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Alejandro Escovedo Bucks up with R.E.M. guitarist on current tour

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Alejandro Escovedo and Peter Buck are hardly strange bedfellows.

The two have been friends since the 80s, when Escovedo and his then-band, the True Believers, found themselves stranded in the southeast due to a scheduling mix-up and the R.E.M. guitarist was among the musical friends who helped out with a benefit show in Athens, Ga.

"We made enough money to get us back home to Austin (Texas), and that's how I was introduced to Peter and those guys and how cool they were and how great they were," recalls Escovedo, 63, who's playing with Buck and his band (as well as regular Escovedo violinist Susan Voelz) on his current tour. "From that we've developed a friendship, and we've finally come to this point where Pete's doing his own thing (including a new solo album, ??) and he's got enough time to tour.

"So it seemed like a good thing to do. His band has learned a set of my songs and it's gonna be great. Whether it's my stuff or the Velvet Underground stuff or 'Like a Hurricane' by Neil Young, we just have a blast."

Escovedo -- who's also been part of the Nuns and Rank & File and has released a dozen solo albums -- will likely be playing material from his latest effort, 2012's "Big Station." He's in the planning stages for something new, too, a conceptual piece he plans to record later this year with some well-known (but unnamed) friends from California based on getting lost last year while trail running in the San Jacinto Mountains.

"The helicopter had to come and pick me up. I was lucky to be found, actually," Escovedo recalls. "So (the album) is about a person who gets lost, physically, but it also deals with all kinds of other issues -- romance, philosophical things, spiritual things, spiritual awakening, enlightenment, the sense of loss and being lost and how desperate that is...

"I've made so many albums now, and I pretty much have always been very open about my life and stuff. With this album I hope to really sum it all up and tie together a lot of the ideas I've explored on the other (albums)."

Alejandro Escovedo and Peter Buck perform Friday, Feb. 21, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $27. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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