I’m one of many. Each of us brings our own flavor to the music. But the one constant is Alejandro Escovedo and his music, and even more importantly, for me, the atmosphere he creates as a leader. Every time I get to play with this rich spirit, I find something new inside of me to tap into. His music provides enough structure to focus our group efforts, to give them a clear theme, but not so much as to restrict our individual voices and our opportunity to create something new, on the spot. You can hear it in his recordings over the years. The Alejandro Escovedo identity is always there, but the music is the focus and the musicians respond to the freedom of expression they are granted by Alejandro.
Alejandro speaks about the challenge of a big ego with artists and how they are so often tempted to just make it about them, instead of focusing on the music. That’s not an easy balancing act to get right. After all, artists are in business, right? No one should criticize them for promoting their brand in a world where so many things demand people’s attention. If you don’t promote yourself, no one will notice you. But deeper in that point is the question of how to promote. There are many ways to do it, and one of them is the through the quality, the genuineness, of your product. For me, that is something Alejandro understands at a visceral level. He does what he must, what is practical, to promote himself as a songwriting/performing personality. But he reserves a great deal of his energy for promoting the music, which includes the creative efforts of those who work with him. And he not only grants considerable freedom to his musicians, but encourages strong individual voices. His music is the canvas and paint palette, and each musician a painter.
I cherish the opportunity to work with artists such as Alejandro Escovedo, just as I am grateful for any work situation based on mutual respect and a trust of the magic that results from a well-chosen team allowed to find it’s own identity. These are qualities that need to be encouraged far more often in our world. For me, it’s the stuff of true freedom and peace. Command and control structures can never achieve that. Music, and the lessons on community that it provides, can.
Upcoming dates where you can catch me with Alejandro Escovedo:
- 10/23 Cleveland, OH at the Music Box Supper Club (Tickets)
- 10/24 Lexington, KY at the Singletary Center for the Performing Arts (Tickets)
- 10/25 St Louis, MO at Off Broadway (Tickets)