Alejandro Escovedo: A Man Under The Influence
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. Recorded in April at Portland's Type Foundry studio, 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.
"You just do your good work, and people care," Alejandro says. "I always believed, when I was a kid, that if you worked hard, you would find fulfillment. I think I got a lot of that from my father and my brothers. A working musician is all I ever wanted to be. Hard work, stay true to what you want to do, and then eventually someone would notice for that very reason."
CHRIS STAMEY has participated in indie music of all stripes since the 1970s, both with the dB's and as a solo artist. His recent albums include Lovesick Blues and Euphoria, as well as Falling Off the Sky with the dB’s. As a producer, he has worked with Ryan Adams, Alejandro Escovedo, Flat Duo Jets, Le Tigre, Skylar Gudasz, Yo La Tengo, and Tift Merritt. Since 2010, Stamey has been the musical director and orchestrator for a series of all-star international concert performances of Big Star’s classic album Sister Lovers aka Third, with a rotating musical cast that has included Big Star’s Jody Stephens, Ray Davies, the Kronos Quartet, members of the Posies, R.E.M., Teenage Fanclub, Wilco, and Yo La Tengo; Thank You, Friends, a film of these arrangements in concert in Los Angeles, was released in March 2017. Stamey lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.