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Alejandro Escovedo — Big Station (2012)

 Alejandro Escovedo — Big Station (2012)

Alejandro EscovedoBig Station
"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: June 5, 2012
Record Label: Fantasy
Duration:     47:09
01. Man Of The World      (3:31)
02. Big Station      (3:23)
03. Sally Was A Cop      (4:53)
04. Bottom Of The World      (3:05)
05. Can't Make Me Run      (4:52)
06. San Antonio Rain      (4:02)
07. Headstrong Crazy Fools      (3:28)
08. Common Mistake      (2:42)
09. Never Stood A Chance      (4:07)
10. Party People      (4:01)
11. Too Many Tears      (5:08)
12. Sabor A Mi      (3:57)
Brad Bell  Assistant Engineer
Paul Blakemore  Mastering
Alvaro Carillo  Composer
Larissa Collins  Art Direction
Bobby Daniel  Bass, Composer, Vocals
Jim Eno  Engineer, Floor Tom, Handclapping, Surdo
Alejandro Escovedo  Composer, Guitar, Primary Artist, Vocals
Elias Haslanger  Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor)
Jimmy Hole  Package Design
Gina Lopez Holton  Vocals
Warren Hood  Fiddle, Violin
Evan Jacobs  Farfisa Organ
Karla Manzur  Vocals
Hector Munoz  Composer
Ephraim Owens  Trumpet
Chuck Prophet  Composer
David Pulkingham  Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Rob Saslow  A&R
Nicholas Saunder  Intern
Chris Searles  Drums
Brian Standefer  Cello
Tony Visconti  Composer, Engineer, Keyboards, Mixing, Producer, Tambourine
Todd Wolfson  Photography
Kristeen Young  Vocals
Website: http://alejandroescovedo.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/alejandroescovedo / Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/alejandroescovedo?fref=ts
Review by Thom Jurek  (Editor rating: ****½)
»  "Big Station is songwriter Alejandro Escovedo's 11th album, and his third consecutive collaboration with producer Tony Visconti. This pairing and Escovedo's writing partnership with Chuck Prophet have already been fruitful, but Big Station, with its headstrong rock & roll heart, is also more ambitious than either of its predecessors. The album is full of diverse musical and production notions ranging from the Clash's Sandinista! to records by Tinariwen, Rachid Taha, Lou Reed, and Mink DeVille, but bear Escovedo's own indelible signature. Visconti's predilection for enormous basslines, female backing choruses, handclaps, and tight rhythm sections is readily evident; it adds to the album's pleasure factor by ten. Escovedo and Prophet have chosen to write tight songs that contain readily apparent, hooky melodies, juxtaposed against (usually) poignant lyrics. "Man of the World" opens it all with a meld of big glam guitars, handclaps, and a backing Ramones-esque "oh yeah" chorus that is infectious and offsets the tune's weighty subject matter. The title track, driven by acoustic guitars and an equally electric chorus, is pumped up by percussive elements from hands, snares, and a menacing bassline underneath. It's a broken, desperate love song, but you'd never know it by its melody or arrangement. "Sally Was a Cop" is a cutting observation about the Mexican drug war, and the choices the country's citizens are forced to make. On "Can't Make Me Run," a muted trumpet and nasty fat bassline front a droning guitar line and airtight percussive groove. The lyric views the world from an utterly disillusioned and bewildered space, vacillating between fear and defiance. Near the end, Escovedo's protagonist's homesickness pleads for the guidance of his mother and seems to hear her in the wind as she responds repeatedly: "Don't give up on love." Here again, the Miles-like mute on the trumpet, funky bassline, and clapping grab the listener instantly. "San Antonio Rain," with its sad Americana melody, is tinged with a stirring norteno string chart and contains the devastating line "The last thing I need/Is something that will kill my pain," which we recall even as the protagonist begins to waver -- we never discover if he falters. "Headstrong Crazy Fools" looks back at life and its characters without nostalgia; in their place are wisdom and a hard-earned sense of humor -- revealed by the music itself. "Common Mistake" and "Party People" recall late-'70s new wave, but without irony or gimmicks; the music is undeniably catchy but both songs carry lyric heft. Set closer "Sabor a Mi," sung in Spanish, is the album's only cover. It was penned in 1959 by Mexican composer Alvaro Carrillo. For all its ambition and poetry, Big Station is consistently great fun. The songwriting and recording employed here take Escovedo's populist and sophisticated art to a whole new level."
In french:
»  Un très bon album.
Editorial Reviews:
»  2012 album from the acclaimed Texas singer, songwriter and blues rocker. On the follow-up to 2010's Street Songs of Love, which debuted at the top of Billboard's Heatseekers chart, Escovedo worked with frequent co-writer Chuck Prophet and producer Tony Visconti. The 12-track record references themes of love and belonging, as well as homes and homelands. 'Bottom of the World' name-checks Austin (where he currently resides), 'Sally Was a Cop' details the political corruption of Mexico, and the closing song 'Sabor a Mi,; written by the late Mexican composer Alvaro Carrillo in 1959, pays homage to the man and their shared roots.
Biography by John Bush
»  Alejandro Escovedo's family tree includes former Santana percussionist Pete Escovedo and Pete's daughter Sheila E (also Prince's former drummer and later a pop star). He began his music career with the Nuns, a mid-'70s punk band based in San Francisco. He co-founded the pioneering cowpunk band Rank and File in 1979, which moved to Austin, Texas in 1981 after a stint in New York City. The band released Sundown on Slash Records in 1982, but shortly after, Escovedo left to form the True Believers with brother Javier. The band recorded two albums for EMI and toured the country, often as an opening act for Los Lobos. However, EMI opted not to release the second album, which eventually led to the group's breakup. (It eventually surfaced as a bonus item when Rykodisc reissued the first set on CD in 1994.) Escovedo released a solo album in 1992 on Watermelon Records, Gravity, uniting his wide variety of styles; the album was produced by Stephen Bruton of Bonnie Raitt's band. Escovedo also began gigging periodically with the band Buick MacKane, which fused old-school punk with '70s glam rock; after Rykodisc released Escovedo's With These Hands in 1996, they followed it up with Buick MacKane's long-awaited album. After Escovedo parted ways with Rykodisc, he signed in 1998 with the Chicago-based alt-country label Bloodshot, which released the live album More Miles Than Money: Live 1994-1996 and the acclaimed studio set A Man Under the Influence. In April 2003, Escovedo collapsed following a show in Phoenix, AZ, after which it was subsequently revealed that he had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C in the late '90s but had not sought treatment. An outpouring of support from musicians led to a series of successful benefit concerts to help pay Escovedo's medical expenses and keep his music before the public, followed by a tribute album, Por Vida: A Tribute to the Songs of Alejandro Escovedo, which was released in 2004. In 2006, Escovedo released Boxing Mirror and toured with the Alejandro Escovedo String Quintet to promote the album. His next album, Real Animal, was produced by Tony Visconti and released in June 2008. »  Escovedo re-teamed with Visconti for 2010's Street Songs of Love. Visconti also produced his follow-up, Big Station, which was released in the early summer of 2012.
»  In June 2010, Escovedo released Street Songs of Love, also produced by Visconti but released on a new label, featuring songs that were originally presented during "Sessions On South Congress" at the Continental Club in Austin, Texas with his band, The Sensitive Boys. After starting out writing about nothing in particular, the record “ended up being an album about love, the pursuit of a feeling that is forever elusive, mysterious, and addictive,” said Escovedo. A New York Times "critic's choice" review of Street Songs of Love claimed that, "In another, less fragmented pop era, this would be the album of thoughtful but radio-ready love songs to finally get Mr. Escovedo the big national audience he deserves." Nationally syndicated radio shows such as Little Steven Van Zandt's Underground Garage gave prominent attention to Escovedo and his album, continuing to play the song "Silver Cloud" in particular well into the following year.
Also Articles:
Alejandro Escovedo article at www.herohill.com
Alejandro Escovedo article at www.harpmagazine.com
Alejandro Escovedo article at www.honesttune.com
Alejandro Escovedo article at www.browardpalmbeach.com
By Jon Bernstein on June 7th, 2012 at http://consequenceofsound.net/
By Greg Kot | June 04, 2012 | at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/|
By Noel Murray June 5, 2012 at http://www.avclub.com/
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)
Other contributions:
More Oar: A Tribute to the Skip Spence Album (Birdman, 1999)
Hear Music Volume 7: Waking (2002, Hear Music) – "Wave"
107.1 KGSR Radio AustinBroadcasts Vol.10 (2002) – "Ballad of the Sun & the Moon"
WYEP Live and Direct: Volume 4 – On Air Performances (2002) – "Rosalie"
Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm (Vanguard, 2009)
Metro: The Official Bootleg Series, Volume 1 2010 © Rita Houston with Don Was and Alejandro Escovedo
Edison Ballroom in New York City, May 9, 2013. Photo by Chris Taggart.


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