(HUDSON, N.Y.) – While widespread name recognition may have evaded Alejandro Escovedo over the years, he certainly has garnered the attention of a diverse array of fellow musicians with whom in one way or another he has crossed paths. These include producing pals such as Stephen Bruton, John Cale (Velvet Underground), Chris Stamey (the dBs) and, most recently, Tony Visconti (David Bowie’s longtime producer), and songwriting fellows such as Chuck Prophet. Escovedo, who has recorded with Ryan Adams and Jon Dee Graham, is both a critic’s darling (No Depression magazine, the bible of alt-country, called him Artist of the Decade in the 1990s) and a musician’s musician (Rock historian and Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye contributed the biographical tribute to Escovedo on the latter’s website). Escovedo brings his band, the Sensitive Boys, to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, April 7, 2013, at 8pm for an acoustic concert.
Texas-raised Mexican-American Escovedo, the uncle of pop-funk star Sheila E, is a one time punk-rocker mostly playing original alt-country music since before there was such a term – and indeed his music today ranges from Velvet Underground-style drone rock to classic punk to Los Lobos-like Chicano rock to idiosyncratic, character-based visionary music along the lines of Tom Waits.
For the last five years Escovedo’s career has been overseen by the same team that has long managed Bruce Sprintsteen. The Boss’s longtime guitarist, Miami Steve Van Zandt aka Little Steven of the Underground Garage aka Silvio Dante on the Sopranos, has also been a big champion of his.
In recent years, Escovedo has teamed with Helsinki favorite Chuck Prophet for songwriting and Tony Visconti for producing. “He’s like a member of the band by now,” Escovedo says of Visconti, who sometimes shares songwriting. Escovedo credits Prophet for the hints of lightness and humor that have been creeping into his work – which is renowned for its darkness – in recent years.