Alejandro Escovedo A Man Under the Influence

Alejandro Escovedo A Man Under the Influence
Escovedo's resume is stacked with influential roots rock and punk bands, such as Rank and File, True Believers, and the Nuns - bands that are widely revered among musicians but are fairly obscure, even as cult bands go. His fans will follow him wherever he goes, but his first album for Bloodshot could deliver him new generations. While his last couple of solo records were solid but underwhelming, this one is packed with gripping, melancholic, cello-laden acoustic songs that sound like a less-polished Lyle Lovett. Chris Stamey's production captures the mood perfectly, especially on the opening "Wave," while Superchunk and Ryan Adams drop by. The lone rocker is one of his best; a three-chord miracle called "Castanets." (Bloodshot)