Staff Picks: On Steady Ground with Shakey Graves

2015 was the year of Bieber and talking on the phone with Adele and Drake. Even I fell victim to the catchy beats and soothing sounds of the pop music from 2015. From a certifiable music snob this is a hard statement for me to make publicly but here it is. In the midst of the worst days of my Bieber-addiction-induced shame I heard the first notes of something different. The bluesy, folky Americana sound of Shakey Graves. Yes, I know I’m a little late to the party but when I read a fellow NU-er’s review of the show I listened to a couple tracks and never stopped.

Shakey Graves is the stage name of Alejandro Rose-Garcia who’s a musician from Texas first known for his role on the TV show Friday Night Lights. His music is earthy, raw and reminiscent of Americana bluegrass from a forgotten time. His album, And The War Came, was released in October of 2014, but he really only began to gain popularity in 2015 as he began touring and joining the festival circuits.

My addiction really began to take shape once I started watching the myriad of videos online, it isn’t just the sound, the voice and the methodical rhythm but Rose-Garcia’s stage presence that reels you in. His charisma oozes out of your computer entrancing you as you slowly begin to nod your head and tap your foot. In NPR’s tiny desk concert you can practically hear the women in the room swoon as he pulls out his custom suitcase kick drum and tells the story of being asked to busker for Mumford and Sons outside the festival. Each time he performs, the sound changes slightly, his timing and emotion entrances and changes subtly each time, making it forever entertaining to keep listening despite his relatively small repertoire of songs.

My favourites are If Not For You, Dearly Departed (feat. Esme Patterson) and Hard Wired. But that was hard for me to choose. I suggest you have a listen and enjoy being transported to another time and place.

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