Kicked Out of Eden – Javier Escovedo (Saustex)
Here we have Javier Escovedo's new release, "Kicked out of Eden", courtesy of Saustex Records in San Antonio, Texas, and it's a good one.
We probably all know Javier from his work with The Zeros and The True Believers. He co-founded The Zeros (the so-called “Mexican Ramones”) and was a leading light in the West Coast punk scene. Surprisingly, "Kicked Out of Eden" is only his second solo recording.
He has a decent core band working with him: Hector Munoz on drums, Michael "Cornbread" Taylor on bass and Brad Rice on guitar. And, of course, Javier plays guitar and sings lead vocals.
Javier has played with this line-up for a-while. They are ably supported by Crissy Flatt on backing vocals and Matt Hubbard on piano.
In recent statements, Javier has said that this is more of a rock and roll album. While that is certainly true there is a varied selection of material here.
He's writing pretty good songs these days. As anyone who knows something about music is aware of how hard it is to put something together that holds up like it should. Javier is a good lyricist and expresses himself well. Which makes for a rewarding experience with repeated listening.
The stand outs in this regard are "It Ain't Easy", "Drivin' Around" and "Gypsy Son". Javier does have genuine song-writing aptitude.
The album starts off strongly with "Downtown". There are inspired, fiery guitar solos from both Rice and Javier. I believe that Rice takes the first one, followed by Javier taking the second.
Having Eric Hisaw playing that ringing 12 string on "Just like the Rest" is a nice touch. As is the acoustic guitar on "Searchin' For You".
The songs with Crissy Flatt on the backing vocals provide a nice blend. Special notice must also be paid to Matt Hubbard's piano playing. I was surprised to hear Javier playing Xylophone on the tender ballad, "Drivin' Around". It works well with the song.
By now it’s pretty obvious that "Kicked out of Eden" by Javier Escovedo is worthy of your attention. Javier has always been a talented musician. The music that he plays has always had a strong consistency and been heartfelt.
But, in my opinion, he's making the best music of his life right now.