Grammy winner, Dave Alvin, has been roaming the highways of American music for over a quarter century. During those decades he's busted speakers with roots rock kick-starters, The Blasters, as well as mined the depths of country, folk and blues with his solo projects. A mainstay during much of this journey has been Alvin's electrifying band The Guilty Men. Following the recent death of Dave's best friend and Guilty Men accordionist Chris Gaffney in early 2008, Alvin decided to move in an exciting new musical direction. In October 2008 he stepped onto the stage of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco with an all-star, all-female group. Since dubbed The Guilty Women, the group consists of Americana scene vets Cindy Cashdollar, Nina Gerber, Laurie Lewis, Sarah Brown, Amy Farris, Christy McWilson and Lisa Pankrantz. Special guests include Marcia Ball and Susie Thompson. The self-titled debut from this unique assemblage of players, led by Alvin, is a spirited collection of thoughtful yet dynamic tunes featuring world-class musicianship worthy of his now legendary pedigree.
Norman Jewison's blackly satirical look at the American justice system has gained in stature as one of the more incisive social commentaries of its time. Al Pacino plays Arthur Kirkland, an incorruptible attorney who attempts to initiate reforms in the Maryland justice system. Kirkland is haunted by the fates of two past clients, one of whom committed suicide in jail; the other is still alive but is locked up on a trumped-up traffic violation. The ability of power and money to distort the pursuit of justice becomes all too clear as Kirkland finds out how deeply the rot has spread. He is ultimately blackmailed into defending a repulsive judge (John Forsythe) accused of rape, and faces a crisis of conscience. Pacino's and Forsythe's performances are intense and powerful. Many critics found the film biting and almost painful in its razor-sharp indictment of the justice system, while others declared the script too outrageous.