“I can take a punch, I can take a swing,” sings Alejandro Escovedo on the opening song of ‘Big Station,’ his new album on Fantasy Records. The two phrases well describe his 35 years as a musician and two decades as a solo artist, the sum of which attests to the redemptive power of rock’n’roll and the driving role that it has played in his life and art. Alejandro Escovedo was a founding member of SF punk band, The Nuns, as well as Rank & File, a band that forged the early 1980s country-punk sound that later became known as alternative country. Escovedo’s solo recording career began in 1992 with ‘Gravity,’ hailed in its very first review by the Austin Chronicle as “a near perfect album of stunning originality… some of the greatest music to be found anywhere and anytime.” Such consistent unstinting praise has marked every release that followed. Escovedo fashioned a stunningly high standard of open ended, all embracing musicality and literate, heartfelt lyricism, and has continued to enhance and expand it over the nine studio albums that followed prior to ‘Big Station.’ Throughout it all Escovedo has suffused his songs with his hard-won personal experience, an enduring spirit of positivity, an intertwined mix of mature wisdom and perpetually youthful spirit, and a panorama of inspirations gleaned from his lifelong devotion to rock’n’roll. The result is a formidable legacy matched by a continually restless quest to draw in new and different dimensions and follow avenues of expression he has yet to explore. Even though Escovedo has earned just about any and every critical superlative possible over the previous two decades, he is never content to rest upon his laurels.
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