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Consider Alejandro Escovedo's family tree

In 1998, No Depression magazine named Alejandro Escovedo their Artist of the Decade, and they were right. Escovedo is a direct pipeline to something that is bigger than rock and roll. First, consider the man’s family tree: the most illustrious of his brothers are Coke, Pete, Mario, and Javier. Coke and Pete were percussionists at various times in the Santana band, Javier is a founding member of the Zeros, and Mario, who lives in San Diego, fronted the Dragons. Next, consider that Alejandro Escovedo has a knack for landing in the right places at the right time. His association with the late-’70s San Francisco punk scene got him a ride with the Nuns as guitarist, which took him to 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 due time, Escovedo was drawn away to the other epicenter of music, Austin, TX, where he took root as a songwriter and formed a backing band — the Sensitive Boys — to flesh out his ambitions. But don’t call what they do alt-country. Alejandro Escovedo is a rocker, and a durable one at that. The singer/songwriter released Big Station, his 14th album, a rambling collection of stories set to roots rock last year. At 62, his voice has aged to a kind of tattered rightness that never fails to measure the emotional depths to which his story lines descend.

Some critics complain that the music business has snubbed Escovedo, that if life were fair he’d be a major star. Nonsense. Escovedo’s music means everything to his fans; does it get bigger than that?

Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys also perform.

Alejandro Escovedo: Humphreys by the Bay, Thursday, August 8, 7 p.m. 800-745-3000. $55.

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In 1998, No Depression magazine named Alejandro Escovedo their Artist of the Decade, and they were right. Escovedo is a direct pipeline to something that is bigger than rock and roll. First, consider the man’s family tree: the most illustrious of his brothers are Coke, Pete, Mario, and Javier. Coke and Pete were percussionists at various times in the Santana band, Javier is a founding member of the Zeros, and Mario, who lives in San Diego, fronted the Dragons. Next, consider that Alejandro Escovedo has a knack for landing in the right places at the right time. His association with the late-’70s San Francisco punk scene got him a ride with the Nuns as guitarist, which took him to 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 due time, Escovedo was drawn away to the other epicenter of music, Austin, TX, where he took root as a songwriter and formed a backing band — the Sensitive Boys — to flesh out his ambitions. But don’t call what they do alt-country. Alejandro Escovedo is a rocker, and a durable one at that. The singer/songwriter released Big Station, his 14th album, a rambling collection of stories set to roots rock last year. At 62, his voice has aged to a kind of tattered rightness that never fails to measure the emotional depths to which his story lines descend.

Some critics complain that the music business has snubbed Escovedo, that if life were fair he’d be a major star. Nonsense. Escovedo’s music means everything to his fans; does it get bigger than that?

Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys also perform.

Alejandro Escovedo: Humphreys by the Bay, Thursday, August 8, 7 p.m. 800-745-3000. $55.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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