In the music spotlight: Alejandro Escovedo

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Alejandro Escovedo | Nancy Rankin Escovedo

Musician Alejandro Escovedo was a trailblazer during his younger days with San Francisco punks The Nuns in the ‘70s and Austin cowpunk pioneers Rank and File in the ‘80s. Now 67, the restless and beloved artist has never stopped exploring. Recent projects have included The Fauntleroys with members of the Minus 5, Miracle 3 and Chicago fixture Nicholas Tremulis. Other local connections include singer and Flat Five member Kelly Hogan, who helped record songs like “Heartbeat Smile” and “Suit of Lights” for Escovedo’s 2016 album “Burn Something Beautiful.”

Continuing a solo career begun with 1992’s “Gravity” album, Escovedo is on tour and arrives next week for three nights for his annual residency at City Winery.

Escovedo is currently preparing his 15th solo album for release in 2018 on the Yep Roc label. For his “Think About the Link” tour, however, he’ll perform his outstanding “A Man Under the Influence” album released by Chicago’s Bloodshot Records. Arid alt-country gems from the 2001 collection include the star-crossed love story “Rosalie” and rowdy “Castanets.” The band will feature dB’s veteran and “A Man Under the Influence” producer Chris Stamey, as well as R.E.M. producer and Let’s Active frontman Mitch Easter. Other collaborators include pedal steel player Eric Heywood, veteran drummer Hector Munoz and bassist Mike Luzecky. Escovedo’s band of talented friends will be augmented by a string section for these special shows.

In addition to powerful and provocative music, Escovedo is bringing a message as spokesperson for tour partner Prevent Cancer Foundation. The group’s Think About the Link campaign seeks to raise awareness about the connection between certain viruses and cancer, with a mission of “saving lives across all populations through cancer prevention and early detection.” As a hepatitis C survivor diagnosed in the mid-’90s, Escovedo hopes to raise awareness about the link between hepatitis C and liver cancer. The singer has dedicated the shows in memory and celebration of Joe Eddy Hines, his longtime guitarist who died of cancer last year.

* Alejandro Escovedo, with Chris Stamey, 8 p.m. Jan. 25-27 and Feb. 12-13, City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph, $40-$55 (21+over);

Jeff Elbel is a local freelance writer.

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