I’ve listened to some bands because of their album covers and some because of their names—the latter is usually the result of the name’s brand. That’s why I listened to McCartney II at the time—liked the cover and knew the brand. I certainly did not know, however, that Shakey Graves was an artist I knew. I smirked at the name and was intrigued enough to follow it to the album cover—again, an engaging (though ominous) album cover. I’m glad I fell for names and images—Alejandro Rose-Garcia has put out a great album under the pseudonym of Shakey Graves.
Rose-Garcia has been known as an actor in several movies and for his work on the TV series Friday Night Lights, but don’t let that prejudice you. This is a very good album. It’s uneven. It’s varied. It’s got some talk. It’s a good album, in spite of all those things and—in some instances—because of those things.
“Dearly Departed” is the standout tune, playing around with the notion of ghosts of relationships in spaces, in this case a house. He’s accompanied by a great female singer, Alexa Woodward, and she’s amazing on this tune. Apparently, most of the rest of the sounds you hear, those instruments, are from Shakey Graves himself. Songs like “Hard Wired,” “Big Nashville Star,” and “Pansy Wilson” are well rounded, band-like tunes.
Right now we are looking for more information and more albums. He did put out Roll the Bones (not the Rush album!) in 2011, complete with the caveat: “All donations go directly to keeping Shakey Graves in clean socks and bread.”