Alejandro Escovedo With These Hands

Alejandro Escovedo With These Hands
It’s difficult to imagine what would have to change in the universe for Alejandro Escovedo to get his due. Held back by his name, his Latin American heritage, his cleaving of roots music with flavours unfamiliar to American country music fans — it’s all an unfair rap. Now that he’s facing serious health problems without insurance, Rykodisc has reissued Escovedo’s third and breakthrough album With These Hands, adding a second disc of 1996 live performances. At the time, Hands was Escovedo’s most ambitious and least personal album; it was also where he had the money to perfect the balance of his ambitions, including the necessary time for string arrangements and to invite some friends, like Willie Nelson, Jennifer Warnes and Escovedo’s niece, Sheila Escovedo (aka Sheila E). At heart, though, Escovedo hasn’t changed since his days in Rank and File and the True Believers — a peddler of roots-rocking tales of dreams broken and repaired, of hearts damaged but still pumping, of hard work and the fights that sometimes ensue. His will stand as one of the great legacies of American roots music; it’s only a matter of appreciating him in his time. (Rykodisc)