- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

Alejandro Escovedo, “Burn Something Beautiful” (Fantasy Records)

Alejandro Escovedo may not be a household name, but he should be.

The 65-year-old singer-songwriter emerged in the 1970s as a punk rocker, gained acclaim as a soulful Texas-based alt-country star and has been holding down the roots rock mantle for years. The styles all co-exist wonderfully on his new release “Burn Something Beautiful,” his first in four years.

Escovedo co-wrote the 13 songs and produced it with former R.E.M. member Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5.

The record comes as Escovedo has battled hepatitis-C and survived a hurricane while on his honeymoon in Mexico. That experience left him with post-traumatic stress disorder.

So maybe it’s no surprise on “Burn Something Beautiful” he sings of loss, the healing power of love and his own mortality.

But it’s no maudlin affair.

Guitars wail on the opener, “Horizontal,” setting the tone for what’s to come. He may be 65, but Escovedo seems determined to prove advancing age isn’t an inhibitor to showing the youngsters how to rock.

Still, musings on the inevitable end are never far away, like on “I Don’t Want to Play Guitar Anymore.”

“When there’s no stories left to sing,” Escovedo sings, “say goodbye to everything.”

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