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Alejandro Escovedo: Defying Boundaries

Alejandro Escovedo.
Alejandro Escovedo.

Alejandro Escovedo has been hailed as a poet, as a storyteller, and as one of the most important musicians of the last quarter-century. He blends rock, folk, blues and classically influenced music into a boundary-defying style that has won him a devoted following all over the world.

Born into a large Mexican immigrant family in San Antonio, Escovedo was heavily influenced by his father, who loved music and often sang in local mariachi bands. His career began with The Nuns, a mid-'70s punk outfit from San Francisco; later, he co-founded the country-influenced punk band Rank and File. He began to make a name for himself in True Believers with his brother Javier, with national tours supporting the likes of Los Lobos, and his solo career took off with 1992's critically acclaimed Gravity. Since then, Escovedo has recorded eight albums under his own name, in the process winning numerous awards and accolades, including "Artist of the Decade" from No Depression magazine.

Health problems and personal tragedies have slowed Escovedo in recent years, but his newest album, The Boxing Mirror, ranks among his most powerful and affecting work. Backed by a strong band -- including a string section -- he has crafted a beautiful and heartbreaking set of songs. This segment originally aired on July 21, 2006.

Copyright 2006 XPN

David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.