Given Escovedo's current fate (stricken with Hepatitis C), this 1996 reissue is particularly welcome. Remastered with an extra disc of live recordings from that year, With These Hands was a rocking departure from the ex-Rank And File man's solo predecessors. With Willie Nelson, brother Pete (ex-Santana) and niece Sheila E on board, it's a suitably raucous affair, though the full band tends to swamp Escovedo's dusky timbre occasionally. The spare "Pissed Off 2am" and "Tired Skin" (vox/piano only) are more affecting, as is the title track's percussive Latino snap.
The latest Swedish cowboy, Jonsson was praised early last year for his subtle-sweet EP Then I Kissed Her Softly. Having trodden European boards with Damien Jurado and Rosie Thomas, the 23-year-old's LP debut roots itself in similar earth. There's much of Jurado in his downcast tremble, while Fredrik Wilde's pedal-steel and Carl Edlom's softly cantering piano brighten the corners. "Shades Of Green" and "Black And Blue" shuffle with the kind of milky-moon sadness Neil Young patented on After The Gold Rush. Elsewhere, there are hints of the Palace Brothers and Low.