Shakey Graves is a folk rock songwriter who writes personal ballads with frenetic finger-picking guitar work and snarling, cacophonous tones. He first graced the stage as a solo act, performing with a suitcase modded into a kick drum/tambourine that is feverishly worked with booted heels. Shakey spent years road-testing this inimitable one man band, honing his craft and focusing on defining a unique sound. In 2014 he met songwriter Esme Patterson, solo performer and member of the Denver-based band Paper Bird. Together they wrote the smash hit, "Dearly Departed," a song originally conceived on Halloween as a "tongue-in-cheek, haunted house sex joke."
Shakey toured tirelessly with Patterson in tow, performing across the country and paving the way for 2014's "And the War Came," his second LP and first official release. The tour became an introduction to his new, play-with-others style; a stark departure from his previous loner mountain man look.
Shakey himself as spoken of the project as continuously evolving. His most recent iteration is a braggadocio-filled rock quartet, and his mesmerizing stage performance is a replication of his career's story arc. It shuffles between solo and full band, reflecting the themes of "domestication and acknowledgement of the other" present on "And the War Came" by rotating through lineup variations. His style evolves to coincide with the music being created. Shakey has moved from the 10-gallon hat, tank top, and cowboy boots to more punk rock-influenced dark leather, flat brim, and sneakers.
His project is in a constant state of change, but his Austin, Texas roots remain. Shakey is a songwriter filled with soul whose contemplative, poetic moments give way to bone-rattling growls from his trusty Loar guitar.