Last Friday I went to WXPN's Free-At-Noon Alejandro Escovedo concert and manohman was it good.
Escovedo came up in the same Slash Records class as Los Lobos and X and just like those bands you can never pin his music down. He's done So-Cal punk, Tex-Mex, roots rock, folk, Americana, you name it. For me he's been one of those artists who long ago should have become part of my music collection, but somehow still isn't.
His latest album, The Boxing Mirror, was produced by John Cale, so I wasn't surprised to see both a cellist and violinist on stage Friday. What did surprise me was just how hard Escovedo and his six-piece band rocked for the first half of the mini-concert. It was a sound that just hit you like a truck - absolutely amazing all-out rock and roll. Escovado's constant smile showed that he still loves to play this stuff, 35 years after his career started.
For the second half of the show Escovedo switched to an acoustic guitar and the viola and violin were used to support some beautiful Chicano-influenced ballads. While the music was quieter, the sound of band remained strong.
One of the best XPN concerts I've ever been to.