“At first, it seemed daunting,” admits the iconic Austinite. “What if I show up and only 150 die-hard fans are there?
“But this is something I’ve always wanted to do, to present the songs in a production manner like [my musical] By the Hand of the Father. The show’s purely about these songs, from the beginning, with the True Believers’ “The Rain Won’t Help You When It’s Over,” which was the first song I ever wrote, to the stuff I’m doing now – new songs people haven’t heard yet.”
That’s a broad musical landscape for Escovedo to travel, but no one’s better equipped than the San Antonio-born singer-songwriter, who parlayed entry into the music world as a young punk in the Seventies to an acclaimed, celebrated career.
The Moody show puts Escovedo’s discography in retrospect across the 35 years of his career in a multimedia event, led by musical director Charlie Sexton, and starring Joe Ely, Rosie Flores, Jon Dee Graham, Amy Cook, Patricia Vonne, plus Ephraim Owens, Elias Haslanger, Susan Voelz, Brian Standefer, and Stephen Barber, not to mention his band the Sensitive Boys (Ricky Ray Jackson, Chris Searles, Bobby Daniel), and children’s choirs from Khabele School and Barton Springs Elementary. The performance even comes filmed by the evening’s producer, Matt McCormack, as part of his documentary, That’s What I’m Doing Here.
“It starts with me and Charlie and builds to everybody, with the full orchestra. In between, we’ll have a Hammond B3 organ, or a cello and violin, or maybe we’ll do ‘Amsterdam’ that way – with a kids’ choir in the background.
“Right now, Charlie and I are trying to pare down 60 songs, and that’s not the half of it, so we’ve got a lot of work to do!” – Margaret Moser
Heartening to see locals who otherwise have no connection to the Austin indie scene venturing out to discover what lurks at Beerland and beyond. Here’s a healthy slice of highlights from the final Saturday night of 2013 Free Week prognosticating.
• Employee Band Showcase: Kay Leotard, I’d Die for Lo-Fi, [paperthreat], Shawna James, the Frank Mustard Project (Antone’s)
• Blood Royale, Legion, Rust, Unmothered, Corpse, Ink Blot (Beerland)
• Ramsay Midwood, Union Specific, Tex Smith CD release, the Bluebird Specials (Hole in the Wall)
• Psychedelic Light & Sound Presents: Kay Leotard (1am), the Rich Hands (12mid), Deep Space (11pm), the Blind Pets (10), Vlad & the Village (9) Black Tabs (8), Modrag (7), Thee Dang Dangs (6), Surly Gates (5), Sonic Buffalo (4), Pi (3), Lattice (2) Lord Byron & the Electric Whips/Project Manhigh (1) (Hotel Vegas)
• Outside: Silent Diane, Feathers, Boan, Rare Species; inside: the Sour Notes, the Couch, Shivery Shakes, Letting Up (Mohawk)
• Hello Wheels, Maryann & the Revival Band, Acre Yawn, Walker Lukens (Parish)
• Outside: TV Torso, Oh No Oh My, Hundred Visions, Tiger Waves; inside: Camp X-Ray, Trip Crystals, Featherface, Animal (Red 7) – Raoul Hernandez