Interview by Danny Coleman

Alejandro Escovedo has seen and been through much over his long and storied career. The product of a musical family; Escovedo has run the gamut of various styles and genres, seemingly in connection with the different states and towns he’s resided in.
Born in Texas, Escovedo’s bloodline includes brothers Coke and Pete (each a percussionist) along with Javier and Mario; not to mention his niece Sheila, as in Sheila E. percussionist and band leader of the late night talk show The Magic Hour starring Magic Johnson. The family used to gather for reunions, or should we say, “jam sessions” yearly up until the death of Alejandro’s father. “They were, well when we were all young, there was always family reunions. They were always centered around my dad’s birthday and the family would all play. My uncles and brothers would all get together, music was a huge part of that; then once my dad passed away, they stopped. We still support each other and get together but not like we used to.”

Exposure to music by his father and a move to the San Francisco, CA area in his youth, furthered his journey into various styles; beginning with punk rock as a member of The Nuns, then later as a member of roots

© Rosco Weber 2010

© Rosco Weber 2010

rock/alternative country band Rank and File and True Believers upon his return to his native Texas in a move to Austin. “I have a lot of great memories; I’ve led a very blessed life,” he said to me in a recent interview as he tours with his band The Sensitive Boys. “True Believers,” he explained as he hesitated a bit, “One of my favorite memories was we had just signed a record deal with EMI and had just finished a tremendous gig; it was one of those nights where everything went right. People were dancing, place was jam packed, big names in the crowd and the band was on fire. After the show, the record company had hired cabs or limos to take us to the airport as we were going to begin recording. We were in the car and we heard our song come on the radio, it was at that point that we all felt like rock stars; what a wonderful feeling.”

Over the years, Alejandro has had several life changing experiences, most notably his bout with Hepatitis C. However, there was a more recent event that has become the inspiration for his next album which is currently in its infant stages. “Yes, my next CD is currently in the writing stage; it’s about an experience that I had. I was literally lost in the mountains, the San Jacinto Mountains. I was out running and was in deep thought and thinking of significant things, due to what was happening in my life at the time; before I knew it I was lost. I had made a turn and never paid attention. I had to be evacuated by helicopter. I realized a lot about life and how we are really one with, well we have a relationship with the planet; it’s almost spiritual when you’re in the position that I was in. There was a journey that took place for me between man and his ancestors; it was scary yet beautiful at the same time.”

Alejandro has worked with some of the music industry’s best; most recently he and REM‘s Peter Buck performed together and he organized a tribute to Lou Reed at this year’s SXSW Festival in Austin along with Richard Barone. “Yeah, Peter and I? We thought it’d be a great idea; it went so well that we’ll be working together come this November. The Lou Reed thing? His death, he was the most influential for me; he meant so much to, not only to me but too many others too. We gathered some great people and beautiful images and we put it all together.”
When speaking with Escovedo, one gets the sense that his years of and life experiences have left him feeling gracious and taking nothing for granted as he winds his way across America. “This tour has been amazing; a really great tour so far. Kansas City, Minnesota, simply amazing shows, all of the shows have been really good. I look at it you know and I realize that I am very fortunate to still be touring. I’ve been given a gift and I consider myself lucky.”

So with tour dates all over the northeast and Mid-Atlantic States before turning southwest and multiple shows in Texas after two in Louisiana, Escovedo’s future plans are quite simple; “I’m doing a lot of working towards the next record.”

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FEATURED PHOTO BY © Marina Chavez 2010

 

Alejandro Escovedo leaves the “big station” as the Tour Continues
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