Los Lonely Boys: Live Last Night
By Chis Klimek
There's no foolproof test for diagnosing musical overconfidence, but hiring Alejandro Escovedo as your opener is a definite risk factor. Ecovedo is a songwriter's songwriter, an alt-punk-country-etc. warrior who nearly had to die of Hepatitis C six years ago to begin to get his due.
Among the acts who covered Escovedo's songs to help fund his medical care is Los Lonely Boys, a Texas trio comprised of brothers Henry, JoJo, and Ringo Garza, Jr. They kicked off their headlining Acoustic Brotherhood tour at the Birchmere last night with a jovial 105-minute set that left no question as to their musicianship, their showmanship, or their filial fellowship.
(After the jump, Los Lonely Boys show their musical dexterity and Escovedo triumphs on raw emotion.)
Overconfident? Negative. Peddling an all-weather Tex-Mex roots rock that they can morph effortlessly into blues, country, soul, or Tejano music, the Grammy-winning brothers Garza are fluent, intuitive players. Their Beatles cover ("She Came in Through the Bathroom Window") was a persuasive as their Santana cover ("Evil Ways"). They might be the best bar band in America.
Which is why Escovedo's eight-song, 45-minute opening set proved more memorable. Accompanied by violinist Susan Voelz and guitarist David Pulkingham, Escovedo's performance included three from last year's autobiographical "Real Animal" disc and two selections from a musical theatre piece he wrote to commemorate his migrant laborer-musician-boxer-baseball player father's 90th birthday. Escovedo couldn't match the headliners' flash and precision, but he had them on raw emotion. His songs felt lived.
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