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Alejandro Escovedo Live: Alejandro Escovedo

Sun. August 19th 2012 7:30pm - 10pm doors at 7pm The Upstairs Cabaret (No Minors) 7:30pm - 10pm doors at 7pm
Presented by: Threesixty Entertainment Ltd
Alejandro Escovedo, named artist of the decade by the alternative country magazine No Depression in March of 1998, stems from an illustrious musical family, but he has made his own mark in a variety of incarnations—from punk to roots rocker to singer-songwriter—producing an impressive and eclectic body of work that, at its best, shows an incomparable commitment to emotional honesty while never betraying his rock roots. Escovedo’s voice can, at times, resemble Mark Eitzel, at others, Bob Dylan; his orchestrations can evoke John Cale or Nick Drake; his lyricism, Lou Reed. After two decades of working in bands, Escovedo struck out on his own, creating a surprisingly rich, melancholic tapestry. As David Fricke, writing in Rolling Stone, said, Escovedo "brings his experience in punk and bejeweled-guitar jangle to bear on the poetic introspection of his solo records

Alejandro Escovedo's family tree includes former Santana percussionist Pete Escovedo and Pete's daughter Sheila E (also Prince's former drummer and later a pop star). He began his music career with the Nuns, a mid-'70s punk band based in San Francisco. He co-founded the pioneering cowpunk band Rank and File in 1979, which moved to Austin, Texas in 1981 after a stint in New York City. Escovedo released his first solo album in 1992, Gravity, uniting his wide variety of styles. With These Hands, Escovedo’s third album, was issued in 1996. A less somber collection than its predecessors, it included guest performances by Willie Nelson and Jennifer Warnes. On the title cut, written in homage to his father, Escovedo was joined by his brother Pete and niece Sheila E., among other family members.
Bourbonitis Blues, released in 1999, included both original songs and covers. The album is a synthesis of Escovedo’s eclectic musical history and incorporates punk, cowpunk, garage, and roots rock, melded together with his distinctive, atmospheric sound. It was followed by A Man Under the Influence, a melody-laden collection of new tunes that further plumbed the depths of loss and redemption. It has been compared to both the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet and John Cale’s Paris 1919. Writing in Rolling Stone, David Fricke said "With this album, Escovedo’s own pilgrimage out of the shadows continues—with power and elegance."
In 2006, Escovedo released Boxing Mirror and toured with the Alejandro Escovedo String Quintet to promote the album. His next two albums, Real Animal and Street Songs of Love were produced by Tony Visconti as was his just-released follow-up, Big Station. Despite his longevity, Escovedo says new inspiration isn't too hard to find. At 2012’s SXSW he ripped through "Man of the World," the first track off Big Station, in a passionate debut performance of the song. Invigorated by friend and colleague Bruce Springsteen, Escovedo knew this performance would be special.
"It was definitely a memorable night because we opened for Bruce. There was just a certain kind of energy in the air that night," says Escovedo. "[Bruce] had joined us onstage the night before at the Austin Music Awards, so that energy was in the performance we brought to the Moody [Theater]. We'd played the song a few times at the Continental Club, but that was the first time we really debuted it."
Escovedo’s relentless touring is documented in More Money Than Miles: Live 1994-96, released in 1998. In an interview with Joshua Klein for the Onion, Escovedo explained his commitment to the road: "I love playing live. That’s really the most important aspect of all this music-making stuff to me. It’s really kind of the hardest road to choose, because you have to travel so much, and it’s hard on relationships and what-have-you. For me, it’s the most immediate response. I don’t want to become a recluse in the studio. I like the interaction between the songs and the audience."
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