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Picks and Pans Review: Museum of Heart

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Dave Alvin

From founding the Blasters in the early 1980s to playing with the punk group X to sojourns in country (with the Knitters) and “Psycho-Vegas-billy-R&B-lounge” music (with Mojo Nixon, as the Pleasure Barons), Dave Alvin’s résumé as a guitarist and songwriter is never less than adventurous. On his third solo album, Alvin plays short-order cook, combining R&B and rockabilly, flavoring with blues and adding a pinch of surf guitar. Add lyrics that make up a collection of vignettes about life’s down-and-outers that would make, say, barfly poet Charles Bukowski jealous, and what have you? A disc that’s like dinner at your favorite dive—tasty stuff. (High Tone Records)