Written by Eddie Ferranti
Performers we’ve seen over the years rarely come along who are more versatile than Alejandro Escovedo. Every style or configuration he branches out to do works. Whether it be The True Believers, The Sensitive Boys or this fine trio he had on display at the acoustically killer McGonigel’s Mucky Duck this evening. Dude had SRO shows at 7 + 9:30pm and the hour and 45 minute late set ruled.
Consisting of Austin-based jazzman deluxe Elias Haslanger on sax, Sensitive Boys alum Bobby Daniel on stand up bass and AE just killin’ it on acoustic and especially electric guitar, they meshed unbelievably well considering this was their first go around as a live performance!
The set list covered the full and wide catalog that AE has covering every kind of sound from rockin’ electric freak show loud “Sally Was A Cop”, stunning “Chelsea Hotel ’78” with epic “makes no/perfect sense” lyrics and “Everybody Loves Me”. Then tender ending spooky hush like tunes “Rosalie” and Mott the Hoople dedication “I Wish I Was Your Mother”. Hell even “Can’t Make Me Run” did both from loud to passionate quiet. All the songs were emotional in a manner only Escovedo can pull off time and time again.
He’s the consummate pro and surrounds himself with studs like Haslanger who demonstrated time and again his formidable chops bringing down the house while Daniel’s bass bump made the threesome’s jam fest seem like much more!
For a man in his early 60’s AE loves to stray back to his punk roots (The Nuns) and resort to shredding more often than not which is underrated and fun to behold. His heartfelt and tender dedication of sizzling “Sister Lost Soul” to Small Faces’ late long time Austinite Ian McLagan took your breath away.
Alejandro always defers to others and never pats himself on the back, but loved when he stated he did “Always A Friend” on last Springsteen tour and he knew the song but Bruce did not! Classic.
To top the gig off, they dug out Spanish “Sabor A Mi”, a 1959 love song by Mexican composer Alvaro Carrillo by request and collectively kicked us out the door with psycho blaster “Castanets”!
From this reviewer’s vantage point Mr.Escovedo just seems to be having more fun than ever while producing powerful music of all shapes and sizes. No question he’s in control and whatever sound he chooses to shell out it is always worth following…Until we say HEY again, I’m out supporting live music.