Search - Alejandro Escovedo :: Thirteen Years

Thirteen Years
Alejandro Escovedo
Thirteen Years
Genres: Country, Folk, Jazz, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

More often than not, strings have often served as a wet blanket in rock & roll, smothering the rough edges and dampening the enthusiasm. There have been exceptions, though, when a small string section has been used sympath...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Alejandro Escovedo
Title: Thirteen Years
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Watermelon
Release Date: 1/14/1994
Genres: Country, Folk, Jazz, Pop, Rock
Styles: Americana, Singer-Songwriters, Country Rock, Roots Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 3347124224859, 715971101723, 715971101747

More often than not, strings have often served as a wet blanket in rock & roll, smothering the rough edges and dampening the enthusiasm. There have been exceptions, though, when a small string section has been used sympathetically on rock & roll songs, sprucing up the rhythms and sharpening the tensions. Perhaps the best examples are the Drifters' "There Goes My Baby," the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby," Van Morrison's "Cypress Avenue," Lou Reed's "Street Hassle," and Chic's "Good Times." Alejandro Escovedo's brilliant Thirteen Years is a landmark addition to the latter tradition. Unlike Elvis Costello's "Juliet Letters," which used a string quartet without a rock & roll rhythm section, Thirteen Years marries the dense, sustaining harmonies of the one to the implacable momentum of the other. --Geoffrey Himes

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CD Reviews

Harrowing. Roots rock to Soutwestern chamber music
Frank Camm | Northern Virginia | 03/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Vol 1. Concept album on his reaction to the suicide of his lover and the mother of his children. Harrowing if you pay attention. Unlike anything I have ever heard-like, maybe, chamber music by Gram Parsons. But Escovedo's voice is always more interesting. From powerful, roots-based rock & roll to strings-based whatever, from his own Chamber Southwest group. Standouts: tr 4-Way it goes (Country-rock anthem that grows from a quiet personal statement to something resonant and bigger. Lyric: "God bless the child that don't have a mother to put her to sleep."). tr 5-Losing your touch (slamming, anthemic rocker that might have come from the Midwest (Bob Seger) or the Stones). tr 10-Tell me while (seemingly from country weeper by Gram Parsons into Escoveda Chamber Southwest). tr 13-Baby's got new plans (anthem of personal loss with the resonance of a last Indian tribe in New Mexico). tr 14-The end (Lyric: "I've got some questions that need answering.... This is really the end.") [52:25]

Vol. 2. Tender, acoustic, elegiac tracks, including 4 instrumental takes on Vol. 1 tracks; 3 live versions of tracks not on Disc 1, and a rocking take on "Gravity". Stand-outs: tr 8-Helpless (slow funky strut that makes me think about Peggy Lee or the Blasters). tr 9-Mountain of mind (straight-ahead country rocker). [37:45]"
A sad, quirky look at love, lost and found.
Frank Camm | 06/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Alejandro wrote this album mostly as a dedication to his late ex-wife. The words and music convey not only the problems she and they may have had but also the love he felt for her.This was the first Escavedo album I bought and that was at a concert of his. It was the first show I had ever seen where I actually got chills, the music was that beautiful. A cello, violin and traditional rock instruments blended for an incredible evening. From that point I was a confirmed Alejandro fan. This album just made me a lifetime fan. Get it today, along with all his albums, you will not be dissapointed."
The most seductive head banger I ever saw - wow!
Frank Camm | 06/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The first time a buddy and I went to see Alejandro Escovedo's Orchestra at OFF BROADWAY in an old south St. Louis neighborhood, we were two of 20 people in the place, counting the band. It was early 1994, not long after BALLAD OF THE SUN AND MOON was released. Alejandro's band consisted of a lead guitar, bass, drums, violin, two cellos, with himself on rhythm guitar and vocals. Wow! He has such a knack for pulling you into his life very smoothly, right before delivering his knock out punch. What songs, what lyrics, what passion, what virtuoso playing, and what instrument selection. During his live shows Alejandro will lead into songs with a little story, like when Bela Bartok and Iggy Pop got involved, and finish the story in song. When last year's three piece band (AE, viloin, cello) played Iggy's DO THE DOG, the entire place was quivering. We have continued to watch Alejandro grow, and suddenly so have many others. All of AE's music is strong, but my first experience with BALLAD OF THE SUN AND THE MOON is still my favorite."