On the Beat

May 15, 2014

The best rock picks, May 16

Alejandro Escovedo plays for free at Artsplosure in downtown Raleigh on Sunday.

“It’s the singer not the song that makes the music move along,” as Roger Daltrey once sang in The Who’s “Join Together.” In the case of Alejandro Escovedo, it can be hard to tell where the singer ends and the song begins. Over the past four decades, the great Texas country-soul punk has crafted an amazing body of work, rendering small moments on an epic scale. And even when an Escovedo song doesn’t seem to be “about” him, his performance always lays his soul bare. Good as Escovedo’s records are, however, live onstage is his best medium – and lucky us, he’s playing in the Triangle this weekend FOR FREE. Escovedo will be the Sunday headliner at Artsplosure in downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square, with his set scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. Tift Merritt is Saturday’s headliner, with London Souls, Johnny A., Hazelwood and others also on the bill. See raleighartsfestival.com for details.

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David Menconi
News & Observer music critic David Menconi's random (and we do mean random) musings about all things related to music and culture of the popular variety.

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