What could've been a postmodern joke instead produced a whole new genre of music -- a style that Escovedo has virtually to himself. Escovedo's latest, By the Hand of the Father, is the musical companion to a play he wrote about the journey to America taken by his father and other Mexican immigrants. As with much of what Escovedo does, the play has inspired a journey inward. Thinking about his father's trip reinforced how important his own children are. (His six kids range from 3 to 31.) Still, his career keeps him on the road for 8 to 10 months a year, and that's hard to alter. "For people like me, at the level I perform on, the only way to sell records is to play live," he says. "We don't have heavy promotional machinery behind us, we don't have radio behind us. The only way is to go out and play, you know?"