A different side of the rocker at Narrow Falls Center for the Performing arts with trio. 

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Music Scene-Millford Daily News/Jay Miller/July 23, 2016

Some of the most galvanizing rock ‘n’ roll shows we’ve ever seen have come from Austin, Texas songwriter Alejandro Escovedo, within the past few years. But it was a markedly different side of the songsmith on display Friday night at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, as he performed as part of a trio featuring keyboards and cello.

Escovedo played for his usual two hours, but by sprinkling long autobiographical stories about how he was inspired to write each song in the dozen-song set, he provided a rare insight into his own musical journey. Longtime sideman Brian Standefer was superb on cello, adding layers of meaning and color to the music, whether as subtle accents, or keening pedal steel-like solos. Keyboardist Sean Giddings, who Escovedo introduced as being from the Austin band Church on Monday, was a similarly outstanding talent, from quiet accompaniment to fiery soloist.

Escovedo, 65, began his musical career as a punk rocker in the bands The Nuns, and Rank and File. But the San Antonio native, who grew up largely in California, changed course when he landed in Austin, becoming a central figure in the Texas songwriter scene. As he would note in the show, he comes from a family of 12, and older brothers Coke Escovedo and Pete Escovedo also have had lengthy musical careers, from being mentored by Latin percussion king Tito Puente, to playing with Santana.  Sheila Escovedo, better known as Sheila E, daughter to Pete and is Alejandro’s niece, well known as Prince’s percussionist and fiance.

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Photo: Ken Abrams (Music critic for Go Local/Worcester)