A founding member of the short-lived but seminal “cowpunk” trio Rank and File, Alejandro Escovedo has taken the long and dusty road that many a musician has trod before him. It is a journey that has seen him circle from Texas to California to New York and back to Texas, and encompassing a breadth of music as varied as the many bands he was part of before embarking on a solo career.
It was in Austin, where he returned in the mid-1980s, that Alejandro found a musical home that matched his own eclectic sense of possibility. “It was this place that was completely open. The community really supported the musicians. It was small enough that you knew everybody there. The punks respected Townes and the Vaughans, and the Vaughans respected everybody else. Austin is an oasis in Texas . . . they all come to Austin because it’s freedom.”
Over the years, Escovedo has earned a reputation as a songwriter of incredible emotional depth and honesty. A double-CD tribute album, Por Vida, recorded as he battled health problems, features a long list of famous admirers including John Cale, Calexico, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Ian Hunter and the Jayhawks, all covering songs from Alejandro’s considerable catalogue.
Thankfully Alejandro made a full recovery and is back in the studio and on the road, bringing along a suitcase full of songs that range from full-on rockers to heat-felt love songs. We’re even happier that road leads him and the Sensitive Boys to the shores of Jericho Beach for the first time this summer.