|Alejandro Escovedo with Don Antonio — The Crossing (2018)|
Alejandro Escovedo with Don Antonio — The Crossing (Sept 14th, 2018)• Alejandro Escovedo, chicano afincado entre Austin y Sacramento, ahora vive en Dallas, éste hijo de emigrantes mexicano y güero esquelético ha firmado desde de la década de los noventa maravillosos discos llenos de Rock and Roll, Punk Rock, Country, Roots o Folk, visitó por primera vez España hace cinco años.
• „Musically, Alejandro Escovedo is in his own genre.“ — David Fricke, Rolling Stone
Born: January 10, 1951, San Antonio, Texas United States
Genres: Alt~rock, alt~country, punk rock, cowpunk, heartland rock, chicano rock
Location: Austin, Texas
Album release: 14.09. 2018
Record Label: Yep Roc
01 Andare 0:55
02 Footsteps In The Shadows 4:49
03 Texas Is My Mother 3:02
04 Teenage Luggage 3:25
05 Something Blue 4:11
06 Outlaw For You 3:27
07 Amor Puro 2:38
08 Waiting For Me 3:17
09 How Many Times 4:29
10 Cherry Blossom Rain 3:37
11 Sonica USA 2:21
12 Rio Navidad 3:46
13 Silver City 5:57
14 Fury and Fire 2:14
15 Flying 3:08
16 MC Overload 3:04
17 The Crossing 5:23
✹ “The Crossing’ is a powerful collection of songs that may in fact be the most succinct statement of Escovedo’s musical and personal story ever.” — Glide Magazine
Review by Jason Ritchie; Score: ****½
✹ Alejandro Escovedo’s ‘Burn Something Beautiful’ was one of last year’s better albums and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck helped out on that one. Now we have ‘The Crossing’, Alejandro’s first ever concept album telling the story of two young immigrants to the US, Salvo and Diego, who find they have arrived to a place and mood they were not expecting. Salvo and Diego bond over a mutual love of punk rock as they struggle with the racism and discrimination as immigrants. The narrative draws on Alejandro’s own experience as the child of Mexican immigrants.
✹ On his last UK tour Alejandro used Italian band Don Anonio, who consist of guitarist and composer Antonio Gramentieri, Denis Valentini (bass), Matteo Monti (drums), Gianni Perinelli and Franz Valtieri (horns) plus Nicola Peruch (keyboards) and they provide his musical backing on here. There are also some special guests including MC5′s Wayne Kramer, Joe Ely, and Peter Perrett and John Perry of The Only Ones.
✹ Cinematic instrumental ‘Andare’ opens the story before we have a couple of blues/Tex Mex flavoured songs in ‘Footsteps In Shadows’ and the moving ‘Texas Is My Mother’. Alejndro Escovedo’s love of classic punk and garage rock shines through on ‘Sonica USA’, which features Wayne Kramer guesting. That is one of the album’s strengths the way that heartfelt blues, a spoken narrative or blazing garage rock, all forms part of the album’s musical concept and all fit seamlessly together.
✹ The album has plenty of musical variety from, ‘Rio Navidad’, a spoken word song about a Texas ranger, written by novelist Willy Vlautin and read by Freddy Trujillo, through to the hard hitting lyric on ‘Fury & Fire’, where Escovedo and his story’s protagonists take aim at Trump and his wall for the US/Mexican border. You can feel the rage and anger loud and clear in the vocals and guitars.
✹ The story line holds all these various musical styles together, making for a thought provoking and topical album. Alejandro Escovedo has found fellow musical brethren in Don Antonio, as they create wonderful musical stories together. Quite simply stunning from start to finish.
Written By Hal Horowitz // September 12, 2018 // Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
✹ For many music fans, two of the most wince~inducing words are “concept album.” Add “cinematic” along with “orchestration” and the nightmares begin. And yes, this new disc from redoubtable Texas based singer~songwriter Alejandro Escovedo proudly boasts that somewhat lofty description in its promotional literature.
✹ But don’t flee screaming in fear. Escovedo is too much of a veteran and established pro to get bogged down pushing some convoluted narrative in lieu of quality songwriting. Rather these 17 tracks examine the hot~button political topic of immigration; telling of two men, one from Mexico, one from Italy, and their trials and tribulations entering the U.S. Escovedo often uses the first person as a narrator which makes the account feel more individual. While there are plenty of — arguably too many — lyrics setting the scene, the songs are strong enough to carry the story without buckling under the “concept” pressure.
✹ Tracks like the tough~strutting riff rocker “Outlaw For You” that name checks Johnny Thunders, James Dean, Allen Ginsberg and other iconic figures, and the bluesy mid~tempo “How Many Times,” don’t seem to have a direct connection to the story. The music was recorded in Villafranca, Italy with an instrumental ensemble named Don Antonio. Yet the sound isn’t far removed from previous Escovedo releases recorded closer to home. Guest vocalists Joe Ely (who provides an eerie spoken word part on the well, cinematic, sprawling title track) and Peter Perrett (from UK post~punkers The Only Ones on the pop rocking “Waiting for Me”) also appear to add diverse textures.
✹ The album is split in half by the instrumental “Amor Puro” which sounds like a Los Lobos B side. And even though the angry, blistering rocker “Fury and Fire” (“I can’t believe they want to take my dad away … they call us rapists/ so we build a bigger wall/ We’re gonna tear it down”) and the raw, distorted guitar driven Tom Waits~styled “MC Overload” appear later in the program, the momentum dissipates slightly in the disc’s final third. Freddie Trujillo’s spoken word story “Rio Navidad” about a confrontation with a racist is interesting once but it slows things down and isn’t something you’ll likely play twice.
✹ A cameo from the MC5’s Wayne Kramer on first single “Sonica USA,” with its twisted sax and grinding guitar, is another highlight on this hour~long, widescreen venture. Escovedo is in fine, emotional voice throughout, especially on ballads like the lovely “Cherry Blossom Rain.”
✹ As with the best concept sets, you don’t need to follow the story, or even know there is one, to enjoy these songs, since most stand on their own. They may not be the best or catchiest ones Escovedo has written, but this is one of the most passionate, relevant, politically charged and personal projects he has released in a career pushing 40 years. It’s injected with fire, fury and a thoughtful treatise of the immigrant issue from firsthand experience. But most importantly, he puts the music first, as it always should be. — AmericanSongwriter
• Gravity (1992)
• Thirteen Years (1994)
• The End/Losing Your Touch (1994)
• With These Hands (1996)
• More Miles Than Money: Live 1994~1996 (1998)
• Bourbonitis Blues (1999)
• A Man Under the Influence (2001)
• By the Hand of the Father (2002)
• Room of Songs (2005)
• The Boxing Mirror (2006)
• Real Animal (2008)
• Live Animal (2009)
• Street Songs of Love (2010)
• Big Station (2012)
• The Crossing (2018)
|Alejandro Escovedo with Don Antonio — The Crossing (2018)|