When: Fri., Dec. 2, 8 p.m. 2016
Even before embarking on the singer-songwriter path that he's been on for the last quarter-century or so, Alejandro Escovedo had already earned his cool cred several times over. For starters, he hails from an impressive musical family that includes niece Sheila E and brother Coke Escovedo, percussionist with Santana. But Alejandro never needed any musical pedigree to start making his own mark.
In the seventies, when American punk rock bands were thin on the ground (especially in Northern California), Escovedo played in the pioneering Bay Area punk band The Nuns. In the early eighties, when combining country and rock was still considered to be strictly the province of bands like The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, he was a member of the great proto alt-country band Rank & File. After that, Escovedo should have made a little rock 'n' roll history by virtue of starting the near-mythical alt-rock act True Believers, but fate wasn't on his side. He at last settled into Americana troubadour mode, becoming a bit of an Austin legend in the process.
The ultimate man about town, Escovedo has worked with everybody from Ryan Adams to Tony Visconti, David Bowie's longtime producer. Over the course of his long solo career, the sixty-five-year-old Escovedo has touched on the tender and the tough, the arty and the folky, and even cheated death along the way when he was diagnosed with hepatitis C back in 2003. He's a guy who's got a lot of stories in him. His latest album, October's Burn Something Beautiful, is a collection of heartland rockers that contains snatches of most of the styles Escovedo has played over the past four decades—if you see him onstage right now, you're probably catching him at a pretty good entry point.. —Jim Allen