Shakey Graves, otherwise known as Alejandro Rose-Garcia, first came to the attention of Australian audiences touring over here early last year with fellow American songsters Shovels & Rope.
His blending of Americana, blues and rock ‘n’ roll has also hit chords elsewhere around the globe, so much so, Rose-Garcia, in September last year, took out the Best Emerging Artist gong at the annual Americana Awards in Nashville – no mean feat for one whose debut album, Roll The Bones, was only released in 2011.
Despite all this though, he’s adamant he’s not an ‘Americana’ artist, at least not as other people may see it. “I would never refer to my music as Americana, it feels like Americana is everything that’s not rap,” he says with a laugh. “I wasn’t reared on country music per se, not Top 40 country… but there was always that element of Stevie Ray Vaughn 12-bar blues, plenty of Texas swing, and then a lot of John Prine-y, storytelling songwriter [stuff].”
Hailing from Austin, Texas, where all these influences were born and bled into his music, Rose-Garcia will head to Australia for a second time in a couple of months, playing the Byron Bay Bluesfest, as well as a handful of side-shows. This time, he’ll bring with him his trio, as recorded on latest cut, 2014’s And The War Came, an album which really showcases his eclectic use of various American musics.
“I’m just trying to play what I want to hear. It’s not as simple as that, but I’m not trying to overthink it,” he muses. “So those dynamics (loud, soft) are something I saw potential for in myself a long time ago, and it’s been an honest goal of mine to try and fuse it together, because that’s what I want out of a show.”
Samuel J. Fell