JULY 16, 2012
Video Selecter: Alejandro Escovedo
Nat Geo Music Premieres New Video From A Texas Legendby Tom Pryor
Each week Nat Geo Music scours the far reaches of the internet to bring you the coolest new videos from around the globe.
This week we return to the Lone Star State, the home of one of our favorite Austin, TX artists, Alejandro Escovedo.
Yeah, we know - we have a lot of favorites from Austin lately... Grupo Fantasma, Brownout, Okkerville River, Shearwater, etc... But what can we say? Talent runs deep in America's live music capital, and Alejandro Escovedo is one of the town's genuine living legends; a 30+ veteran musician and a true heir to Texas' great roots rockin', singer/songerwriter tradition that harks back to everyone from Willie Nelson to Townes Van Zandt to Joe Ely.
So it's no surprise that Bruce Springsteen - a longtime fan - tapped Escovedo to appear with him at a series of gigs at this year's SXSW festival in Austin.
This particular video, for the song "Sally Was A Cop" was shot live at one of those gigs and captures Escovedo at his blistering best. The song is Escovedo's harrowing and timely take on the ongoing violence of Mexico's drug war.
This is one of the first live performances of this song, which is taken from Escovedo's brand new album, Big Station, released June 5th on Fantasy/Concord records. Produced by storied rock producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T. Rex), the album boasts a strong collaboration with songwriter Chuck Prophet - and the songs are some of the strongest and most varied of Escovedo's career so far, drawing on the adventurous AM and FM radio of his youth.
"I love this record," says Escovedo. "I wanted it to be about the words, vibe and atmosphere. Chuck and I went into this knowing we wanted to work with rhythm in a way I never had before." The key to doing so in the writing stage was a Roland TR-808 drum machine popular with hip-hop, R&B, house and electronic dance music artists and producers. "We'd find real deep simple grooves. He'd get on bass, I'd get on guitar and we'd jump around making fools of ourselves. I wanted things to rock, but in the way that Bo Diddley rocked - very rhythmically."
But don't take our word for it - check it out for yourself!