“Dylan dropped acid in the limelight,” sings Tex-Mex singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo on “Headstrong Crazy Fools,” savoring the recklessness of youth with a James Jamerson bass line and a Lou Reed rhyme scheme. Escovedo nods to his forebears here, as on 2008’s Real Animal. “Bottom of the World” and “San Antonio Rain” echo “Queen Jane Approximately” and “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” young Dylan’s means applied to different ends: those of a 61-year-old rock & roll lifer staring down hard-luck cases with unsparing empathy. If the songs don’t always transcend their references, they rarely feel less than lived.
Listen to ‘Big Station’: