Review by Bokonon
Photographs by Tim Livingston
Slim like a knife, looking sharp, vest buttoned, guitar in hand. Alejandro Escovedo says Texas, but he speaks New York. He looks Austin, but he wears L.A. At Club Helsinki, on an April evening, Escovedo, 62, but not a day over 45, takes on a new role — Duke Ellington from Saltillo. The Duke wrote music for the ages, but he penned charts for his particular band of the day. Escovedo, too, lets his players sign his work. David Pulkingham is gone, so is Billy White. Where Joe Eddie Hines once blazed across the spectrum, where John Dee Graham used to riff almighty, now Ricky Ray Jackson takes the chair — literally on pedal steel and figuratively on six-string.
In Hudson, songs from Big Station (“San Antonio Rain,” “Bottom of the World”) take on a new shimmer. Songs from Gravity (“Paradise”) remember leaner, younger days and sing again. And “Castanets” just fucking rocks, don’t argue, it’s the truth.