Editor’s note: This article was originally published October 12, 2013
"Austin, my sweet, sweet home," Alejandro Rose-Garcia a.k.a Shakey Graves started his set with a warm shout out to his home town, lamenting that it had been a while since his last local show. An impressive crowd, notably well-stocked with the 25 and under set, spread far beyond the shady sanctuary at the edge of the BMI stage. They cheered enthusiastically in response.
Standing alone on stage with his guitar and a rudimentary foot-pedal percussion set up, he launched into "Unlucky Skin" and within moments he had clearly established why this local artist inspires such excitement. Rose-Garcia is a fantastic storyteller with an enomous stage presence and a genuinely likable, easy-going way. While many artists might find his stripped down one man set up limiting, Rose-Garcia seems to be liberated by it. It opens him up to explore the myriad of tones and textures he can coax out of both his voice and his guitar, each one acting an extension of the other. His voice shifts from gravelly tenor to silky falsetto. With his guitar he can produce everything from a walking bass line to satisfying blasts of distorted fuzz.
Completely unfazed by the unfortunate sound bleed from Little Green Cars who were performing on the Austin Ventures stage, Rose-Garcia gregariously held court. He played a mix of older songs that had many in the audience singing and dancing along and new material "to show you what I’ve been working on." Easily scaling an emotional range that went from light melancholy to whimsical and back again. He took the audience along for a fantastic ride and no doubt won plenty of new fans in the process.