Alejandro Escovedo Hits City Winery, Talks Triumph Over PTSD
Alejandro Escovedo Hits City Winery, Talks Triumph Over PTSD – January 19th, 2017 (Also 20th & 21st at City Winery NYC)
Alejandro Escovedo celebrated his 66th birthday earlier this month and no one is more deserving than him of the late career success he is currently enjoying. The guy is a lifer. In his early bands, (The Nuns, Rank and File, and True Believers) he built a reputation as an ace singer/songwriter/ guitarist with high musical integrity and a sense of adventure. Through a string of memorable albums made with friends like Chuck Prophet and Tony Visconti, he established himself as a unwavering flag bearer or roots rock flavored with punk, country, and Tex-Mex. His very strong new album, Burn Something Beautiful, comes four years after his previous album Big Station. Particularly in view of the things he went through over those years, it’s a testament to his perseverance and spirit.
As Escovedo said when we spoke before his show on Thursday at City Winery, his band are all ringers. REM fans know about Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey but Kurt Bloch of The Fastbacks stole the show a little bit with his fiery leads and showmanship. John Moen of The Decemberists (who also has Elliott Smith and The Jicks on his resume) locked in with McCaughey to provide the rhythmic foundation for the three guitarists to stand on. Escovedo’s touring band are all currently members of The Minus 5 which has a fluid lineup but always includes McCaughey and usually includes Buck. These musicians are all on Burn Something Beautiful as well that was produced by McCaughey and Buck. Steve Berlin of Los Lobos blew a little sax on it while contributions on vocals were made by Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney and Kelly Hogan who you may know through work with Neko Case.
Escovedo speaks about going way back with some of those artists and the circumstances around getting together for the new album in the bonus video below. I also asked him about one of my faves from Burn Something Beautiful, ‘Johnny Volume’ inspired by Johnny Thunders!
Credit for photo of AO appearing in slider: Nancy Rankin Escovedo