Alejandro Escovedo and his string quintet at the Java
Paris, June 6, 2007
Alejandro Escovedo is a rock and roll fan, the kind that believes that rock and roll is big enough to encompass any kind of music one loves and is inspired by. Over the course of a 90-minute concert in Paris on June 6, he cited the Velvet Underground (who clearly hold the place of honor in his personal Pantheon), the Stooges, Mott the Hoople, the Buffalo Springfield, the New York Dolls, the Rascals and the Sir Douglas Quintet. For good measure, in a preshow interview, he added Texas songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore as well as composers Bartok and Satie to the mix of references that explain his music.
The show took place at the Java in eastern Paris, an old dance hall that is used by local concert promoter Karel Beer. Beer, too, is a music lover and puts on mostly acoustic shows by musicians that otherwise would not find a venue in the French capital – songwriting legends like Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham, rock veterans like Richard Thompson or Robyn Hitchcock, and new talents like Tift Merritt.