55. Alejandro Escovedo—A MAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Alejandro Escovedo has forged a remarkable career in spite of numerous setbacks (such as terrible treatment by his record label when he was poised to make a breakthrough as part of an emerging group called the True Believers and a nearly fatal bout with Hepatitis-C). He brings together several influences in a marvelous synthesis of roots music—outlaw country, punk rock, elements from his ancestral Mexico—moved to the realm of the sublime by his songwriting gifts. This record is full of moving and illuminating moments— such as the opening line from the beautiful “About This Love”: “It’s all about this love/It’s all about this pain/It’s all about the loss/We take to live again.” Other great cuts include the amazing love story told in “Rosalie,” the rocking “Castanets” (when Escovedo learned George W. Bush had this song on his iPod, he refused to play it publicly until Bush was out of office), “Wedding Day,” and “Velvet Guitar.” [That there are 54 records still coming on this list (including two more by Alejandro!) only shows how much great music there is out there.]

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Bloodshot Records, 2004 [All-Music Guide review]

Here’s #54.

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