Seeing Shakey Graves (aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia) at The Blue Note last year was one of the best concerts I’ve been to, and one of the most talented artists I’ve seen on stage. (Amy Winehouse, Andrew Bird and Bon Iver are who he’s running up against so hopefully that provides a little context.)
Last year, Rose-Garcia’s outdoor set at 9th Street Summerfest was cut short thanks to a thunderstorm rolling in. While fans waited for an “all clear” Rose-Garcia decided that if it didn’t stop raining, he would continue his set inside The Blue Note and do it acoustic. Moving the show inside couldn’t have happened if he wasn’t able to play it acoustic because it would have required the BN crew to move all the sound equipment indoors and risk getting it wet.
Fast forward and Rose-Garcia is standing on stage with his guitar, howling into the mic andpumping his foot on a pedal of his custom kick drum made out of an old suitcase. Being the one-man band he is known for, Rose-Garcia kept the audience’s unwavering attention. I was standing on the balcony that was shaking (as it tends to) from the combination of the sound and the crowd dancing. Meanwhile, those below tossed beachballs around and sang along as directed. (WordPress wouldn’t let us embed the Facebook video of this, but you can check it out here.) (Or this video from when we were live during the show.) Toward the end of the show, Rose-Garcia brought up a group of fans from the audience to sing into the mic with him.
This year, Shakey Graves will be bringing his blues Americana rock and roll to Rose Park. He’ll also be playing tracks from his latest EP, “Shakey Graves and the Horse He Rode In On” that was released on Spotify on June 30.
“The first album was me wanting to burn down my life, cut my hair off, and run screaming into the woods,” says Rose-Garcia. “This album is the trials and tribulations of becoming domesticated, letting people into your world and letting go of selfishness — the story of becoming a pair, losing that, and reconciling with the loss and gain of love.”
We’re crossing our fingers for better weather this year because Shakey Graves in the park sounds just about as good as it gets.