With These Hands, Across the Border
Calgary performers will gather at the Ironwood Stage on Saturday, August 30 for a benefit evening to help Alejandro Escovedo pay for the costs associated with the treatment of complications related to hepatitis C.
The Austin, Texas based singer-songwriter is a favourite of Calgary audiences from his numerous appearances here over the past decade. These have included the 1998 Calgary Folk Festival, the Night Gallery’s Y2K New Years’ Eve party, a One Yellow Rabbit performance cabaret in October 2000 and the production of his play By the Hand of the Father at the OYR High Performance Rodeo in January 2002.
The lineup on August 30 includes One Yellow Rabbit , Tom Phillips and the Men of Constant Sorrow , Dutchie and the Doughnuts (featuring Tim Leacock, Kit Johnson and Bill Cowsill),a specially re-formed National Dust (www.lorriematheson.com), the
Rembetika Hipsters , Jenny Allen, and Kris Demeanor with Los Infermos. Los Infermos are Peter Moller (drums), Jonathan Lewis (violin) and Vladimir Sobolewski (bass), three Calgary musicians who backed up Escovedo at his One Yellow Rabbit appearances.
The performers will cover their favourite Alejandro songs during their sets. The show begins at 9PM. Advance tickets will be available at Ironwood as of Monday, August 18 for $10.00. Escovedo’s CDs will also be on sale at the venue that evening.
Escovedo collapsed and was hospitalized in Phoenix on April 26 following a performance of his play, By The Hand Of The Father, due to complications related to Hepatitis C. He was diagnosed with advanced cirrhosis of the liver. Like so many before him, Escovedo is without insurance to cover the tremendous medical costs involved in treating this illness. Musicians, friends, fans and
associates across North America began organizing benefits, beginning with one in Alejandro¹s Austin home on June 25. Others have occurred or are in the planning stages in Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, New York City, Seattle, Raleigh/Durham, Albany and Minneapolis. Calgary’s event is the first taking place north of the border.
Plans are also already underway for a benefit tribute album modeled on the Sweet Relief albums for Victoria Williams and Vic Chestnutt, with an all-star line-up to be announced in the near future. As well, Rykodisc is preparing to re-release Escovedo’s With These Hands CD in an expanded version similar to last year’s re-releases of Gravity and Thirteen Years by Texas Music Group.
Currently, Escovedo is at home in Canyon Lake, TX with his wife Kim and their baby Amala, the seventh of his children. He is resting and undergoing treatment to alleviate the effects of his condition. Prior to his illness, Alejandro¹s rigorous touring and recording had enabled him to take care of his family; his two eldest daughters, Marseilla and Shasha are 31 and 32; and then there are the rest of his girls: Maya, 21; Paloma, 12, Juanita, 4 and his son, Paris, 11. He has cancelled all engagements until at least spring, 2004 while he recovers. Escovedo said he wishes to thank his many supporters for their generosity and good wishes in his time of need.
Those who wish to make donations to help defray the cost of treatment can do so online at http://www.alejandrofund.com. This is a secure site, and all monies will go DIRECTLY to Alejandro. This site is also an excellent source for updated news on his condition.
This event is being planned by Allen Baekeland with assistance from Josh Marantz at Ironwood, Peter Moller at Egg Press, Martyn Hill of Martyn Hill Agencies, and with the cooperation of Alejandro Escovedo¹s management team, Heinz Geissler and John Porter.
Check out this web site for more info on Hepatitis C: http://www.battlinghepc.com