Texas twang comes north to Quebec with Shakey Graves

Texas twang comes north to Quebec with Shakey Graves

Main pic: Shakey Graves. Photo credit: Erika Goldring.

By Rosanna Haroutounian

Quebec is sure to shake and shimmy when Shakey Graves brings his blend of folk-rock and traditional Texan music to Le Cercle on Sunday April 12.

Shakey, also known as Alejandro Rose-Garcia, says he got his name at a 2007 music festival after being approached by a man who was “extremely inebriated.”

“We had a long, kind of nonsensical conversation with the dude,” says Rose-Garcia. “At the end he was like, ‘Well you guys were great, blah blah blah, watch out for spooky wagons,’ and we’re like, ‘Did he just say spooky wagons?’ ”

Shakey Graves. Photo credit: Josh Verduzco.

Shakey Graves. Photo credit: Josh Verduzco.

Rose-Garcia says he and his friends were inspired to make up their own names for fictional, spooky musicians.

“It was one of the first nights I showed my sound to people and when they asked me what my name was, I said Shakey Graves.”

Shakey Graves started as a solo act but has grown into a four-piece band. Rose-Garcia says he performs on his own and with the band during concerts.

The band is currently on tour promoting the album And the War Came. This is the second time Shakey Graves is showcasing it around Canada and the United States after touring in both countries for three months following the album’s initial release in October 2014.

Rose-Garcia says he tries to gear his concerts towards what the audience wants, including music he is seen playing on YouTube but has not recorded on his two albums.

The music of Shakey Graves is often described as Americana, though Rose-Garcia says he doesn’t agree with the label.

“I don’t particularly feel that Americana sums it up too well,” he says. “I’m not really even sure what that means.”

Instead, he describes Shakey Graves as loud Western-themed music.

“I blend a lot of American blues and rock, folk traditions, and singing story-songs,” he says. “I’m not a country singer by any means, but I definitely have a lot of Texas that shows up in my work.”

Rose-Garcia says Neil Young and rock band The Sadies are among his biggest Canadian influences.

“Canada’s been really sweet to me ever since the first time I set foot here,” says Rose-Garcia. “The audiences have been really receptive and I think it’s gorgeous.”

Rose-Garcia has been performing in Canada since 2012 and came to Quebec with the band Shovels and Rope. He says he is unsure of what to expect from the crowd during his first concert as the headliner in Quebec City, except that they will have a good time.

“I’ve played in a place outside Banff (Alta.) – Jasper – and there’s nobody, nothing around there, but the place was full,” he recalls. “There were a bunch of people, like hitch-hikers, tree-planters, and just the strangest mixed-bag of people you can imagine.”

Shakey Graves will perform at Le Cercle with fellow Austin, Texas native David Ramirez.

Tickets are available online on Le Cercle’s website.

About Author

Rosanna Haroutounian

Rosanna Haroutounian was raised in Mississauga, Ontario, and studied journalism and political science at Carleton University. She currently works as an English assistant at a college in Quebec City. She enjoys reading, baking, being outdoors, and travelling the world when time and finances allow.

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