The rules Dave Alvin has followed throughout his 24 years as a solo artist were discarded during the creation of his 11th album, Eleven Eleven. For the first time in his career he wrote songs while touring and recorded during breaks on his tours in 2010 with the Guilty Women. He used musicians he had not recorded with since his days in the Blasters, and for the first time ever, he sang on a record with his brother Phil, the lead singer of the Blasters. "While we were growing up there was a firm line between Phil and me," Dave says, referring to Blasters' division of labor: Phil sang, Dave wrote the songs and played lead guitar. "The main reason I decided to have him sing with me was that we re not going to be here forever; we might as well have fun. Life is too short." Eleven Eleven features three duets: Phil and Dave on the simmering blues "What's Up With Your Brother"; Dave and Christy McWilson from the Guilty Women on the gentle country number "Manzanita" and the whimsical song, "Two Lucky Bums," the final recording of Dave and his best friend, the late Chris Gaffney. The rest of the material, rich in stories that stretch from R&B royalty to labor history to Harlan County in Kentucky, was written over the course of seven months. As he says with sly chuckle: "The songs are not necessarily true, but they're all autobiographical."