Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Shakey Graves

Armed with the loyal affection of fans from his hometown of Austin, TX, Shakey Graves is shipping his signature blues/rock fusion up north for this year’s Newport Folk Festival. While Shakey Graves (known off-stage as Alejandro Rose-Garcia) is a solo act, it’s much more than a “man and his guitar” situation. His kick-drum and tambourine are jerry-rigged out of a suitcase which he plays by foot, all while laying vocals that are so gritty they could sand your floors. Rose-Garcia’s finger-picking on a distorted guitar completes the lo-fi feel. So don’t let his one-man status fool you — just because he’s not jumping on a piano (#tbt to Matt Vasquez at NFF 2012) doesn’t mean the show will lack in energy. Shakey Graves’ sound is impossibly larger and livelier than his busker-esque appearance, especially on commanding crowd-pleasers like “Roll the Bones.” And even on “Word of Mouth” and his more subdued tracks, a slow-burning vibrancy remains. Each song in Shakey’s catalog is connected to the next through his distinct songwriting style, which is heavily influenced by “the good ol’ days,” for lack of a more specific time period. His old-school lyrics are so authentic that I’m half-convinced his sole form of currency is gold nuggets, and maybe the occasional fur pelt. Shakey Graves’ stories of stargazing, moonshine-swilling and straight-shootin’ will sound just right within the timeworn walls of Fort Adams. And we’re willing to bet that come July, the resident golden boy of Austin will be embraced by yet another tight-knit music community, this time at Newport Folk Fest.

You can listen to and download Shakey Graves’ latest album here.

Posted on by Caroline in M&T Favorites, Newport Folk Festival Spotlight

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