First Appeared at The Music Box, June 1999, Volume 6, #5
Written by John Metzger
Mon May 17, 1999, 12:00 AM GMT
Itís hard to believe that an album that grew out of a recording session that was meant to produce a single song (a cover of Mick Jaggerís Evening Gown for a Bloodshot Recordsí anniversary compilation) and contains only three, new original compositions (there are also five cover tunes and one re-worked selection) could possibly be this strong. However, such is the case with Alejandro Escovedoís latest effort Bourbonitis Blues, and itís truly a testament to Escovedoís talent that he was able to pull this feat off in such a seamless fashion.
In crafting Bourbonitis Blues, Escovedo revamped his own song Guilty, fitting it with a Rolling Stones-fueled groove that pushes it far beyond the folk-rock boundaries of the original recording. The new songs Everybody Loves Me and Sacramento & Polk churn through a wall of raging guitars and powerful drum beats, with the former being reminiscent of Morphine and the latter blending a rousing post-punk rage with a swirl of psychedelic energy.
In addition, Escovedo tackled songs from Gun Club, Jimmie Rodgers, John Cale, the Velvet Underground, and Ian Hunter with pristine accuracy. He managed not only to capture the original artistsí intentions, but also to bring his own perspective to the table. On Caleís Amsterdam, the loneliness in Escovedoís voice is enhanced by the tearful strains of Brian Standeferís cello accompaniment. Likewise, The Velvet Undergroundís Pale Blue Eyes is given a stark and gentle treatment that dreamily floats on a bed of acoustic guitar, cello, and the flawless vocal pairing of Escovedo and Kelly Hogan.
At less than 40 minutes in length, Bourbonitis Blues is short by todayís standards of bloated albums, but rather than over-filling this release, Escovedo emphasizes quality over quantity. The result is a raw and spontaneous-sounding effort that captures Escovedo at his best.
Of Further Interest...
Bourbonitis Blues is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1999 The Music Box