30 seconds with... Dave Arcari

As we close the January Blues season and welcome in the more optimistic February, we meet Dave Arcari, a man who straddles both concepts, delivering the blues with a determined spring in his step.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 1 Feb 2012
  • min read
As we close the 'January Blues' season and welcome in the more optimistic February, we meet a man who straddles both concepts, delivering the blues with a determined spring in his step.  Slide 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 six internationally-acclaimed solo CD releases. His latest album – Devil’s Left Hand – was released on Buzz Records on 1 November 2010. His new album is scheduled to be released on French record label Dixiefrog in March 2012.



With more than 100 UK dates a year plus regular shows in Finland, Estonia, France, Germany, Belgium, Poland and Canada, Arcari is one of the hardest gigging live artists on the circuit. He has performed with the likes of Steve Earle, Alabama 3, Seasick Steve, Toby Keith and Jon Spencer.

How long have you been making music?
I got my first guitar about 30 years ago, but I guess I just messed about the first few years so let's say, erm, 25 years....

What inspired your latest album?
Devil's Left Hand is a mix of inspirations and influences. Most of of the songs come from personal experience...although it's not always that apparent (even to me!) at the time. By co-incidence, the live debut of the title track was at a show I played with the great Steve Earle...do or die (I lived to tell the tale...and a few others besides)! The song, though, has nothing to do with him or his Devil's Right Hand masterpiece.

What process do you go through to create your music?
Songs almost always start with a guitar riff...it's important for me to feel that the catalytic riff is unusual and not too similar to anything else I've written. Occasionally there'll be a lyrical phrase or a topic first, but not often.

How would you describe your sound?
National guitar-driven alt.blues that owes as much to trash country, punk and rockabilly as it does pre-war Delta blues. That's the short version!

What would your dream collaboration be?
I'd like to write a song/s with Bob Dylan...perhaps while enjoying a nice bottle of whisky and sitting round the table.

Where can we catch you performing next?

There's a bunch of gigs in France around the release of my next album (Nobody's Fool on French label Dixiefrog - out on 20 March)...and a big show in Finland in April. I'm also recording a new album while in Finland.

There's UK dates in between - best check the tour dates on my website at www.davearcari.com.