There was a buzz of excitement at ACL Live Wednesday night before local troubadour, Alejandro Rose-Garcia better known as Shakey Graves took the stage for his debut Austin City Limits (ACL TV) taping. Producer Terry Lickona shared the audience’s enthusiasm for the Austin-born singer remarking during his introduction that nothing gives him more pleasure than inviting “one of our own” to tape an episode. The crowd shared that sentiment by giving Graves a standing ovation when he took the stage moments later.
Graves began the set just like he began his career, solo playing an acoustic guitar and simultaneously working his trademark kick drum / suitcase contraption behind him with foot pedals. The set opened with the folksy Roll the Bones the opening track from his debut album. Graves’ drummer Boo joined the singer on stage and the pair launched into raucous cow punk song, If Not For You. Guitarist Patrick O’Connor joined the duo for folk song, “Family and Genus.”
A former television actor, Graves looked comfortable in front of the TV cameras, hollering shout outs to friends and family. The singer even whipped out a kazoo when he played Chinatown, a request from his mother who was in the audience. His remarks before the song prompted a tweet from ACL TV producer Leslie Nicols, “And @ShakeyGraves just said “fingered” on @acltv. With his mom in the audience. #rockstar #acltv”
Blues tune, Proper Fence came next with a fun call and response with the audience. His band rejoined Graves for the guitar-heavy, Pansy Waltz. The set concluded when Austin songstress Carson McHone joined Graves for a duet version of his radio hit, Dearly Departed.
After another standing ovation and loud cheers, Graves returned for his two-song encore by himself to finish the set how it began with Hard Wired then Late July to thunderous applause. The singer paused, raising both hands in the air to acknowledge the crowd before leaving the stage, taking a minute to savor his biggest performance to date.
With a growing national fanbase we expect Graves’ popularity to explode after his episode airs on PBS this fall. Be sure to check out ACL TV photographer Scott Newton’s amazing photos in the slide show at the top of the page.