BY JOHN DEFORE
2002 was a busy year for our man Alejandro. He became a theater impressario - or at least co-wrote and performed a play about growing up the son of a Mexican immigrant (called By the Hand of the Father), which was well received in a number of cities. He finally appeared, performing that play, on Austin City Limits, and released an album made up of the play's songs. His first two records, long out of print, were reissued - with lots of bonus tracks to remind stay-at-home fans how great his live shows are (and what a wonderful thing the so-called Alejandro Escovedo Orchestra was). Speaking of fathers, he welcomed another child into the world, one who is sure to grow up on the gently soothing sounds of Iggy and the Stooges. In the midst of all this, he became a pin-up when The Austin Chronicle put a David Hasselhoff-style shirtless beach shot of Al on their cover.
That is a lot of action for a songwriter who, not too long ago, was threatening to retire. We are awfully glad he saw the light and didn't quit the business of show, and we're hoping his theater career doesn't get so busy that he can't make a new record sometime soon - if his modeling career with International Male doesn't take off, that is.
9pm, Saturday, January 4
225 Saengerhalle, New Braunfels
A HARD-WORKING HARMONICA
BY JOHN DEFORE
Last time we saw Gary Primich, he was sitting in with a fellow songwriter, just two guys with acoustic instruments on a 30-square-foot stage. So it was a bit of a shock to drop the needle (okay, laser beam) on his new disc, Dog House Music (Antone's/Texas Music Group) and hear a full-on revivalist swing band, belting out a tune that Big Joe Turner might have been proud of.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg for Austin's premier harmonica player. The record strolls effortlessly from neo-swing to straight-up electric Texas blues, to "I Know It's Wrong," a Professor Longhair-style charmer that would keep a crowd happy at any Mardi Gras. We're not sure what kind of group Primich is bringing to town this week, but we are betting that Casbeers is gonna get something other than the same old acoustic blues set.
8pm, Friday, January 3, Casbeers
1719 Blanco Road