Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys at the Toronto Urban Roots Festival

It would be easy and cliche to write off Alejandro Escovedo’s musical talent as something that runs in his genes. While his brothers Coke and Pete (both members of various incarnations of Santana) and niece Sheila E (E stands for Escovedo, get it? Prince likes letters) have been quite successful in their own right, Alejandro took a slightly different path from Latin jazz and funk. Starting in San Francisco’s punk/new wave scene, via Austin where he incorporated that edge into his style of roots rock. Working with producers such as Tony Visconti and John Cale has given his records depth and maintain his live edge with just enough of a pop polish.

His setlist was culled primarily from his last 5 albums (including 2006’s phenomenal The Boxing Mirror) such as “Arizona”, “Chelsea Hotel ’78”  and the twangy “Bottom of the World.” Foreshadowing the night’s weather, Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys paid homage to Neil Young with “Like a Hurricane” as their finale.

Missing from the set, was his most pop-oriented track in recent years; he Springsteen-influenced, pop radio-friendly “Always a Friend” . Watch the video below to see Alejandro perform it with The E-Street Band. Coincidentally* Alejandro is represented by Jon Landau Management.

*probably not that big of a coincidence…

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