This version of "Albuquerque" is a tribute of sorts to my best friend and spiritual advisor, the late Chris Gaffney. For many years this old Link Davis Sr. song was a staple of Chris's barroom gigs with his great band, The Cold Hard Facts. I dug this funky, little blues song so much that Chris and I talked through the years about recording it together but, sadly for whatever reason, we never got around to it. Oh well.
During a recent rehearsal with my band, The Guilty Men, we started reminiscing about Chris and before long we were jamming on "Albuquerque" just for fun. Fortunately, we were practicing at Craig Parker Adams's Winslow Court Studio and Craig recorded the whole thing. Drummer Steve Mugalian and bassist Gregory Boaz are the rock solid rhythm section and Jack Rudy is blowing the tough harmonica. Guitarist Chris Miller is playing some soulful R+B licks while I'm doing my Freddie King imitation on the wah-wah guitar.
Unfortunately, Joe Terry, the keyboardist for The Guilty Men, wasn't able to be at the rehearsal. Also, sadly, Gaffney wasn't there either.
"Albuquerque" was written by Link Davis Sr. He was a veteran musician/singer who started out playing western swing but, throughout his long career from the late 40's until the 60s, he cut records in just about every roots music style from Cajun (his biggest hit was the Cajun classic, "Big Mamou"), blues, rockabilly, folk and country. My kind of guy. Most of the bars mentioned in the song are long gone except for the Caravan East on Central Avenue (the old Route 66) on the east side of Albuquerque. Maybe some night, I'll run into you at the Caravan East and we can have a beer or two and raise a toast to Link Davis Sr. and Chris Gaffney.
- Dave Alvin, July 16, 2008