Cover of By the Hand of the Father
Alejandro Escovedo (born January 10, 1951, in San Antonio, Texas) is a Mexican-American musician and singer-songwriter. His parents emigrated to Texas from Mexico. Escovedo is from a very musical family that has generated several professional musicians, including his brothers Coke Escovedo and Pete Escovedo, both percussionists, and longtime Prince collaborator Sheila E (who is Pete's daughter and Alejandro's niece). Another brother, Mario, fronted the hard rock band The Dragons. Escovedo began performing in the first-wave punk rock group The Nuns, with Delphine Neid, Jennifer Miro, and Jeff Olener, in San Francisco, California. After Escovedo's departure, The Nuns recorded an album on Posh Boy Records, but had little commercial success.
In the 1980s Escovedo moved to Austin, Texas, where he adapted a roots rock/alternative country style in the bands Rank and File (with Chip and Tony Kinman) and the True Believers (with his brother Javier and Jon Dee Graham). However, it was with the release of his first solo albums, Gravity in 1992 and Thirteen Years in 1994, and on through his sixth album, A Man Under the Influence (produced in 2001), that he found his true voice. Although he has yet to crossover to any type of mainstream audience, he has a huge underground following, and many popular artists cite Escovedo as a strong influence.
In 1997, Alejandro collaborated with Whiskeytown and Ryan Adams during the recording sessions for their album Strangers Almanac. He sings on "Excuse Me While I Break My Heart Tonight", "Dancing with the Women at the Bar", and "Not Home Anymore". As a salute to Alejandro, a cover of a True Believers song written by Alejandro is covered by Whiskeytown on the Deluxe Edition re-release of Strangers Almanac.
In 1998 No Depression magazine named him Artist of the Decade. Alejandro was also involved in a side project that represents his hard rocking tastes. Buick MacKane released an album in 1997 The Pawn Shop Years, hearkening back to his musical roots from the 70's.
In 2003, after having lived with Hepatitis-C for many years, Alejandro fell critically ill, following a performance of By the Hand of the Father, and nearly died. In his long road to recovery, he faced increasing medical bills. Without medical insurance, Escovedo could not pay the substantial medical bills. Friends and admirers around the country organized benefit shows to help the songwriter. This effort grew into the album Por Vida: A Tribute to the Songs of Alejandro Escovedo, a two-disc set whose proceeds benefit the Alejandro Escovedo Medical and Living Expense Fund. Contributing musicians included Steve Earle, Jon Dee Graham, Lucinda Williams, John Cale, Jennifer Warnes, Ian Hunter, The Jayhawks, and Son Volt, as well as family members Pete Escovedo [with niece Sheila E.], Javier Escovedo, and The Dragons [featuring youngest brother, Mario Escovedo].
In 2005, Alejandro was declared to be free of the disease.
Also in 2005, Escovedo's song "Castanets" appeared on the iPod playlist of George W. Bush , prompting a three year self-imposed ban on live performances of the song. The song returned to Escovedo's live shows in 2008 along with an explanation for its absence.
Boxing Mirror came out on May 2, 2006 and included many of the songs he had promoted with The Alejandro Escovedo String Quintet, including Jon Dee Graham. Escovedo went on a short tour with the Quintet, which included a date at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall in early December 2006.
Escovedo's latest record, Real Animal, was released on June 24, 2008 and was produced by Tony Visconti. All of the songs were co-written with Chuck Prophet. In April, 2008, it was announced that Escovedo will be managed by Jon Landau and Barbara Carr. Landau has long been Bruce Springsteen's manager.
Alejandro Escovedo MySpace