Alejandro Escovedo comes from a local musical family dynasty, which includes brothers Coke and Pete (Santana), and Sheila E, who is his niece, and his brothers Mario (the Dragons) and Javier (the Zeros). His own career first arrived on pop culture's radar while playing with the the Nuns, a punk band he started in San Francisco with Jennifer Miro and Jeff Olener. That gig landed him on the front porch of Manhattan’s Chelsea, called the world’s most rock-and-roll hotel.
Escovedo lived there for a year, made friends, and wrote songs about them. “Nancy [Spungen] called us to her room,” he sings in “Chelsea Hotel ’78,” “said come help us with Sid [Vicious].” In 1998, No Depression magazine named Escovedo their Artist of the Decade.
Escovedo moved to Austin years ago and, once in Texas, he started the band Rank and File and took off in a roots-rock/alt-country direction. That band eventually changed its name to the Sensitive Boys, and Escovedo bailed on Austin to live in Dallas.
“Austin is more like Los Angeles now, so I would say that it was the opposite,” Escovedo told the Reader in 2017. “Austin has gotten overpopulated and invaded by a lot of people from other places. I’m not saying it’s not a great city — it still is a great town. It’s just very expensive for artists to live there. I think that it just has a quality now that I really don’t care for.”