Giving praise to Shakey Graves

Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez.

Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez.

Whoever thinks good music doesn’t come from Texas is profoundly mistaken. I’m not a fan of the pop-country fusion you hear at bars that serve buckets of Bud Light and offer mechanical bull rides. But I do love the timeless twang of more classical folk and country.

Shakey Graves—or should I say Alejandro Rose-Garcia—is more or less the king of Americana, the one-man band and the suitcase kickdrum (yes, that’s apparently a thing.) When I first heard his “Roll the Bones” on a music blog, I immediately googled it to find out what this soulful roots band was. I don’t know what surprised me more: That it was merely one person, or that this one person played “The Swede” on my family’s favorite show, Friday Night Lights. And let me tell you, he has grown up.

Rose-Garcia’s voice unpredictably shuffles between a soothing croon to a near wail, but always reaps a sincerity that feels directly aimed at your soul. His lyrics speak the hard truths of life, heartbreak and the long journey to our physical and metaphorical homes. Perhaps the best part of Shakey Graves is the literal “shaky” aspect of Rose-Garcia’s music. You never quite know when the pace will pick up for slow down, when his voice will heighten or suppress, but that’s the beauty of it. You have faith that it’s going to be good, and it always is.

 

 

Watch his performance of “Roll the Bones” from Audiotree Live. If we have remotely similar taste in music, one listen will make you his new biggest fan.

Noteworthy lyrics: “Well so it goes, yeah so it goes / them city boys in country clothes / oh take a chance and roll the bones / go crash your car burn down your home / yeah, try to forget all your enemies and debts / they’ll just chase you around and give you sour dreams”

Reach the blogger at inovak@asu.edu or on Twitter @IsabelleNovak.