Escovedo's 'Hand' Resonates With Immigration Debate
Alejandro Escovedo recently discovered that the music he wrote for the play "By the Hand of the Father" has continuing resonance...Alejandro Escovedo recently discovered that the music he wrote for the play "By the Hand of the Father" has continuing resonance, especially as it relates to the ongoing immigration debate in the U.S. Congress. Escovedo's songs from the play, which premiered in 2000 in Los Angeles, were released in 2002 by the Texas Music Group.
"It was wonderful -- the other day I was listening to the radio in Austin and the DJ was talking about the amount of support that the protesters have been getting against this immigration thing," the singer/songwriter tells Billboard.com. "And then he played 'Ballad of the Sun and the Moon' and it sounded beautiful because it was so perfect with what the subject matter was about."
Nearly fully recovered from a debilitating bout with Hepatitis C, Escovedo will reunite with the show's cast -- including his brother, Pete Escovedo, Rosie Flores, Ruben Ramos and Rick Trevino -- for an April 8 performance at the University of Texas. He also hopes that the play, which tells the stories of five Mexican American fathers, will be filmed while the original participants can still all take part.
"A lot of people have been using it as an educational tool," he says. "It's an immigrant's experience, it's a familial experience, so it's universal in scope. And we've had so many people from many different cultures come up and tell us how important it was to hear this.
"There's a lot of interracial families that come to us," he continues. "I had one daughter, she was a teenager, her mother was German, her father was Mexican and she really hadn't come to terms with her culture and her background and what it signified, what kind of part it played in her life. But this play opened her eyes to a lot of stuff. It was really wonderful."
Escovedo is playing New York tonight (March 31) in advance of his new album, "The Boxing Mirror," due May 2 via Back Porch Records.