Alejandro Escovedo: “Five Hearts Breaking”

Alejandro Escovedo is a man that needs no introduction. His career goes back to the heady days of 70s punk, and he remains as essential to the sound of Austin as ever.

Escovedo is a Texas native, but he began his career with the San Francisco punk outfit The Nuns (a band that had the distinction of opening for The Sex Pistol’s last show). He helped to found Rank & File, one of the first acts to combine country and punk. The band decamped to Austin in 1981. After leaving Rank & File, Escovedo went on to form the short-lived, but much-loved and respected, True Believers with his brother Javier. They only released one album (two if you count the 1994 retrospective compilation Hard Road). Label trouble stymied the release of a second True Believers disc, and Escovedo left the group in 1987. Five years later he released his first album under his own name, the Stephen Bruton-produced Gravity.

It’s been a prolific 20 years since he set out on his own. Escovedo’s records are consistently critically-acclaimed, and his collaborations with songwriter Chuck Prophet and producer Tony Visconti on his most recent records Real Animal, Street Songs of Love and Big Station were particularly fruitful. But today we’re going to reach back to the beginning. Escovedo recently stopped by for a session in KUT’s Studio 1A. He delivered three excellent tunes, including today’s song of the day “Five Hearts Breaking” from Gravity. He was joined by bassist Bobby Daniel and drummer Chris Searles from his backing band The Sensitive Boys along with phenomenal local guitarist and pedal steel player Ricky Ray Jackson. Escovedo gives the tune his all (as he always does). After all these years, Escovedo is still an integral part of Austin music.

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