Dave Arcari
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Dave Arcari

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | INDIE | AFM

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2004
Solo Blues Acoustic




"True Grit from Dave"

THE hard—working Scottish blues and Americana guitarist/ singer Dave Arcari has a show at the Cluny tonight.
The Glasgow musician is a fairly regular visitor to the Ouseburn venue and he covers a range of styles, from alt.country and rockabilly to his powerful interpretations of pre—War delta blues.
The latter, mostly in the form of slide work on his National steel—bodied instrument, uses the music of Blind Willie Iohnson, Bukka White and Son House as primary source material.
Arcari, who also writes much of his material, left the Summerfield Blues band almost 20 years ago — later founding the roots—rocking blues trio the Radiotones — and then went on to plough his solo furrow, touring extensively across the UK and Europe and, last year, completed a major slog across the US.
He has issued regular albums — usually with a mix of original songs and some covers — over
recent years, and unveiled his latest recorded work, Whisky In My Blood, last year.
The gritty voice is as rough as a blacksmith's rasp and is perfectly suited to the medium in which he works — hard—edged, guitar— driven blues that harks back to the juke—joints and barrelhouses of old. Support, or starters perhaps, is from Fishfinger Frank and the Gordian Knot!

* To browse a library of reviews, interviews and scanned press cuttings see http://davearcari.com/about/press-cuttings/ - Newcastle Chronicle

"Deep Blues from Scotland: Dave Arcari makes a stop in Wausau on his U.S. tour"

This might be the last music event at Kruse In for a while, given the road construction at its front doors and an uncertainty under new ownership about the future direction of live music. But going out with a bang with Scottish bluesman Dave Arcari is a strong indication of time well spent for this venue on Wausau’s north side and an openness perhaps to bringing in big shows.

Arcari’s Delta—alternative-deep sort of blues surely will be a great thing to witness. He’s a Scotsman in just about every stereotypical way you imagine: loud, brash and, through the course of our interview, he cursed a lot.

On tour in the U.S. this summer, he parked his rental car on the side of the road somewhere around the eastern
seaboard to take my call. “This f"@king country is magic,” Arcari said. “Aside from sitting on the wrong side of the car, and driving on the wrong side of the f‘“@king road, I am having a great time.”

This isn’t Arcari's first time in the U.S. He’s attended the South By Southwest music fest, hung out at industry and events. "But it was just there and maybe a stop in Chicago and LA, but that is it. This is the first tour really."

Arcari calls his music “f“@ked-up blues”. Others call it alternative blues. I call it awesome. It's how I love music to sound: loose, out of control and transcendent.

For the most part it all comes from him with a steel resonator guitar, a slide on his finger, and what I assume is equal parts piss, vinegar, beer and coffee.

Sonically, if you are familiar with acoustic blues cats like Seasick Steve, Scott Biram or a good portion of the great Fat Possum family, you sort of have an idea. Or you could stomp your feet on the ground, strum some metal against metal and howl at the moon. That might get you there.

“I know people lump it in with the alt blues thing, but I am just doing what it is that I do," Arcari says.

The Celtic penchant for storytelling comes through. Behind that alt-blues sound he's a storyteller in the same vein as Shane MacGowan of the Pogues. That black heart and tragic vision of Scottish music led him to the blues. “The sound and the soul just made sense, and that was all I ever wanted to do," Arcari said.

His isn't the sound of some European musician trying to sound like Muddy Waters or John Lee Hooker. You can still hear the Scottish accent in his folksy, gravelly voice and there’s a certain lightness in most songs that makes you envision them being at home in a Glasgow pub (which they certainly are, as Arcari plays regularly across Europe).

The title track of his latest album, Whiskey in My Blood, clearly sounds like a Celtic drinking song, but one tinged with the guitar twang of Mississippi. Stomping tunes like “Traveling Riverside Blues" or “Tell Me Baby" combine that traditional hop of dance blues with that frenetic pace of a Celtic rip—roarer.

In short, Arcari’s deep blues is the type that aficionados of Celtic, Americana and even rockabilly can be drawn to.

His stories are haunting tales of love, loss, death, murder, God and all that good stuff. Big themes. I get the sense that it's all about Arcari, but none of it is—the same way it's about all of us, but not any of us. He writes brilliant universal songs.

The question remains though: What’s a Scottish blues man doing playing in Wausau, all by himself? I asked the for-
mer booker for Kruse In, Tom Jordan, how it happened. "The venue had a real desire to support unique music, so when we had a chance to get someone like Dave to come and play, we jumped at it."
Dave Arcari performs Friday, July 26, at Kruse in
on Merrill Avenue in Wausau. Show starts around 9 pm.

Dave Arcari of Glasgow, Scotland, performs his storytelling alt-blues at Kruse In Friday, July 26

(by Dino Corvino)

* To browse a library of reviews, interviews and scanned press cuttings see http://davearcari.com/about/press-cuttings/ - Wausau City Pages

"Dave Arcari: Whisky in my Blood"

The BIues—made in Scotland from girders

Dave Arcari’s story could be a template for all aspiring musicians; backing bands have come and gone, leaving him to play every pub backroom between here and Minsk yet he's never given up on his dream.

The album opens with the jaunty title track – Arcari’s gruff voice is an acquired taste; but if you stay tuned in
you will fall in love with the latest in a long bloodline from Son House to the darling of mainstream radio, Seasick Steve.

Very little on WHISKY IN MY BLOOD is as aggressive or challenging as on previous recordings; but that's not to say See Me Laughing and Jitterbug Swing won't be cranked up to 11 when played live and leave revelers with no choice but pogo like it's 1979 again.

Day Job only lasts a minute and a half but Arcari still manages to pack in a powerful message and more energy than Coldplay manage in a whole album and his Resonator guitar is left gasping for breath at the end of each song. If someonetold you that Heat is Rising was a long lost Delta blues tune found in the back of Alan Lomax’s wardrobe many fans would nod sagely; but it wasn't — it’s brand new and pays homage to the music Arcari grew up listening to and still loves passionately today; but has the hallmarks of becoming a classic in its own right.The
album ends the only way Arcari knows; a potent foot—stomperthat brings out the best and worst in his Scottish accent; especially on the chorus: ‘get outta my way/I'm here to stay’ and he most certainly is.

(AIan Harrison)

* To browse a library of reviews, interviews and scanned press cuttings see http://davearcari.com/about/press-cuttings/ - Maverick Magazine

"Dave Arcari: Whisky in my Blood"

Woo Hoo! That relentless, loveable Scottish ‘rockabilly’ Dave Arcari is back with a brand new smokin‘ album.

‘Whisky in My Blood‘ follows hard on the heels of last year's impressive release ‘Nobodys Fool‘.

Recorded live in the studio. the minimal accompaniment of bass and snare drum is just enough to push and punctuate Dave's powerful, untamed, acoustic style along

From the opening title track ‘Whisky in My Blood‘ through to the stomping stand—out finale ‘Get Outta My Way‘ you get to hear to a wide range of Mr. Arcari's country/trash/folk/punk blues. rootsy repertoire. A good repre—
sentation of what you could expect at one of his explosive live shows.

Three covers nestle neatly in between eleven originals and no way are they just thrown in to make up the numbers. ‘Jitterbug Swing’ from Bukka White and a brace from Robert Johnson (‘Travellin‘ Riverside Blues‘
and ‘Preachin' Blues‘) are given the full ‘Dave Arcari' treatment He makes them sound like his own.

lt is real messed—up alternative blues alright...but messed~up in the best possible way. The rise and rise of Dave Arcari lS set to continue. Come onl

(Stephen Cutmore)

* To browse a library of reviews, interviews and scanned press cuttings see http://www.davearcari.com/press-cuttings/ - Blues in Britain Magazine

"Dave Arcari: See Me Laughing"

Alt.bluesman Dave Arcari took the high road to Finland for his new album for some bamstorming blues, with nods to pre-war music, as well as rockabilly, punk and trash country.

There aren't many singers who can invoke the spirit of Hank Williams and Robbie Burns at the same show but, as anyone who has seen Arcari live will tell you, he’s a true one-oft and a master slide guitarist to boot! And long may he continue.

* To browse a library of reviews, interviews and scanned press cuttings see http://www.davearcari.com/press-cuttings/ - Classic Rock presents The Blues Magazine

"Of Haggis & Hog Jowls: Dave Arcari is Mississippi meets the Highlands"

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A Scotsman walks in to a Finnish record label to record an album of powerful Mississippi Delta Blues...

The Scotsman is Dave Arcari, the Finnish record label is Blue North and the album, Whisky in My Blood, is indeed powerful Mississippi Delta Blues (and a bit more). Arcari is currently touring the US promoting his latest record (it is available on vinyl, as all good blues ought to be) and will be making an appearance at J.J.’s Bohemia on July 10.

“Positive” and “upbeat” are not words typically associated with the blues, an art form decried by Navin R. Johnson as being “too depressing” . This album defies that convention. Every one of the 14- tracks listed is toe-tapping and
infectious—it’s impossible not to smile. This is quite easily the happiest blues album I have ever had the pleasure to listen to, and a large part of that comes from the fact that Arcari is clearly having a ball doing what he does.

The guitar work is phenomenal. It is pure bottleneck blues, simple and unadorned, and that’s a bit of a rarity. A great many guitarists get their start playing blues in some form and go on to muck it up with needless over complication. Not so Arcari, whose considerable chops are tempered by the taste and restraint of a seasoned pro.

Arcari learned his trade by listening to the classics (Blind Willie Jefferson is a particular influence) and has managed to maintain that raw edge found on good old scratchy records from the '30s and ’4Os. For a man who grew up across the broad AtIantic in a land better -known for craggy peaks, impenetrable lochs and terrifying ethnic cuisine, Arcari’s blues are surprisingly, refreshingly authentic. Many a would-be Memphis busker would do well to pay attention to the William Wallace of National Guitars.

Whether the guitar licks complement the vocals or the vocals complement the guitar licks, his gruff Celtic growl is the perfect counterpoint to his soulful playing. In this respect, he is evocative of Tom Waits in that one suspects
there is a diesel engine idling away deep in his chest. Yet for all its low rumbling, scratchy, and whiskey-soaked qualities, there is the burr of a Scottish accent and somehow that makes it better. If it were any heavier, it might be a distraction, but as it stands, it is the perfect extra-ingredient to make a genuinely good blues album great, an
unconventional component that enhances the overall impact nicely.

This combination of “guts guitar” and unique vocals means this is an album you can listen to over and over. The production work on the album is minimalist, which is absolutely appropriate.The album is unvarnished, and if it were any other way, it would be less than it is.

Too often at this level artists come out with albums that are over-processed and over-produced, heavily laden with studio tricks to compensate for a lackluster performance.

The spirit of live performance is so large that I doubt there was any overdubbing done at all. This has “one and done” written all over it.

Lyrically the tunes are well-written, solid blues tunes with a sly shot of humor here and there, Arcari being a man who describes the “morning after” a show as “a bad head and a mouth like a badgers arse...”

The result is an album that is just at home at a punk show, a blues fest, honky tonk or a street party. In Chattanooga we call that JJs Bohemia. Come down on July 10 when Dave Arcari takes the
stage, that’s where you’ll want to be.

* To browse a library of reviews, interviews and scanned press cuttings see http://www.davearcari.com/press-cuttings/ - Chattanooga Pulse

"Music: Dave Arcari"

Forget the Mississippi Delta or the clubs of Chicago – eight albums into his solo career, alt.blues maestro Dave Arcari is making a serious case for Scotland as the new home of the blues.
Sure, no end of Brits have become accomplished in the genre – but while many of them are technically fantastic,
what we often miss is the raw passion that the American contingent bring to the table: the Skip Jameses, John Lee Hookers and Seasick Steves of the world.
So when an artist with a natural, raw talent as prodigious as Seasick Steve speaks out in admiration of one of our own bluesmen, it’s quite the compliment: ‘Dave plays like he got his skin turned inside out,’ he said of Arcari, ‘and pretty soon my skin was inside out too listening and it was all good… that boy bleeds for you – he a real
down deep player and a soul man.’
It might sound like an anatomically dubious compliment, but one we’re happy to heed.
Sure enough, Arcari’s latest album, Whisky In My Blood, does indeed  nd the singer-guitarist performing like a man possessed. His slide guitar shares something in common with the aforementioned hill-country bluesman, while vocally his gruff , rough tone is not a world apart from Captain Beefheart.
It’s a thrilling combination, and one which certainly explains why each record has seen the Glaswegian go from strength to new strength.
(Rob Lavender)

* To browse a library of reviews, interviews and scanned press cuttings see http://www.davearcari.com/press-cuttings/ - Metro Scotland

"press cuttings archive"

For a full archive of Dave Arcari press cuttings please visit http://davearcari.com/about/press-cuttings/ - various

"Full press cuttings archive"

For a selection of Dave Arcari press cuttings please visit http://davearcari.com/about/press-cuttings/ - various

"Dave Arcari: Whisky in my Blood"

In the 21st century, too many blues albums
stink. They’re recorded in slick
studios and targeted to the yuppiebarbecue
masses. It’s sad enough to
make Muddy Waters claw at the inside
of his casket. Yet if discs of that ilk
fit like tourist trap T-shirts, Dave Arcari
dons a hair shirt to run wild
through the streets on “Whisky In My
Blood.” Just a snare drummer/percussionist
and bassist back him, and together
they give the album a lo-fi
sound that honors the early blues
greats. Imagine three guys cramped
around one microphone in a walk-in
Arcari wields guitar and voice with the
demeanor of a tipsy sailor screaming
in a sepia-tone dream. On “Heat Is
Rising,” he pumps his slide guitar into
an amp distorted as though dunked in
a vat of lint. It’s an ideal foil to his
voice, a growling lone wolf mourning
the loss of his baby. The song retards
into the black of night; Arcari’s riffing
slows until it passes out in a pile of
Yet who says you can’t have a little
over-the-top fun while you’re trudging
through the delta swamp? On “Get
Outta My Way,” a tribal kick drum
hammers single hits like an industrial
machine while Arcari restricts himself
to one string — just one — to deliver
the goods. - Fra Noi Magazine

"Fitting birthday tribute to our lamented bard"

SO WHAT would Rabble Burns have been if he was alive today? A musical chameleon such as Bowie? A hip-hop poet such as Chuck D? Or a smooth R&B playboy such as Justin Bieber?

Personally, I think he'd be like Dave Arcari - a lonesome alt.blues
troubadour, following other oar-room outsiders in the mould of Shane
MacGowan or Tom Waits, making music so potent you can smell the 3am whisky and smoke staleness.

A timely release then of Dave's version of the famous Burns poem,
that's also known as MacPherson's Rant and MacPherson’s Farewell,

The words are based on the real Jamie MacPherson's farewell, which
the outlaw wrote before he was hanged on November 16, 1700.

The story goes he asked someone to take his prized fiddle as a present
before his death. With no one coming forward, he broke it and threw away the fragments before his execution.

Starting with Dave's steel guitar, the lonesome sound transports you
to a moment of a man staring death in the face and laughing.

Dave's gravel voice smacks of iron will while Jamie Wilson's fiddle
reminds us of our past and adds a mourning song above the plucky
devil-may-care of the vocals and the lyrics: "Sae rantonly, sae wantonly, Sae dauntingly played he. He played a tune and he danced a-roon, below the gallows tree."

Dave's version of the song is released on Burns's birthday. The Glaswegian said: “Burns was a man ahead of his time and, l am sure, was a punk bluesman at heart.”

MacPherson's Lament is out on Monday. Dave plays Buchanan Memorial Hall, Milton of Buchanan, by Drymen, Stirlinqshire, on February 6.

For more information,
see www.davearcari.com - Daily Record


Solo discography:  see http://davearcari.com/about/discography/

• Hellbound Train (Buzz Records EP 2016)

• Whisky in my Blood (Blue North album 2013)

• Nobody’s Fool (Dixiefrog album 2012)

• Devil’s Left Hand (Buzz Records album 2010)

• Got Me Electric (Buzz Records album 2009)

• Come With Me (Buzz Records album 2007),

• Vol 2: …something new, something blue (Buzz Records  EP 2006)

• Vol1: Something old, something borrowed… (Buzz Records EP 2006)

• Blue Country Steel (Buzz Records  EP 2004)



"Dave plays like he got his skin turned inside out and pretty soon my skin was inside out too listening and it was all good. That boy bleeds for you  he a real down deep player and a soul man..." SEASICK STEVE

SCOTTISH alternative blues (alt.blues) guitarist & songwriter Dave Arcari’s alt.blues sounds owe as much to trash country, punk and rockabilly as they do pre-war Delta blues and have been showcased via ten internationally-acclaimed solo album releases.

Arcari’s new album – Live at Memorial Hall – recorded at a venue close to his home on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland,  was released on 1 September 2017 on Buzz Records. The double 180g coloured vinyl/digipak CD release is the definitive collection of Arcari’s material to date.

The 2016 Hellbound Train EP entered the iTunes charts at number seven, filling a gap in releases since his previous (fifth)  album – Whisky in my Blood –  released on Finnish record label Blue North in March 2013. As well as showcasing Arcari’s trademark National steel guitars, the release features performances on banjo, regular guitar and and cigar box which help capture the full breadth of Arcari’s song-writing and performance.

2017 also sees Arcari focussing his live work on UK and Europe having been concentrating on building his audience in the USA over the last few years. His 2016 USA tour built on the foundations laid over successful US tours in 2013, 2014 and 2015 – including official showcases at SxSW in Austin, Texas.

Arcari’s festival appearances include Glastonbury (UK), Red Rooster (UK), BluesAlive (Czech Republic & Poland shows), Moulin Blues (Netherlands), The Great British R&B Festival and Peer Festival (Belgium). He has also played industry showcases at the North by North East (NxNE) music festival in Toronto, Canada and he was a finalist the UK Indy Music Awards reaching the top four in his category (best male solo artist). 

With a busy live schedule in the UK plus regular shows in USA, Finland, Estonia, France, Germany, Belgium, Poland and Ireland Arcari is one of the hardest gigging live artists on the circuit.

A series of shows with folks including Steve Earle, Alabama 3, Seasick Steve, Toby Keith and Jon Spencer along with his relentless UK and European tour schedule have established Arcari as a formidable international solo performer who is fast building a media reputation as a ‘hell-raising National guitar madman’. 

A former debt collector,  Arcari cut his musical teeth busking on the streets of Glasgow before forming his first band Summerfield Blues which won the Alexis Korner Memorial Trophy and accolade of Scottish Blues Band of the Year at Edinburgh International Blues Festival in1993.

He went on to form pioneering alt.blues trio Radiotones, releasing three studio albums between1998 and 2003 before embarking on a solo career. 

In between times,  Arcari also played guitar with Union Avenue – an oddball collective playing least expected covers (think The Clash, Pink Floyd, Undertones, Bob Marley) in a late 50’s/Sun Records-era Cash style. The band landed record of the week on Mark Radcliffe’s Radio 1 show with their version of Motorhead’s Ace of Spades.

Band Members