ACL Live Shot (Second Weekend): Shakey Graves

Austin native puts on a not-so-intimate backyard hoedown

Welcome home, Al
Welcome home, Al (by Jana Birchum)

Thursday night at Emo’s, Shakey Graves’ father recounted the story of his son Alejandro Rose-Garcia’s first Austin City Limits. It was 2011, halfway down Robert E. Lee. Then a local secret, Graves played for six people, including his mother, father, and sister.

Graves’ first official gig at ACL Fest went differently. Zilker’s BMI stage was packed for the one-man band, more than it’d been in recent memory. Showing up en masse, a hometown crowd came out to see a child of Austin in action.

“Haven’t seen you guys in a long time,” he announced, just a few days back from his tour with Shovels & Rope. “It’s good to be home.”

Shakey Graves hasn’t released an abundance of music, but what he’s put out has resonated around Austin. It’s piercing, creative, and familiar – warm, like the bedroom wherein the young singer tracked and sequenced 2010’s Roll the Bones.

Saturday afternoon he appeared more laid-back than most making their maiden voyage, meandering from “Unlucky Skin” towards “Built to Roam” in his quickly-becoming-trademark white tank top and full-brimmed hat. He dropped a new one, “Coop de Ville,” and dished out the backstory to “Georgia Moon” before bringing Wild Child frontlady Kelsey Wilson onstage to run three tunes in tandem with her violin.

The performance started to break down around then, but its conclusion proved charming rather than disturbing. Zilker Park is Alejandro Rose-Garcia’s backyard – has been since he was a boy. You can do anything you want in your backyard. It’s where one should feel most at home.

For more ACL Fest coverage, see For photo galleries from the fest, see

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Shakey Graves, ACL Fest 2013, Alejandro Rose-Garcia, Wild Child, Kelsey Wilson

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