Great tunes for a worthy cause is a powerful combination, and "Por Vida" is just that.

Great tunes for a worthy cause is a powerful combination, and "Por Vida" is just that. This double-CD was created to raise funds to help Alejandro Escovedo with his medical expenses: He has not been able to tour for the past year as a result of the affects of hepatitis C. Some very prominent friends have come to his aid, tracking favorite Escovedo originals to create this tribute. There are many beautiful rock'n'roll moments here, courtesy of acts like Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Calexico, Tres Chicas, Los Lonely Boys, Vic Chesnutt, Rosie Flores and Sheila E. (Alejandro's cousin). The best thing about "Por Vida," however, is Escovedo's songs. He has penned everything from the languid mambo "Inside This Dance" to the pure rawk of "I Was Drunk." It's a sure sign of Escovedo's rock legacy that his friends can use his songs to create an album as powerful as this one.—PVV

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