Alejandro Escovedo Sublime at Fillmore
I just went to hear Alejandro Escovedo and his String Quintet open for Los Lobos at the Fillmore in San Francisco. I loved hearing Alejandro play again, especially with the strings (two cellos, a violin, and two acoustic guitars including AE's). I left after Los Lobos had played just two or three songs because I wanted to keep the memory of Alejandro's music alive in my head. But before I left I went upstairs to have a look around at the amazing concert poster art framed and hanging all over the walls at the historic Fillmore. Then I saw Alejandro chatting with some people before he went behind a dark curtain. I turned around and realized his String Quintet was still standing at the bar sipping glasses of beer (the two cello players and the violin player). Something possessed me to walk up and start chatting with the attractive violin player whose name is Susan Voelz (formerly with Poi Dog Pondering). Actually, she stepped forward and was very open. I told her that I was there tonight just to hear them. She was happy to hear that and we talked for a little while. We even shook hands and I noticed she had a very solid handshake. She is the coolest.
Anyway, I asked Susan how Alejandro's health was doing, and she said he was doing really well overall, but that it was still tough. As I mentioned in a previous blog, he is recovering or learning to live with Hep-C. She then said, "He can't drink alcohol any more, and he takes a lot of Tibetan medicine every day." That's when it hit me. "No way," I said, "Does he meditate, too?" And she said that he does! That's only funny to me because I've been meditating like a madman for the past few months and even just took a new job at a major meditation center (Spirit Rock), but I didn't have any idea that my favorite musician/songwriter/singer is also into it. "Man," I told Susan, "I was listening to some of his lyrics tonight and thinking they could be Buddhist lyrics, in a way." She nodded in agreement and said, "Wait til you hear the album we're working on down in LA right now, especially this song called 'Die a Little Every Day.'" (I think that's the title she said, but Los Lobos was playing in the background.) The whole band is living in LA right now while they cut this new CD with John Cale producing. Alejandro said on stage tonight that his favorite all-time band was, in fact, The Velvet Underground.
In the meantime, their new live CD "Room of Songs" is now out and I'm listening to it as I type this at 1 a.m. No, the song "Pissed Off 2 A.M." isn't on this double album, but many great tunes are including the sweet "Rosalie" and most of the other songs they played in their sublime 50-minute set tonight at the Fillmore. My dream now would be to film a documentary about Alejandro. I still say he should be many times more famous and appreciated than he is! What's with the world, that they don't recognize the true artists right in their midst? Nobody has ever brought together the musical elements that he brings to the table--punk, alt country, Mexican folk, classical strings, hard rock, Western swing, and more. All right Irene, good night. Link