By Karen Brooks Harper/Dallas Observer/ October 12, 2016

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Charlie L. Harper III

For a while there two years ago, it seemed to Alejandro Escovedo as though it were all crumbling.

His legendary rock ‘n’ roll career. His physical health. His mind. His beloved Austin, a place he had helped create as much as it had created him.

About the only thing Alejandro could see clearly was his new wife, Nancy Rankin Escovedo, with whom he had survived a near-death experience and who now held his hand tightly as they looked ahead into an uncertain future.

And then fate stepped in.

The winds of change engulfed the 65-year-old songwriter and his wife, and drew them to a hip hotel apartment in Dallas, a place filled with music and camaraderie and art. A place where Alejandro and Nancy now make their new home, find creative inspiration and outlet in their fresh start, and tell a new story about a future filled with optimism.

“It’s not over by any stretch of the imagination,” Escovedo said on a recent afternoon, surrounded by guitars and books and light in his breezy apartment at the Belmont Hotel in Oak Cliff.

Crowning his new chapter is his brand new album, Burn Something Beautiful, a collaboration with R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of the Young Fresh Fellows, due out on Fantasy Records on Oct. 28.

The year behind him includes being completely cured after a 20-year battle with deadly hepatitis C; leaving Austin, his home of 35 years that claims him as its native son; and the couple surviving a hurricane on their honeymoon. Both of them were later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Escovedo also had to come to terms with blackouts and bizarre behavior as well as a canceled tour that threatened to put the brakes on his career.

Ahead of him is an international tour with Buck and McCaughey, a brand new podcast he hosts and broadcasts from the lobby of the Belmont and ideas for projects to come: A coffee table book with his photographer wife, Nancy, an album with Los Lobos, duet projects and creating more of his signature theatrical shows.

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