"Unclassifiably original" and "frighteningly good" Musician Comes to Meadville
They told Ryan Smith that Shakey Graves is "one of those rare artists whose music, after one listen, inspires the kind of obsessive devotion that compels someone to spend hours searching for more." They're right.
I hadn't given a listen to anything by Shakey Graves before receiving some word about a coming-up local show from his people last week, so I took a closer-than-if-I-had look at what they had to say about the one-man band out of Austin.
Graves (aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia), they told me, is "one of those rare artists whose music, after one listen, inspires the kind of obsessive devotion that compels someone to spend hours searching for more."
Bold claim. But I -- and, to my knowledge, at least one editor here at your Erie Reader -- can attest to the truth in it.
Described by NPR Music as an "antifolk phenomenon," Graves lays his raw, raspy narratives out over contrasting sparse-and-explosive guitar work, all while stomping out driving rhythms on a kickdrum hand-built from an old suitcase.
"Unclassifiably original," folks at NPR called him, and "frighteningly good."
Reviewers at Folk Hive said those who like their music like that "must see his show. Find one in your state. Travel to Austin if you must."
But that road trip isn't a must, because there's a Shakey show -- completely free and completely worth making a little drive for -- Thursday in Meadville's Diamond Park.
Need to hear him for yourself first? For starters, just check out this live performance of his killer tune "Roll the Bones."
Now, we'll bet chances are if you can make it, you will.
The Shakey Graves performance -- starting at 7 p.m. at Diamond Park (hard to miss, in the heart of downtown Meadville) -- serves as this year's kick-off for the Meadville Council on the Arts' annual Downtown Summer Concert Series. This year, the all-free, every-Thursday series has also lined up performances by Max Schang's Hot Club Allegheny on July 4; Matt Texter and the Pennsylvania Two, July 11; Allegheny Drifters, July 18; and Tiger Maple String Band on July 25.
For more information on Meadville Council on the Arts and the Downtown Summer Concert Series, visit MCA at facebook.com/Meadville-Council-on-the-Arts or call 814-336-5051.
And be sure to check out the next print edition of the Reader for an exclusive interview with Shakey Graves, photos from Thursday's show and more.
Ryan Smith can be contacted at rSmith@ErieReader.com.