This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
Texas singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo’s music has always had a dramatic, literary cast to it. But his boldly ambitious and deeply personal new album By the Hand of the Father takes it to a whole new level.
The soundtrack and score to a Los Angeles theatrical production penned by Escovedo and other Latino artists, By The Hand Of The Father examines the Mexican-American experience of the 20th century as seen through the eyes of those who left their homelands, families and heritage behind and crossed over physical and cultural borders in search of the American Dream. Elegantly combining Escovedo’s darkly rich roots-rock with spoken-word passages, Mexican melodies, Spanish lyrics and traditional instrumentation, individual vignettes like Hard Road, Wave, Rosalie and With These Hands seamlessly dovetail into a sweeping, epic exploration of family, honour, heritage, identity and pride in the face of racism and economic struggle. Without a doubt, this is Escovedo’s most powerful and moving work by a mile — and coming from him, that’s no mean feat.