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Loving Tribute to a Songwriting Great
on December 25, 2004
You may wonder, who is this guy and why does he deserve a 2-CD tribute? But by the time you get halfway through the first disc, you'll wonder no more: Alejandro Escovedo is a flat-out brilliant songwriter. His music has moved through genres, without losing his sensibility for both roots-rock and his Mexican heritage. Suffice to say that if you like Los Lobos (even though they don't appear), you'll really enjoy this CD. In the same tradition as "Sweet Relief" (the tribute to Victoria Williams, who was stricken with MS about ten years ago), and other albums after it, this project was intended to assist Escovedo, who has hepatitis C and no health insurance. And what assistance he got: a first-rate lineup of artists, from Lucinda Williams, Son Volt and the Jayhawks to Charlie Musselwhite, Ian Hunter and John Cale. Just about everything here works very well, kicking off with Lucinda Williams' great version of "Pyramid of Tears", moving through hot property Los Lonely Boys' cover of "Castanets", and many other highlights by Cowboy Junkies, Chris Stamey, and Escovedo himself. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up (it's a bargain for a 2-CD set with nary a bad track on it). Then, if you haven't already, acquaint yourself with the original albums from this influential and gifted Mexican-American artist.