Elmore Magazine/Suzanne Cadgène/February 1

Alejandro Escovedo performs at the City Winery on January 22, 2016. (L-R) Jessie Enlgand (backing vocals), Karla Manzur (backing vocals), Alejandro, Brian Standefer (cello), Mitch Watkins (guitar), Scott Laningham (drums in back), Elias Haslanger (sax), and Daniel Durham (bass guitar).

Alejandro Escovedo performs at the City Winery on January 22, 2016. (L-R) Jessie England (backing vocals), Karla Manzur (backing vocals), Alejandro, Brian Standefer (cello), Mitch Watkins (guitar), Scott Laningham (drums in back), Elias Haslanger (sax), and Daniel Durham (bass guitar).             Photo: Ebet Roberts

Tejano roots-rocker Alejandro Escovedo has digested a wide range of music in his 30-odd years as a performer, from punk rock to hard rock to Chicano rock, and alt- just about everything, but Leonard Cohen? City Winery booked Escovedo for a short stand, and we caught the talented singer/guitarist for an evening of Cohen’s songs.

“He reminded us all why we are Alejandro Escovedo fans”

Alejandro Escovedo took the stage natty and trim in a patterned silver lamé jacket, tight pants and a big, swinging tie. Backed by two female vocalists and what looked like six pieces (but turned out to be seven, with one guitarist  playing from backstage),  Escovedo kicked the evening off with an Election Year Special, “Democracy (Is Coming to the USA).” No stranger to political statements—in 2005, Escovedo refused to play one of his own songs for two years because President George W. Bush had it on his iPod—Escovedo sang quite a few of the 50-odd verses Cohen said made up the song, which itself took Cohen four years (i.e., one Presidential term) to write. If the audience came for Cohen hits like “Suzanne” and “Hallelujah,” they didn’t get them, they got deep cuts.

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