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Escovedo played punk (the Nuns) in the ’70s and country rock (Rank and File) in the ’80s before becoming a rootsy singer-songwriter. On his first work since surviving a near-fatal bout of hepatitis C, he turns hard-earned experience into haunting reflections on loss, desire, excess, and, ultimately, transcendence. Escovedo’s brooding voice, which can suggest the saddest man on earth, encounters the perfect foil in the savvy and subtle production of Velvet Underground alum John Cale. The finely detailed textures lend the songs a warm chamber-music glow, whether Escovedo is recalling a somber trek across the Southwest or unleashing a rough-and-tumble lament that’s a dead ringer for the Velvets’ scorching classic “Waiting for the Man.” If the ode to his grieving mother is almost too much to bear, a breezy tale of accidental lovers proves he hasn’t forgotten how to hope.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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