TWO LUCKY BUMS (Memorial Edition)
Written by Dave Alvin – Performed by Dave Alvin & Chris Gaffney

My other big brother, Chris Gaffney passed away Thursday morning, April 17, 2008.

I had another song prepared for this months download but with the recent sudden and tragic passing of my best friend Chris Gaffney, it just seemed proper to re-release TWO LUCKY BUMS. Nothing could better express what Chris's friendship meant to me than this duet I wrote for the two of us. This version is a bit different than the previously released one. Just a few days before Chris died, I added two old pals of ours to the track, David Jackson on the stand up bass and Don Heffington on the drums. Both musicians have played on various recordings and in various barrooms with Chris and I over the years so it made sense to fill out the track a little bit with their subtle but invaluable assistance. Our trusted engineer, Craig Parker Adams, did a beautiful re-mix that brought much more dynamics and color to the track while keeping its essential intimacy intact.

I really don't know what else to say right now, but I feel that I have to say something. First of all, I want to again thank everyone that sent messages to Chris and donated funds to his cause. It means more than you'll know to Chris, his family and me. We are still raising money at www.helpgaff.com to help with the existing medical bills and other various expenses including a forthcoming memorial service.
After twenty-some years I have thousands of memories of Chris. Through those years of songs, laughs, countless barrooms, eternal highways, broken hearts, screw-ups, bail outs, close calls, busted strings, elusive dreams, flat tires, stalled engines, hard hangovers, bad gigs, great gigs, in between gigs, tragedies, triumphs, secret jokes, bad TV, worse food and now, tears, Gaffney always had my back. I never had to worry about nothing or nobody if Gaffney was with me. I don't know what I ever did to deserve it but, God, I was blessed to have Chris Gaffney as my best friend.

Chris's and my friend, B.J. in Omaha, said it best for me in a email yesterday. She said that I now have a "wild angel looking out for me."
Yeah, I do believe that's true.

I'll still see you in Cuervo, brother.
Dave 4/20/08

Dave’s words behind the song, Two Lucky Bums:

Out in the lonely, high desert plains of New Mexico is a tiny, semi abandoned town called Cuervo. Fifteen or twenty mostly dilapidated buildings made of rock, adobe and wood. My best guess is that they were built around one hundred years ago but they could be much older. In their current state the buildings appear not to have been constructed by human hands but to have risen out of the surrounding sand, rock and chaparral landscape under their own power. That's about all I know about Cuervo.

Now, what does Cuervo have to do with TWO LUCKY BUMS, a duet that I wrote
for myself and my best pal, Chris Gaffney (from the Hacienda Brothers)? Well, for many years after Gaffney and I first stumbled on to Cuervo late one night while on tour, he and I have fantasized about buying the quasi ghost town and moving there, dragging all our other friends along with us. Of course we don't have the cash to do it but it's a nice little dream for a couple of musician/bums. We've spent more than a few hours on various highways and continents making wildly improbable plans for our small desert paradise. Whenever we're driving near Cuervo, we always stop and say something wistful along the lines of, "Someday, Gaffney" or "Someday, Alvin." Eventually I figured if we ever did find ourselves in the unlikely position of possessing Cuervo, that the potentially ludicrous experience would probably be like an old Bing Crosby and Bob Hope "road" movie. THE ROAD TO CUERVO, I guess. And that movie would need some songs so I'd better write some. TWO LUCKY BUMS might just be the theme song.

The song is a bit different for Gaffney and me. I've always been a fan of Crosby's laid back vocals and also a fan of the great 1930's and 40's pop songwriters but I have never attempted writing anything in that swing/pop style but I figured, "What the Hell?" I guess it's a tribute of sorts to Crosby, Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, etc. Beside singing with me, Chris plays some sweet, accordion licks while I strum some rudimentary 40's jazz guitar. Craig Parker Adams did his usual superb recording job at his Winslow Court Studio in Los Angeles and our buddy Kurt Mahoney took the photograph. Gaffney and I had a real gas recording TWO LUCKY BUMS and I sincerely hope you get a kick out of it. Until we meet again, see you in Cuervo.

Dave Alvin 12/3/07