|Alejandro Escovedo photo by Marina Chavez|
In a 2001 Ace interview (with author Larry Brown), Escovedo said he valued his late start (first playing guitar at 24, and songwriting at 30), explaining that he had " "all that time to store up a lot of things. When it came time to write songs it opened up this huge reservoir of material. As I become more accomplished as a songwriter, I can see where they really lend themselves to each other - that eye for detail and images...You mentioned Robert [Earl Keen] as more of a straight narrative... I don't know that I'm such a writer. Joe [Ely] writes in a similar way too..." - that beginning to end style of storytelling.
In that interview (on the heels of the play he'd written), he reflected on his father's influence on his work, "My father was born in 1907 in Mexico. He crossed the border at 12, in search of his parents who were working as pickers in Texas...From there, my father at the age of 16 ran away to the coast of California. He got work on ships to Alaska and back. He was a singer in work camps... a prizefighter... a baseball player... a singer in a mariachi band.... and a father of 12 children."
Escovedo's shows following that interview -- an acoustic set at Joseph-Beth Booksellers with the late author Larry Brown, along with sets at Lynagh's -- remain the stuff of legend.
Since those days, Escovedo has played through Lexington on many occasions; recorded new work; had a life threatening health crisis, which spawned the fundraising tribute album Por Vida: A Tribute To The Songs Of Alejandro Escovedo) and a blockbusting recovery, with the new album, Street Songs of Love which includes guest work from Bruce Springsteen.
Escovedo's always treated Lexington as a home-away-from home on the road, and he recorded some of the new record here. Read the American Songwriter interview here. (Ace posted the NPR streaming preview back in June when they featured it.)
In July, Springsteen joined Escovedo onstage during a show at New Jersey's Stone Pony. Al's even done Leno this summer (August 13).
One of the better reviews from the current tour was posted by the Buffalo News on June 11, where the headline leads with "Underground" Legend, in quotation marks.
Tickets for the Troubadour Show in Lexington go on sale Saturday at 1 pm via the Kentucky Theatre.
The World Cafe will be broadcasting Alejandro's performance of "Anchor" "Down In The Bowery" and "Chelsea Hotel '78" in a compilation Best of XPoNential Music Festival episode on Saturday, September 4 and Monday, September 6.
Pikeville Kentucky native Patty Loveless will also play the Kentucky Theatre as part of the Troubadour Concert Series on October 14.