Friday, June 28, 2013

real animal

Alejandro Escovedo went back to his rock and roll roots for the recording of this primal reflection of his past.  After his bout with hepatitis C, he recorded the artistic triumph of 'The Boxing Mirror' with producer John Cale.   For the followup, 'Real Animal', he ended up working with producer Tony Visconti.  The sessions featured Alejandro Escovedo on guitar, harmonica, and vocals; Chuck Prophet on guitar and background vocals; Susan Voelz on violin and background vocals; Tony Visconti on organ and background vocals; Hector Muñoz on percussion, drums,  and background vocals; Josh Gravelin on bass, keyboards, and background vocals; Brian Standefer on cello, and background vocals; David Pulkingham on guitar, keyboards, and background vocals; and Brad Grable on baritone and tenor saxophones.  

Escovedo considers the more rock oriented sound of the album:    "It kind of embodies the primitive music I love – the primitive aspect of the rock and roll I love, beginning in the early days. Growing up in San Antonio, listening to Jerry Lee, Bo Diddly, Chuck Berry, you know, that sort of stuff. And then into the English rock and the American garage rock I love so much. It’s always been part of that primitive quality of rock and roll that I’ve always loved a lot and always tried to stay close to in one way or another, even when I use strings. And the other part of it is the survival instinct, the animal quality these people have had that I love – you mentioned Lou Reed, I think of Iggy Pop. I think of a lot of different people who have that sort of survival instinct in them, much like an animal would. To me, that’s what it sums up, really...Maybe instinctively I knew I didn’t want to venture back into that dark, melancholy kind of area I’d mined for so long, especially with The Boxing Mirror, the record I made immediately after I was ill and I was still recovering from that illness while I was recording it. And I’ve said this before, but I was so caught up emotionally because of those years and not being able to play, wondering if I ever would play again, and then finally making another record, I hadn’t really exorcised all those feelings. So with this record I wanted to step away from all that. And by telling this story, this autobiographical story, this musical memoir, let’s say, I was able to step back and look at it more like Chuck Prophet and I were constructing a movie. So that lent a little distance to it. And yet I was able to flesh out all these characters and bands. And it’s funny, but I feel like I even dug deeper in a way. Maybe not on an emotional level, but maybe in making an assessment of where I’ve been and where all that music and those bands have brought me."

"Always A Friend" – 3:35

'Real Animal'

full album:

All tracks composed by Alejandro Escovedo and Chuck Phophet

"Always a Friend" – 3:35
"Chelsea Hotel '78" – 3:30
"Sister Lost Soul" – 4:16
"Smoke" – 4:23
"Sensitive Boys" – 4:29
"People (We're Only Gonna Live So Long)" – 3:21
"Golden Bear" – 3:58
"Nuns Song" – 4:50
"Real As An Animal" – 3:05
"Hollywood Hills" – 3:42
"Swallows of San Juan" – 4:06
"Chip N' Tony" - 3:10
"Slow Down" - 4:09

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