Renowned songwriter, singer, true believer, Alejandro Escovedo released Burn Something Beautiful on October 28th, 2016 via Fantasy Records. The new album, Escovedo’s first solo endeavor since 2012’s highly acclaimed Big Station, is in actuality, a highly collaborative affair. Teaming with Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5) to co-write the album’s songs, Escovedo also enlisted the pair to act as the project’s producers.
Escovedo and company take some mighty big swings here. At once a celebration of the rock and roll life, a contemplation on mortality, and the healing power of love, Burn Something Beautiful connects repeatedly with Escovedo’s soulful heart and voice at its core. The project coalesced with the help of an esteemed group of musicians who give the album a genuine band feel. They include guitarist Kurt Bloch (The Fastbacks), drummer John Moen (The Decemberists), vocalists Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney) and Kelly Hogan (Neko Case, The Flat Fie) as well as saxophonist Steve Berlin (Los Lobos).
In a trailblazing career that began with The Nuns, San Francisco’s famed punk innovators, to the Austin-based-based alt-country rock pioneers, Rank & File, to Texas bred darlings, True Believers, through countless all-star collaborations and tribute album appearances and finally a series of beloved solo albums beginning with 1992’s acclaimed Gravity, Escovedo has earned a surplus of distinctions: No Depression magazine’s Artist of the Decade Award in 1998 and the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Performing in 2006, just to name two.
In the rock’n’roll era, the vast spaces of west Texas have been filled with great music. Singer-songwriter Joe Ely stands in a tradition born out on these gritty plains. It includes Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, Tanya Tucker, Guy Clark, Delbert McClinton, and Joe’s enduring musical partners, Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.
Ely lives in Austin and spends much of his life on the road. But when he’s accumulated enough song ideas, Lubbock is where Joe heads. “Somehow, just driving for hours down those country roads is still the best place for me to finish my songs.”
Panhandle Rambler is one of the most personal albums Joe Ely’s ever made. It brings forth this terrain, the spirited people it produces and that special sense of destiny, be it terrible or glorious, that its very vastness creates. Wonderin’ Where, perhaps the album’s most beautiful melody, pays tribute to the trembling towers, the railroads, the “cross between a river and a stream” where he played, and the dreams and nightmares that flitted across that kid’s mind and heart, and the loneliness of bearing such secrets. If it is possible to write a love song for a place, this is one of the great ones. The closing song, You Saved Me, is a love song to Joe’s wife, Sharon. The lyric never mentions her name, but no one who’s known Joe Ely longer than about a day could mistake her. This is a classic Joe Ely album. It’s beautiful and it’s inspiring.
Escovedo and Ely On Stage Together!
Sunday, August 20, 2017 8pm
Tickets: $32 - $47
Renowned songwriter, singer, true believer, Alejandro Escovedo has a trailblazing career that encompasses rock n’ roll, punk, and alt-country rock.
Escovedo’s soulful heart and voice have been heard on countless all-star collaborations, tribute albums and a series of beloved solo works. Singer-songwriter Joe Ely stands, in a music tradition born out on the gritty plains of west Texas, as one of the main movers of Austin’s rock and progressive country scene.