[photo from @alescovedo twitter]
Last month we had the opportunity to see Alejandro Escovedo under two very different but equally compelling circumstances. His acoustic duet show at the Capitol Theatre was a treasure in large part because the live arrangements allowed the songwriting to shine. As we discussed in that review, Escovedo is a legend and one of the few artists who has universal admiration from his peers. For this SXSW show, he played with a full band in his hometown in front of many friends (and celebrities) and the atmosphere was a true party vibe. Escovedo has been hosting these Saturday SXSW shows at Maria’s Taco XPress on South Lamar for almost two decades but sadly this year’s event is going to be the last one ever.
After curating a day’s worth of artists, Alejandro and his band closed the night. The set began straight enough with four Escovedo classics before he slowed it down and discussed the history of this show in a moving spoken word intro for “San Antonio Rain”. As the show progressed, the packed crowd became more engaged and this was quite evident during “Sally Was a Cop” when the fans carried the song to its completion with a sing-along chorus that can be heard clearly on the recording. We’re streaming that track below. The balance of the set was anchored by two classic rock covers, a scorching version of Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane” that featured some outstanding guitar work and the night’s last song, an extended and loose version of the Stones’ “Beast of Burden” that once again featured much crowd participation and completed this extraordinary set with smiles all around.
I recorded this set with the Sennheisers mounted from the low ceiling next to the soundboard and mixed with a board feed. There was a lot of crowd chatter that necessitated reducing the levels of the audience source at certain points, but over the sound quality is quite excellent. Enjoy!
Stream “Sally Was a Cop”:
Maria’s Taco Xpress – SXSW Party
Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix
Soundboard [engineer Ben Richardson] + Sennheiser MKH-8040 Cardioids > Sound Devices 744t > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (post production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)
Recorded and Produced
[Total Time 1:18:18]
03 I Was Drunk
04 Tender Heart
06 San Antonio Rain
07 Sensitive Boys
08 Sally Was a Cop
09 [banter – Maria]
11 Like a Hurricane [Neil Young]
12 [encore break]
13 Always a Friend
14 [band introductions]
15 Beast of Burden [Rolling Stones]