With his latest collaborative effort with the Guilty Women, Dave Alvin proves himself a deft genre jumper and provides the listener with a wonderfully diverse musical selection ranging from traditional to up-tempo rockers. The Guilty Women, a replacement here for Alvin's usual Guilty Men, are a who's who of musicians and vocalists: Sarah Brown, Cindy Cashdollar, Amy Farris, Nina Gerber, Laurie Lewis, Christy McWilson and Lisa Pankratz. Of the dozen tracks, McWilson and Brown contributed three songs between them; Farris co-wrote another with Alvin.
Alvin reinvents The Blasters' Marie, Marie as a lively Cajun two-step and with Downey Girl, puts new lyrics atop the traditional tune Handsome Molly.
Standouts include California's Burning, Anyway and a very interesting boogie-woogie metamorphosis of Que Sera Sera with not a smidge of saccharine to be heard.
What's sorely missing are track-by-track details about who's contributing what musically on each track. With special appearances by Marcia Ball and Suzy Thompson thrown into the mix, it would be better than making an educated guess.