Alejandro Escovedo Bio
Alejandro Escovedo, renowned songwriter, singer and true believer. In a trailblazing career that began with The Nuns, San Francisco’s famed punk innovators, to the Austin-based-based alt-country rock pioneers, Rank & File, to Texas bred darlings, True Believers, through countless all-star collaborations and tribute album appearances and finally a series of beloved solo albums beginning with 1992’s acclaimed Gravity – recently named by Paste Magazine #21 on the Top 50 Southern Rock Albums of All Time – Escovedo has earned a surplus of distinctions: No Depression magazine’s Artist of the Decade Award in 1998 and the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Performing in 2006, just to name two.
In December 2017 Escovedo joined the Yep Roc family, after playing the 20th anniversary celebration shows in North Carolina. He crossed paths again with Chris Stamey (dB’s) for the first time in 17 years after Stamey produced A Man Under the Influence (Bloodshot, 2001). It was here the concept was born to merge a new interpretation of A Man Under the Influence with the Think About the Link Tour presented by Prevent Cancer Foundation, for whom Escovedo has been a spokesperson since 2017. As a hepatitis C survivor, Escovedo hopes to spread the word about the link between hepatitis C and liver cancer. The tour kicked off on January 13, 2018 at his annual show at ACL Live at the Moody in Austin to stunning reviews. Each night, Escovedo and band performed his seminal “A Man Under the Influence album in its entirety, with new arrangements by music director Stamey and featuring most of the original musicians featured on the album – Mitch Easter (producer, R.E.M., frontman, Let’s Active), Eric Heywood (The Pretenders), long-time drummer Hector Munoz and cellist Brian Standefer. The second half of the show devoted to inspired covers by celebrated music heroes who have succumbed to cancer, survivors, and gems from Alejandro’s rich catalog.
In October 2016, Escovedo, released the well-loved Burn Something Beautiful on Concord Music’s Fantasy Records. The album, Escovedo’s first solo endeavor since 2012’s acclaimed Big Station, was a highly collaborative affair where he teamed with long time friends Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and Scott McCaughey (R.E.M.,The Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows) to co-write the album’s songs, and also enlisted the pair to act as the project’s producer.
Escovedo and The Burn Something Beautiful Band, as they fondly refer to themselves, took some mighty big swings. At once a celebration of the rock and roll life, a contemplation on mortality, and the healing power of love, Burn Something Beautiful connects repeatedly with Escovedo’s soulful heart and voice at its core. Recorded at Portland’s Type Foundry studio, the project coalesced with the help of an esteemed group of musicians who give the album a genuine band feel. They include guitarist Kurt Bloch (The Fastbacks), drummer John Moen (The Decemberists), vocalists Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney) and Kelly Hogan (Neko Case, The Flat Five) as well as saxophonist Steve Berlin (Los Lobos). The record took Escovedo and three incarnations of bands on a year-long journey across the US and Europe. He will release a new record on Yep Roc later this year.
“You just do your good work, and people care,” Alejandro says. “I always believed, when I was a kid, that if you worked hard, you would find fulfillment. I think I got a lot of that from my father and my brothers. A working musician is all I ever wanted to be. Hard work, stay true to what you want to do, and then eventually someone would notice for that very reason.”
Alejandro’s many gifts are revealed across a lifetime spent in dedication to and faith in the hard work of life and music…and its possibilities. Refusing to go unnoticed.
“Musically, Alejandro Escovedo is in his own genre.” – David Fricke, Rolling Stone
“There are songwriters who sing their songs, and then there are songs who sing their writers.” – Lenny Kaye ( Patti Smith Band)
“A masterwork from one of the genuine lights in rock music.”- Billboard
“Escovedo has blended the lyricism of Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne with the raw power of the Stooges and the Velvet Underground…the result is music with heart, brains, and a burning sense of adventure.”– Mark Kemp, Rolling Stone
“The performances were lush and full…it was truly a treat to hear these songs with such a rich resonance that only added to their depth and beauty.” – Front Row Center
“Alejandro Escovedo likes songs with stories; tonight, he was, the American story.” – The Boston Globe
“Alejandro Escovedo is one of the great songwriters of our time.” – Time Out Philadelphia
“Alejandro Escovedo was like a lean slice of nighttime that had found its way into a sunny afternoon. That set was rumbling roots-punk guitar gunslinging at its most fierce and hip. After a long afternoon on a festival stage, the 60-something Escovedo still bristled with energy. Cool cats get nine lives. Ticking it off on your fingers, it seems as if the Texas songwriter must have cycled through all of those and then some.” – Allison Fernstock, New Orleans Times-Picayune
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Peter Buck, Burn Something Beautiful Co-producer says, “I’ve been a fan of Alejandro’s music for over 30 years, and recording with him was as good as I expected it to be. I think he, Scott McCaughey and I really extended our vocabulary as writers and musicians, coming up with something that is unlike anything we have done individually in the past.”
Scott McCaughey, Burn Something Beautiful Co-producer says. “I felt a real kinship with Alejandro since we first met in 1986,” “We bonded over our mutual love of the rock & roll circus. Making Burn Something Beautiful really meant a lot to me, and I think people get that when they hear it.”