His face burnished by the sun, Alejandro Escovedo pulled into Lajitas, breathed in the soft desert air and voiced, “It’s good to be back.”
He arrived after the long haul from hometown Austin with his band, the Sensitive Boys and his son and rap artist Paris
A riveting performance seduced his audience at Lajitas’s Big Bend Amphitheater where people from Lajitas, Terlingua and beyond moved with the motion of the music. Infused with his Mexican lineage, punk rock roots and the deep terrain traveled in heart, Escovedo’s music cuts to the bone.
Jason Blum, a native of Austin and musician who frequents this region warmed up the crowd with an acoustic set of desert melodies that take the listener on an emotional journey through a vibrant desert landscape.
Blum, who helped bring Alejandro to Lajitas, expressed, “Alejandro was the perfect fit, being that it’s Dia de Los Muertos and he has a strong connection to the border. I think it means a lot for a guy whose parents were from Mexico, to come here and make it as a rock ‘n roll artist.”
While the Sensitive Boys traveled on the next morning, Escovedo stayed behind with Blum and Filmmaker Joe Salinas.
The following twenty-four hours evolved into a cosmic swirl on the Rio Grande and in the Ghost Town with sessions on the Starlight’s porch, a tribute to Lou Reed (who died that day) at local haunt High Sierra and an intimate show at The Thirsty Goat.
There’s truth in the saying, “The desert either swallows you up or spits you out.”
It’s safe to say Escovedo was swallowed whole with a flash of soul remaining in the belly of this land. To quote Escovedo about the desert’s magic attraction, “Just relax, and let it roll over you.”
Jessica Lutz is a citizen reporter for KRTS, Marfa Public Radio.
All photos by Jessica Lutz except as noted.