Alejandro Escovedo SXSW: Annual Concert Attracts Members of R.E.M. + More
Singer, songwriter and guitarist Alejandro Escovedo -- a former member of the Nuns and Rank and File who's since made more than a dozen solo albums -- has been hosting events at Austin's intimate Continental Club on the final Sunday night of SXSW for what he said are more years than he can remember. But this one was no doubt the biggest and the best Texas has seen.
The music began at noon and went to 2:30AM, with a lineup handpicked by Escovedo. When the legendary musician himself hit the stage, accompanied by his large Sensitive Boys band, he was like an orchestra leader as he led the ensemble through a roots rock-oriented set with pop and blues shades.
On 'Anchor,' the guitar interplay with David Pulkingham was brilliant while most band members got to solo during 'Chelsea Hotel '78' and a go-go dancer was even invited to join in while perched on a cabinet beside the stage.
The musical guests started arriving midway through Escovedo's set, with rockabilly artist Rosie Flores leading off with Lavelle White's 'If I Could Be With You,' a rocking blues song in which the diminutive Flores showed she could play with the big boys when it came to the six-string. She duetted with Escovedo on 'Goodbye Again,' which she co-wrote with Dave Alvin, and it sounded like a classic country song.
Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye must be a Neil Young fan, because the band performed a rousing 'Powderfinger' and 'Like a Hurricane' after he ambled on stage. Kaye makes everything look so effortless as he fit seamlessly with the well-oiled Sensitive Boys lineup.
R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck had already performed with Chuck Prophet and at a Big Star tribute for