splendid e-zine: reviews -- click here to return to this week's review index

HOME | REVIEWS | BOOMBOX | FEATURES | TEN | MISC

C O V E R

R E V I E W

bourbonitis blues

You don't actually have to drink while listening to Bourbonitis Blues, but it probably doesn't hurt any. Escovedo's a legend, with a page in almost every rock critic's book of People Who Aren't Huge Stars But Deserve To Be. His music is painstakingly honest, full of real emotion and real experience and real life -- everything the music industry isn't. Bourbonitis Blues shows Escovedo in top form, as he and his "orchestra" rip through an eclectic mix of originals and covers. "I Was Drunk" turns a liquored-up stumble into a gorgeous waltz, while Ian Hunter's "Irene Wilde" hits you with the full-on emotional impact of Escovedo's impassioned vocals, gently backed by winsome strings and chugging guitars. "Amsterdam" out-Stones the Stones, while the sizzling blues-rock stomp of "Everybody Loves Me" and the hard-driving "Sacramento & Polk" are two of the best ways to humanely euthanize your stereo speakers. The always-excellent Kelly Hogan adds the female counterpoint to the VU's "Pale Blue Eyes", artfully tinged with mournful violin, while Mekon/Waco Brother John Langford sneers into the mic on Jimmie Rodgers' "California Blues". You only get nine tracks, but they get better with each successive listen -- Escovedo's a freaking icon, dammit. Think Stones sans the effects of money. Think Cohen with more focused bitterness. Think Lou Reed if he had to work the land for a living. Get the point? Think about getting Bourbonitis Blues.

Alejandro Escovedo
Bourbonitis Blues
Bloodshot
CD

click for Real Audio Sound Clip
Find it at:
Review by George Zahora

HOME | REVIEWS | BOOMBOX | FEATURES | TEN | MISC