It's easy to throw around high-falutin' and free-wheeling associations when it comes to describing musicians and their respective musical backgrounds. Examining how, over time, these have influenced them as artists. But when you talk about Alejandro Escovedo, the journey has been a long and bizarre one, where a bucketful of disparate genres have flowed through his guitar.
Born into a Mexican family in San Antonio, in 1951, Escovedo's wild education began at home in a family of twelve musical siblings who embraced Latin percussive jazz, the British Invasion, Mexican trio music and after a move to California, the burgeoning days of hardcore punk rock. Before one can even begin to understand his impact on American music, know the following: His younger brother Javier was in the wildly influential punk outfit The Zeros, his brother Mario ran with the Dragons and his niece is Prince's backbone Sheila E.
With a twenty year solo career that has spanned fourteen full-lengths, Escovedo's guitar has been heard with first-wave punkers the Nuns and cowpunkers Rank and File before the solo trek that is equal parts roots rock, post-punk, and straight-up leather-clad rock and roll.
Escovedo's trip has been a slow and steady ascension that, while not making him a household name, has made him a musician's musician, and a respected one at that. After suffering from Hepatitis C for a long time, Escovedo became gravely ill in 2003, and facing insurmountable medical bills for his care, an ad hoc army of musicians including John Cale and Son Volt, as well as his large musical family, banded together in the benefit album Por Vida: A Tribute to the Songs of Alejandro Escovedo.
He's been free of the effects disease since 2005, and ever the road warrior, Escovedo brings his numerous musical hats and leniencies to the Culture Room backed by the Sensitive Boys and flanked by Austin's the Ghost Wolves and Peru's FatKingBulla.
Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys - "Man of the World"
Alejandro Escovedo - "Crooked Fame"
Alejandro Escovedo - "Sally Was a Cop"
Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys with the Ghost Wolves and FatKingBulla at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 26 at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Ft. Lauderdale. Tickets cost $18 plus fees on Ticketmaster. Call 954-564-1074, or visit cultureroom.net.