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

British Sea Power: Machineries of Joy (Rough Trade)

British Sea Power: Machineries of Joy (Rough Trade)

IN the current roll call of great bands out of Blighty, the fascinating and heroically named British Sea Power seem to have gone woefully overlooked. Their intelligence and musical curiosity... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 An Emerald City:  Circa Scaria (Banished/Border)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 An Emerald City: Circa Scaria (Banished/Border)

Because the previous EP by this Auckland-based group was widely hailed at Elsewhere, and that there is now a profile of the band posted under Absolute Elsewhere, this will be brief. For my... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

John Lennon: Real Love (1979 demo)

John Lennon: Real Love (1979 demo)

When, in early 1994, the remaining Beatles (aka the Threetles) got together to work on the demo of the late John Lennon's Free As A Bird they at least had the bare bones of a vaguely interesting,... > Read more