For singer, songwriter and rock band leader Alejandro Escovedo, music is a lifelong vocation. But it's also the family business, rooted mostly in the Bay Area.
Alejandro's famous relatives include his brother, jazz percussionist Pete Escovedo, and Pete's daughter (Alejandro's niece), Sheila E., Grammy-nominated singer, drummer and percussionist.
Two other brothers also carved out careers in music. Mario Escovedo worked with the hard rock band The Dragons, and Javier Escovedo was in the punk rock band The Zeros.
While he collaborates with his relatives from time to time, Alejandro Escovedo is based in Austin, Texas. He has had a long solo career and led a string of his own bands. He'll bring his current band, The Sensitive Boys, to Petaluma's Mystic Theatre for a show Nov. 10.
“My brother Javier and I just finished with True Believers, (their joint touring and recording group from the '80s and '90s), and we had a great time with that. And then Sheila E. and I have written some songs together recently,” Alejandro Escovedo said.
“It's hard for us together, we're all working so much,” he said. “But on my next record, I definitely want Sheila and Pete and Javier and Mario. I want to get my family on it. I still have a lot of family in the Bay Area, but Pete moved to L.A.”
While Escovedo has mined his Mexican-American heritage, authoring the musical drama “By the Hand of My Father,” his musical style ranges widely. He was part of the San Francisco punk rock scene in the 1970s with a band called the Nuns.
Escovedo has been recording and performing with The Sensitive Boys for the past several years, and that's the show he'll bring to the Mystic.
“It's a rock 'n' roll show, but it's also like this little journey. We do a lot of ballads in the middle, and we've been doing a lot of new material, and mixing it up with some of my really old stuff, like 'Five Hearts Breaking' and some of the early material,” he said.
Escovedo said he has continuously experimented with his music on more than a dozen albums, trying out different styles but always remaining rooted in rock 'n' roll.
“My experience has been a series of hits and misses, with instinct driving me forward, but I was not always so conscious of what I was striving for. I knew I wanted a sound based around classical strings and guitars and distortion somehow. I used to call it American Baroque,” he said.
“Rock 'n' roll is my first love. Everything I do is based around a rock 'n' roll sensibility. That sensibility is that you don't listen to anyone but your own heart, mind and instinct.”
You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at 521-5243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See his ARTS blog at arts.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.