As part of our Roots & Blues & BBQ Whole Hog Weekend Giveaway, we’re previewing a few of the artists performing at the Roots & Blues Festival, being held Sept. 20-22 in Columbia, MO.
The son of Mexican immigrants to Texas, Alejandro Escovedo got his start in music as part of the punk band the Nuns. Formed in San Francisco in 1975, the Nuns are credited as one of the founding acts of the San Francisco punk rock scene, but the band enjoyed little commercial success and went through a number of breakups, reunions, lineup changes and changes in overall style. Escovedo left the group in 1979, moving to Austin, Texas where he adopted the roots rock style (later to be known as alternative country) he is known for today.
Escovedo enjoyed some success as a member of the Austin-based acts Rank and File and the True Believers, but it was the release of his first solo albums “Gravity” (in 1992) and “Thirteen Years” (in 1994) which really allowed him to find his voice. Mainstream commercial success has still eluded him, but Escovedo enjoys a passionate underground following and is regarded by many popular artists as a guiding influence.
Escovedo had been living with Hepatitis-C for a number of years, and in 2003 he became critically ill. Lacking insurance to cover the substantial medical costs, Escovedo found a number of friends and admirers in the music industry come to his aid. A number of benefits concerts were organized across the country and those efforts led to the album “Por Vida: A Tribute to the Songs of Alejandro Escovedo.” Proceeds from the double album went to cover his medical and living expenses and featured contributions from artists including Steve Earle (also appearing at the 2013 Roots & Blues Festival), Lucinda Williams, John Cale, Ian Hunter (lead singer of Mott the Hoople), the Jayhawks and Son Volt. In 2005 Escovedo was declared free of disease and he resumed his musical career.
Since then he has released six albums (most recently the 2012 release “Big Station”) and contributed a cover of ‘Too Little Too Late’ to the 2009 release “Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm.”
Fans of artists like Steve Earle, John Hiatt, Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, Lucinda Williams or Dwight Yoakam will want to make sure they catch Alejandro Escovedo’s set at the 2013 Roots & Blues Festival on Saturday, September 21st. You can win a pair of “Whole Hog” VIP passes and hotel accommodations for the fest with our Roots & Blues Whole Hog Weekend Getaway.