Alejandro Escovedo

Alejandro Escovedo

Crossing borders, jumping barriers, taking risks, betting it all: that’s the path Alejandro Escovedo has been taking in his lifelong search for the heart of rock and roll.

Alejandro’s new album, The Crossing (YepRoc Records, September 14) is about that journey: searching, but not necessarily finding, eyes and ears open all the way. It is his first for Yep Roc Records and his first ever recorded in Europe. “This says more about me than any of my records without it being a record about me,” Alejandro says.

The Crossing tells the tale of two boys, one from Mexico, one from Italy, who meet in Texas to chase their American rock and roll dreams. They discover a not-so-welcoming, very different place from the Promised Land they imagined, with cameos from the likes of Wayne Kramer of the MC5, Joe Ely and James Williamson of the Stooges to show the boys the way.

It was recorded in an Italian farmhouse near Mogdliana and features his collaborator and co-songwriter Don Antonio with his band whom will be backing and opening for Alejandro. Don Antonio has backed numerous American acts in Europe but this will be their first ever tour of the US.

Escovedo’s trailblazing career began with The Nuns, San Francisco's famed punk innovators, to the Austin-based-based alt-country rock pioneers, Rank & File, to Texas bred darlings, True Believers, through countless all-star collaborations and tribute album appearances and finally a series of beloved solo albums beginning with 1992's acclaimed Gravity, Escovedo has earned a surplus of distinctions: No Depression magazine's ‘Artist of the Decade’ Award in 1998 and the Americana Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for Performing in 2006, just to name two. His last album Burn Something Beautiful was co-produced, written and recorded with Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey. Alejandro worked with producing legend Tony Visconti (David Bowie/T-Rex) on Real Animal and Street Songs of Love; he has previously worked with Chuck Prophet, John Cale, Los Lobos, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen. Now Hepatitis C free, Alejandro serves as a spokesperson for the Prevent Cancer Foundation “Think About the Link” campaign about the link between viruses and Hep C. As an official showcasing artist, the Alejandro Escovedo Band with Don Antonio will debut The Crossing at the Americana Music Association Festival 2018 at the Americana Music Stage, hosted by WMOT Roots Radio, NPR Music and World Cafe.

"You just do your good work, and people care," Alejandro says. "I always believed, when I was a kid, that if you worked hard, you would find fulfillment. I think I got a lot of that from my father and my brothers. A working musician is all I ever wanted to be. Hard work, stay true to what you want to do, and then eventually someone would notice for that very reason."

Casey Neill

Casey Neill's career has always walked the line between lyrical song craft and ferocious live shows. He is a songwriter and bandleader from Portland, Oregon with a sound that explores haunting melodies, high octane folk-punk, and weather beaten narrative. Neill performs solo and with his band, The Norway Rats - a murderer’s row of Northwest music vets from acts such as Black Prairie, Eels, and The Minus 5. For over a decade he has toured throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. A new record titled 'All You Pretty Vandals' produced by Chris Funk of the Decemberists was released in November of 2013. It’s an anthemic, junkyard rock album Neill says he’s “spent a decade trying to get to - both in my own writing and the sound of the band.”

“Be it through raucous rockers, fragile acoustic ballads, passionate bursts of punk fury or soulful touches of Irish folk, Neill's narrative talent and concern for real people's struggles stand out. (Neill) evokes an epic feel that fits perfectly with the implicit grandiosity of this emotional material, delivered with a raspy, affectionate voice that recalls Life's Rich Pageant-era Michael Stipe. The results are so evocative, you'll be tempted to steep further in these memories, the better to share Casey Neill's particular blend of personal and historical experience.” — SPLENDID

"These are songs with stories well told. This is what it's all about" — STEVE EARLE

Casey is a frequent side player in power pop band The Minus Five along with Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck of R.E.M. He added vocals to tracks on ‘Scott the Hoople in the Dungeon of Horror’ - a 5 LP, 57 song collection of new Minus 5 music released this past Record Store Day. Hardcore bands, bluegrass acts, and other songwriters have performed and recorded Casey’s songs - most notably Irish supergroup Solas’ take on "Lowground" on their CD's "Waiting for an Echo" and "Reunion”. His career launched in 1997, after inking a three record deal with acoustic label Appleseed and contributing tracks to their Pete Seeger Tribute collection along with Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, and Bonnie Raitt. A compilation of his material entitled 'Memory Against Forgetting' was released by Indigo Girl Amy Ray's Daemon imprint in 2005. Following a few years treading the boards in New York City, Casey moved back to Portland and it's thriving music community.

"Soul-searing songs “— UTNE READER “remarkably good songwriting” — NO DEPRESSION

In 2007, a far more electric Casey Neill record ’Brooklyn Bridge' was released and The Norway Rats were formed. 'Goodbye to the Rank and File' followed in 2010 and garnered rave reviews from online blogs, radio, and press. In 2011, Casey was hired by New York's Mabou Mines Theater Company to perform and compose for their new work 'Landscapes' at PS122. In the year since the release of All You Pretty Vandals, Casey and band have performed over 100 shows in 21 states including NPR’s prestigious Mountain Stage Radio show. The album is a series of character sketches, and two cities dear to him, Portland and New York. There are love songs to Patti Smith (“She Came Alive”) and the Lower East Side (“Sainted Streets”), hymns to the roadless Northwest wilderness (“The Dark Divide”), and “My Little Dark Rose”, featuring Langhorne Slim. The song is a snapshot of Portland in the 90s, when the city was “a much rougher place and the music was louder,” adds Neill.

Music critic Jay Horton described it best for Portland’s arts paper Willamette Week: “Casey Neill has been filtering post-hardcore energies through an Americana muse for tales of wry lamentation, and the barroom mythologizing wed to painstaking craft has never sounded so perfectly realized. He brings a certain empathetic grandeur to high-minded tales of resolutely low lives with crack musicianship and casual authenticity”.

$20 ADV / $25 DOS

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Mostly Standing / Limited Balcony

 

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