Photo: Nancy Rankin Escovedo
Alejandro Escovedo is the definition of a songwriter’s songwriter. While his own career has been a modest success, the biggest names in music adore the guy’s work. Bruce Springsteen calls him up at his own shows, and has appeared on Escovedo’s recordings. Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown featured him as a vocalist on several songs during the band’s active years. REM lead guitarist Peter Buck is a frequent tour-mate—and he’s also the co-writer and co-producer of Escovedo’s new album, Burn Something Beautiful, which is out October 28. Escovedo and Buck were joined on the writing front by indie rock hero Scott McCaughey, and the three had a deep collaborative process when writing songs on the album. The result is a thirteen-track album that—if the new track “Heartbeat Smile” is any indication—recalls both vintage Escovedo and the pop-rock sensibilities of his collaborators.