Alejandro Escovedo: Street Songs of Love (Concord)

 |   |  1 min read

Alejandro Escovedo: Down in the Bowery
Alejandro Escovedo: Street Songs of Love (Concord)

From the breathless pace he sets on this hard rocking album you'd never know that Escovedo out of Texas (formerly of Rank and File, a fellow traveller with John Dee Graham, co-writer with Chuck Prophet and now managed by Springsteen's Jon Landau) nearly died a few years ago.

Such is the high regard he is held in by his peers that for a fund-raising tribute album Son Volt, Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople, Steve Earle, John Cale (who produced Escovedo's The Boxing Mirror of four years ago), Lucinda Williams and others all lined up.

This new album is produced by Tony Visconti (Bowie, and the title track mentions "a tin machine"!) and it is a crisp, stilleto-sharp outing with an edge of rock'n'roll desperation (which for NZ listeners may recall Hello Sailor in their heyday).

Half are co-writes with Prophet, the band is a tight trio behind Escovedo, Ian Hunter joins him on the backstreet ballad Down in the Bowery, the punk energy which fueled his early years appears everywhere (Tender Heart is anything but), Springsteen turns up for the 18-wheel powerhouse of the life-affirming Faith . . .

There is gentleness here too (After the Meteor Showers is a ballad with two women on backing vocals, Falling Apart With You) and Tula is a stabbing piece of alt.country with an edgy off-kilter funky Tex-Mex beat.

And the rush comes to a close with a gentle guitar instrumental Fort Worth Blue, which you imagine might be the highway song for 2am when Escovedo is driving home alone across the deserts of West Texas after a gig.

Escovedo is probably too far into his career to break into wider attention, but if you like rock'n'roll of the old style (Bob Seger, Petty before the Wilburys, the Replacements etc) then this is your windows-wound-down album.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Buddy Holly and the Crickets: The Very Best of (Universal)

Buddy Holly and the Crickets: The Very Best of (Universal)

There's not a lot needs be said about this 50 song, double disc compilation that hasn't been said elsewhere at Elsewhere about Buddy Holly's particular songwriting gifts: he crafted stories and... > Read more

John Morales: The M&M Mixes (BBE)

John Morales: The M&M Mixes (BBE)

Recently I have been reading some interesting political histories of disco: how anti-gay and anti-black elements (notably in white radio and rock culture) conspired to kill the music, and how the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Larry Henley: A very rich man indeed.

Larry Henley: A very rich man indeed.

Ray Columbus seldom rang me at the Herald unless he had something to say. I liked him for that, he wasn't a time waster. But once he called and said he had an American friend in town that I might... > Read more

Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here with Stephane Grappelli (1975)

Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here with Stephane Grappelli (1975)

If the recent reissue of Led Zeppelin albums proved something less than interesting, let alone exciting, in the "bonus tracks' department, the same couldn't be said for the Pink Floyd reissue... > Read more