
Album: King Of California
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 641








Released: 1994
Length: 4:41
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Well, I left my home and my one true love
East of the Ohio River
My father said we'd never wed
For I had me no gold nor silver

But my darling dear, please shed no tears
But I think that it's fair to warn you
That I return to claim your hand
As the King of California

Over deserts hot and mountains cold
I traveled the Indian country
Whispering your name under lonesome skies
Remembering my only company

But my darling dear, please have no fear
For I think that it's fair to warn you
That I return to claim your hand
As the King of California

I went up from Sacramento town
To the Sierra gold fields
And I worked my stake on a riverbank
Dreaming just how a rich man feels

Now my darling dear, listen here
For I think that it's fair to warn you
That I return to claim your hand
As the King of California

Now, the dead man's lying at my feet
Who tried to steal my earnings
Yet, I still recall your tender kiss
Though this bullet in my chest is burning

But my darling dear, please have no fear
For I think that it's fair to warn you
That I return to claim your hand
As the King of California

That I return to claim your hand
As the King of California
Comments (72)add comment
Lovin' the guitar pickin'.
One of our greatest living songwriters IMHO -

Saw The Blasters in the early '80s and even love Dave's brief run in X.

Would love to hear some X Bill!

How 'bout "The Have Nots" - that's a great introduction to the band for those not familiar. 
THAT'S WICKED FAMILY MAN THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!  : )
I heard an interesting interview of Dave and his brother, Phil, on NPR's "Fresh Air" which aired this past week (Thursday in SC).  Dave got the songwriting skills; his brother, a voice for the blues.  They are both outstanding.  The interviewer elicited from the brothers stories about their mom who nurtured their musical proclivities and some stories about Big Joe Turner...

GROSS: And, Dave, you were two years younger, so were you going to clubs when you were 11?

D. ALVIN: Twelve - 12-ish. Yeah, our mom was very understanding. She had been a contortionist and a small-time vaudeville dancer in the '30s. Very small-time...

GROSS: Wow. Really, a contortionist?

D. ALVIN: Yeah. Yeah.

P. ALVIN: And she was fantastic. Yeah.

D. ALVIN: Yeah. We never - well, I never knew that until I was in my late teens and these photos from the - 1933 appeared of my mother in these just, you know, intense contortionist poses with her head behind her - if you knew my mother, you would be shocked that she could do that. But, yeah, she had a rotten first husband who kind of squashed her dreams of being, you know, a performer. And so she kind of - she wasn't a stage mother in any way, shape or form. But she was - our mother encouraged passion in a certain way. So she would drive me and my brother to shows. You know, my mother drove me to see Jimi Hendrix and she - you know, when I was 12 or 11. And she took my friend and I, Joe Sincak (ph), and she just said, don't eat anything, don't drink anything.

GROSS: (Laughing).

D. ALVIN: You know, and she'd sit and wait in the car. So, you know, she kind of encouraged that in us. She wasn't always happy that we were sneaking into bars or going to shows, but she understood. And so, yeah.

* * *

P. ALVIN: They were very forthcoming and happy to pass down the...

D. ALVIN: Yeah.

P. ALVIN: ...Songs and the styles and the culture that they had. When I first - I'd seen Joe Turner, but when I first met him was at a place called the York club in downtown LA - or not downtown LA but South LA. And we had met a woman who was going to turn out being our manager. And she says, well, come down to this show, and Joe Turner's going to be playing. And that's the day that we met Lee Allen, the great saxophone player who played in The Blasters, and - you know, with Fats Domino and Little Richard. And we went down there, and - five guys in a '32 Plymouth - and went in to see Joe Turner. And I had the audacity to sing "Wee Baby Blues," one of his songs, in front of him. And he got a thrill out of that.

But two weeks later, my band had a gig opening up for Black Oak Arkansas, and about an hour before we went on stage, a Cadillac pulled up with Lightnin' Hopkins' cousin Hoppy Hopkins driving. And Joe Turner got out, and Lee Allen got out. And they came up on stage, and played with us and, you know - out of nowhere. And we started playing pretty regularly with them right around then. And they were happy to pass that stuff down.

  
 AlienRelic wrote:

I agree with just about everything said here, but I will say that despite the negatives there is just something totally remarkable about the place. San Francisco gets my vote for the most beautiful city in the U.S, and the natural beauty of the state may be equaled but not surpassed. The smell of eucalyptus on a cool moonlit evening in Coast Range north of San Francisco is a transcendent experience that I cannot convey in words.

 
As a life-long resident I can tell you it is an amazing place: from the "bottom" to the "top". I've been fortunate to live and visit most of the state. Still want to get to Shasta! The lyrics of this song made me feel wistful and grateful to my parents who left all they knew on the East Coast to bring me here, been a resident since January 1971 at the ripe age of 3 moons. It really is beautiful and yes it is expensive. It's worth it! 
Magnificent bit of Americana that I heard for the first time on the BBC. 
Keep the great tunes coming! 
 FrankRizzo wrote:

As someone who grew up there, it's a gorgeous state. It's large in size, and would be be difficult to see most of it in a week or even two. Top to bottom it's just a tad over 800 miles long. Massive coastline (that varies greatly), deserts, valleys, hills and mountains. Beautiful. Personally I'm a fan of the Gold County in the Sierra's, and also the Redwood's. Seeing those standing Giants in person is pretty awe inspiring. A must if you visit the coast by San Francisco (Humboldt County or Muir Woods Redwood Forest Near San Francisco).

Problem is while it's a big state, there are just too many damn people there. 38 million and counting. It's a nanny state that wants to dictate your every move. Also it's getting harder and harder to afford anything real estate wise, at least for the common person. If you didn't already own property or inherit a bunch of cash, it's going to cost you plenty to try and buy a place.

 
I agree with just about everything said here, but I will say that despite the negatives there is just something totally remarkable about the place. San Francisco gets my vote for the most beautiful city in the U.S, and the natural beauty of the state may be equaled but not surpassed. The smell of eucalyptus on a cool moonlit evening in Coast Range north of San Francisco is a transcendent experience that I cannot convey in words.
I'm in a good mood! Thanks RP! I'm donating again! 
 stunix wrote:
Lots of songs written about Californi.   is it really that good a place?    Ive never been to the states, but I did do the Canadian side of Niagra Falls, It wasn't exactly classy or steeped in historic tradition or anything.  not even a Cooper shop

 
As someone who grew up there, it's a gorgeous state. It's large in size, and would be be difficult to see most of it in a week or even two. Top to bottom it's just a tad over 800 miles long. Massive coastline (that varies greatly), deserts, valleys, hills and mountains. Beautiful. Personally I'm a fan of the Gold County in the Sierra's, and also the Redwood's. Seeing those standing Giants in person is pretty awe inspiring. A must if you visit the coast by San Francisco (Humboldt County or Muir Woods Redwood Forest Near San Francisco).

Problem is while it's a big state, there are just too many damn people there. 38 million and counting. It's a nanny state that wants to dictate your every move. Also it's getting harder and harder to afford anything real estate wise, at least for the common person. If you didn't already own property or inherit a bunch of cash, it's going to cost you plenty to try and buy a place.
This is good - Dave Alvin, Wilco, John Prine.  Dave does a great live show, and he's an outstanding song writer. I remember seeing him with the Guilty Men in Baltimore in 1999 - it one of the best live shows ever.  More of the country, Bill.
Lots of songs written about Californi.   is it really that good a place?    Ive never been to the states, but I did do the Canadian side of Niagra Falls, It wasn't exactly classy or steeped in historic tradition or anything.  not even a Cooper shop
From reading previous comments, this playlist seems recycled.
 drewd wrote:

Yeah... I have to admit. I'm waiting for Bill to come on and say "and now for something completely different"


 

Yup.  I'm giving him until after this song to say or do that.  I cannot handle these twangy country music sets -- John Prine was terrible, then Billy Bragg/Wilco, and now this dreadful Dave Alvin song.
go see Dave, well worth the trip...{#Guitarist}{#Bananajam}{#Jump}
Next, Going to California by Zep? 
 drewd wrote:

Yeah... I have to admit. I'm waiting for Bill to come on and say "and now for something completely different"
 
I feel almost completely the opposite! Can't leave this set. Although in the case of the Eagles that was NOT because I actually liked the song! All the others are absolutely great. And yes I agree, this one could be played more.
 hschlossberg wrote:
AAAARRRRGH.  I can't handle it any more.  From John Prine to Eagle (Last Resort) to Billy Bragg/Wilco (California Stars) and now this slow, twangy Dave Alvin song.  I need to go find some rock and roll to compensate for today's Radio Paradise.
 
Yeah... I have to admit. I'm waiting for Bill to come on and say "and now for something completely different"

AAAARRRRGH.  I can't handle it any more.  From John Prine to Eagle (Last Resort) to Billy Bragg/Wilco (California Stars) and now this slow, twangy Dave Alvin song.  I need to go find some rock and roll to compensate for today's Radio Paradise.
Wow, this song should DEFINITELY be played more frequently — what a great set this is tonight!
 d-don wrote:

Has a "Boots of Spanish Leather" feel.

 
I hear that


Has a "Boots of Spanish Leather" feel.


What a freakin' superior song.  My my my.
Man, I love Dave Alvin!  Can't wait to see him this Sunday at the Palms Playhouse in Winters.
Great tune. Nice guitar work. More Dave Alvin please....{#Cowboy}
Excellent sequence - great songs of California. Eagles, Billy Bragg/Wilco/Guthrie and Dave Alvin - all winners.  Now how about Lucinda Williams "Here in California" and Basia Bulat "Gold Rush" and Kristy Kruger's "Gold Rush" — don't let the ladies be represented by that awful Tunstall.
Yes... very nice !
Sooooo Cool to hear this song again! Dave Alvin is such an awesome performer!
This is a song i always enjoy listening to.
Damn near brings a tear to my eyes.
 
Most excellent
Me likey!{#Meditate} 8!
The one, the only, the Dave Alvin. Great slow acoustic rendition of "Border Radio" on this album, especially for those familiar with the Blaster's rockabilly version. The whole album is just one of the great "Americana" albums of all time.
Saw Dave and the Guilty Women twice last year.  First time was a free concert at an outdoor venue.  Next was at the Duck Room in St. Louis.  It was the last night of the first leg of their tour.  So they were pretty laid back and having fun.   Both great shows.
New album coming soon, I heard.

Great song, great artist, this style suits him perfectly.{#Sunny}
Bill, thank you for playing this!

Dave is, without a doubt, one of America's best songwriters and performers.  Shameful that he does not get more play on commercial radio, but RP provides me with a fix rather frequently.

Huh! A side to Dave I hadn't heard before.....
Wow!

Really surprised to hear Dave here! (but where else?!)

Last saturday i took a listen again to a couple of Dave's CD's, there are some true gems to be heard...

8
Dave is a real master, and a class act to boot. From The Blasters to X, he has shone like a diamond. {#Clap}
But my darling dear, please have no fear
For I think that it’s fair to warn you
That I return to claim your hand
As the King of California
Sac-ra-ment-o

Woo-OOt!

 

Californian,  in first line.... -   ** 8 **


Reminds me very much of a Donovan recording... not sure which again...


Thanks to whoever submitted this one. I know Dave Alvin is not going to be for everyone, but I love this whole CD.
Brilliant tune.
yipee this rocks!
smdeeg wrote:
Yea for Pig Radio. But RP is so much better!! Love the song.
If not for Wild Bill, KPIG would not have streamed so early on. And thats a quote from my dear friend who I miss dearly, Laura Ellen. Wild Bill is the King of California
Alvin!!!!!!!!!!
artmaven wrote:
Update: rumor is, Dave's been pegged for the guitar slot on Tom Waits upcoming Summer 2008 tour. Dig that!
I would kill for tickets to that. Sounds implausible, though ... I mean, the styles are so disparate. Every time Tom Waits comes to Toronto he sells out in about five minutes. This year we're getting tickets even if we need to go to the "secondary market".
Update: rumor is, Dave's been pegged for the guitar slot on Tom Waits upcoming Summer 2008 tour. Dig that!
Very nice!
Rod wrote:
Definitely one of Dave's best songs in a great catalog of music. Don't miss a chance to see him perform live.
Saw him in Omaha a year or so ago. Tiny club, couldn't have been a hundred people. He was relaxed, joked with the crowd, and seemed to genuinely enjoy himself. Because of the size of the club, and the small stage, the crowd is dancing literally 4 feet away from him, and he was enjoying the crowd's enthusiasm. Because of this he kept the songs mostly upbeat, then he'd apologize and say "sorry, I really need to play this..." and play a ballad like "Abilene", which of course is a song that should never follow an apology. After that he'd get the crowd dancing again. A memorable show, one of my favorite shows ever.
Definitely one of Dave's best songs in a great catalog of music. Don't miss a chance to see him perform live.
frednic wrote:
Wasn't he the lead guitarist for the Blasters? I got to see them in San Diego on their first night of that tour. It was great!
He was indeed the guitarist as well as cheif songwriter for the Blasters. He formed the band along with his brother Phil who continues to tour fronting the Blasters.
Wasn't he the lead guitarist for the Blasters? I got to see them in San Diego on their first night of that tour. It was great! Arianrhod wrote:
Where did this treasure of local history come from and is there more?
Not to pull people away from RP, but Dave does an hour long radio show on XM Radio's channel 12, X-Country. He alternates with Robert Earl Keen and Robbie Fulks.
Dave definitely deserves the mantle of King of California. I can't think of another who captures that warm breeze of lost promise that is California as well as Dave does. I love this song, I love all the guitar work, the imagery and Dave's awesome vocal range. Here's to the King! :cheers:
"Warn ya - California" ha
Leslie wrote:
The guitar work reminds me of Tom Waits. As for borrowing this from KPIG. Do some research. Bill helped to build KPIG as well.
Yea for Pig Radio. But RP is so much better!! Love the song.
The greatest musician most people have never heard of.
stickers11 wrote:
I really like this. Fills the room nicely with my small speakers....would love ot hear it on my big sytem.
Just listened on the big system and it was great...
Where did this treasure of local history come from and is there more?
First rate. The melody and picking work together so well, giving this the feel of an old song resurrected.
I really like this. Fills the room nicely with my small speakers....would love ot hear it on my big sytem.
I have this one from some compilation CD (either KPIG or a Hitone records compilation). It makes me want to yell "ALVIN!!!!!!!!!!!!" just like the guy from the Chipmonk's cartoon/album.
One of Americas' musical treasures. An incredible song writer. One of my all time favorite artists.
Wow...one of my favorite D.Alvin songs! :clap: :jump:
Excellent. Now let's hear some Blasters.
Thanks for this introduction. He played in Santa Barbara recently and I'm sorry I couldn't make it
haha... I don't know who this guy is, but all I hear are the Crash Test Dummies singing "mmmm... mmmm. mmmmm" :roflol:
First thing I thought of was this was the lead singer from Crash Test Dummies.
good dose of Woody in this
The guitar work reminds me of Tom Waits. As for borrowing this from KPIG. Do some research. Bill helped to build KPIG as well.