Shakey Graves, aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia, the Austin based one-man traveling band, made his debut at Zilker Park in Austin during the cities’ Blues on the Green summer series. Every other Wednesday during the heat wave months in Austin, bands join together to perform a free concert series in the very lawn that Austin City Limits is held each October.
From Wild Child to Bob Schneider to White Denim, the folks of KGSR know how to set up a killer lineup and this year, they haven’t disappointed. Shakey Graves opened for country music powerhouse The Gourds.
As the sun shone brightly, a massive crowd settled in to hear the talented Garcia. His lo-fi take on the blues kicked off what we should be a very bright future for the young but prolific artist (did we mention he was recently invited to play with Robert Plant in Oregon, and yes, he did say yes). With ACL around the corner and a stacked North American tour with Shovels and Ropes set for September, the scene of plucking-and-strumming and days when the youth appreciated folk music, withstand a serious reemergence.
Shakey Graves’ live show is raw and powerful. Just like his SXSW show we stumbled upon and decided to stay for a while, (okay, for the full hour performance) his Blues on the Green debut was just as joyous and more intimate than we anticipated. With a voice that thunders, Garcia took his lo-fi folk vocals and paired them with full lyrical expression for his hour set.
“Unlucky Skin,” which tells the tale of a man on the move looking to belong, and the upbeat “City In A Bottle” it became clear this twangy twenty-something doesn’t plan to stop making his classic music anytime soon.
NPR recently named Shakey Graves as one of 10 National Artists Music Fans Should Know and we’d have to agree. When live, Garcia is so intimate, so in tune with his own audience, gear and voice that a fluid synchronicity of tempo changes and finger plucking creates a sizable blow of delicious sonic resonance.
While Shakey Graves is an increasingly becoming a household name in Austin, he is slowly establishing himself across North America. Check him out when he rolls into a city near you. He’ll probably look very unassuming, as he hasn’t much for those men in big busses with loads of gear. A minimalist at hand, he takes the likes of pure vocal talent and sings it out with his every last fiber, and Shakey Graves, that’s just the way we like you – honest and pure.