Alejandro Escovedo is tough to classify.
Is he punk? Is he country? Is he rock and roll? Is he controversial? All of the above?
Yes. Escovedo will answer those questions tonight at Crystal Bay Casino in a duo performance with Matt Fish. The veteran singer-songwriter noted on Facebook that he’s heading “to the land of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack … in Lake Tahoe.” He will appear in an 8 p.m. seated show in the Crown Room. Tickets are $25 at the door.
In 2005, Escovedo made national headlines when he learned that President George W. Bush had the musician’s hit song “Castanets” on his personal iPod. “Castanets” shared space with such tunes as John Fogerty’s “Centerfield,” Joni Mitchell’s “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care” and the Knack’s “My Sharona.”
Not a big fan of the president, Escovedo borrowed a strategy from George W’s dad; he drew a line in the sand, refusing to perform “Castanets” for two years until Bush was headed out of office.
She plays castanets, she works without a net / I like her better when she walks away / She said she was mine, she told me twice / I like her better when she walks away / … I like her better when she never stays / I like her better when she danced my way…
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Escovedo, 64, grew up in a musical family. His brothers include percussionists Coke Escovedo and Pete Escovedo (both of Santana fame) and his niece is Sheila E. A third brother, Mario, was frontman for the hard-rock band the Dragons and a fourth bro, Javier, played in the punk-rock band the Zeros.
Alejandro Escovedo began performing in San Francisco with the punk-rock group the Nuns. He later returned to Texas and shifted to an alt-rock/country scheme with the bands Rank and File and the True Believers. In the 1990s, he embarked on a solo career, while still continuing to collaborate with musicians in a wide range of genres.
These days, he seems to enjoy life on the road, writing last month on his website: “Being on the road means playing for you, meeting you, sharing the music, and always learning something new.”
- Alejandro Escovedo
When: 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11
Where: Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room