“The annual ACL Live at the Moody show has become an appropriate way to kick off the new year with a spirit of big dreams and bold visions.” – Peter Blackstock,
The 4th annual event returns Alejandro to an Austin stage for the first time since September 2015, and, rings in his January 10 birthday. “Austin’s most illustrious bandleader” will celebrate with A Thousand Kisses Deep: The Leonard Cohen Influence. A night of music, and musicians, inspired by a renaissance man and one of the greatest storytellers of the last 100 years. A musician, songwriter, poet, novelist, painter, whose sublime catalog of work has influenced and helped shaped a generation of artists, Alejandro among them. (http://acl-live.com/calendar/alejandro-escovedo-2016)
Writes Jon Pareles of the New York Times, “The solo albums Escovedo began making in 1992 fit no ready-made genre; they are profoundly and complexly moving. Even when he’s pounding out a garage-band stomp, there’s a somber core to his songs, a recognition of irrevocable loss and lasting sorrow that places him alongside songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Neil Young.”
Special guests are veteran singer-songwriter and longtime Cohen collaborator, Julie Christensen (www.stonecupid.com); Grammy-nominated producer, composer, guitarist and longtime Cohen collaborator, Mitch Watkins (www.mitchwatkins.com); and returning, Elias Haslanger (Scott Laningham, Daniel Durham, Sean Giddings, www.elijazz.com ) with his award-winning soul jazz quintet, (rated 4.5 stars by premier jazz magazine Downbeat), as well as longtime members of the Alejandro Escovedo Orchestra (Brian Standefer, Matt Fish and Karla Manzur).
The evening will feature selections from the rich Cohen catalog, newly charted and orchestrated by Alejandro, as well as a set of his songs inspired by Leonard Cohen. Christensen’s work with Cohen and solo will also be highlighted. “He finds ways to make older material sound new again in this ambitious and memorable evening” (Blackstock)
The celebration of Cohen’s literary contributions will be honored by special guests, actors Robert Patrick (Scorpion on CBS, Terminator 2) and Rafael Childress (from By the Hand of the Father).
For Alejandro, each show is a time to build something new. “I’ve always felt that I needed to get into an area where I could really flex my muscles as far as my ability to curate and produce — to gather information and to build stories and visuals to go with it,” he says. “I want to get to that place where I can really combine my film interests, my musical interests and my literary interests into this big storytelling exercise.”
It is this bold spirit that continues to draw Elias Haslanger to reach new collaborative heights with Alejandro. “He’s kind of a musicologist; he loves all kinds of music,” Haslanger says. “He knows a lot more about a lot of different styles of music than I do. I think that’s reflected in his songwriting. What I love about him is he always likes to take chances,” Haslanger said. “And that’s very much like a jazz musician. He doesn’t like doing the exact same thing all the time. That’s part of our DNA as well: Every night, even if you’re playing a classic standard, the idea is to reinvent it.”
Later in January Alejandro will bring The Leonard Cohen Experience to his annual birthday City Winery residency in New York and the newly added City Winery Chicago residency. He has begun writing a new record for Concord, produced by Peter Buck (REM, The Minus Five, Baseball Project) and Scott McCaughey (long time musician, Buck collaborator; bands Young Fresh Fellows, The Minus Five, Baseball Project).